By Jean Oram
Last fall a community fundraising society, The Rimbey Jr./Sr. High School Society, was formed with the purpose of enhancing student life within Rimbey Junior Senior High School. So far, approximately a dozen parents with children in the school have worked together to create the society and to hold several fundraisers.
Each year, the school struggles to fund projects that increase student engagement and enhance student life within the school. This includes keeping their Spartans bus on the road — a bus used for field trips, sports teams, and other school activities. They also strive to finance items such as guest speakers, awards and prizes for their awesome Assemblies, run extra-curricular sports (which studies show improve student graduation rates, increase problem solving skills, and boost self-confidence) as well as offer a welcome back breakfast, and provide benches outside the school for students and guests. These are just a few examples of items that enhance student life and culture within the school community but are not covered under the Alberta Education school funding model.
The RJSHS Society has chosen to donate four hundred dollars from fall fundraisers toward the school’s annual Christmas banquet budget which serves all RJSHS students, grades 7 to 12, as well as the school’s teaching and support staff. The turkey dinner is a much anticipated, massive undertaking that is held for all staff and students on the last day of school before the Christmas break and is a way for the school to come together as a community and break bread before the holidays.
To date, the society has held several in-school fundraisers that have included a hot lunch from Rimbey Subway, a junior high dance snack bar, as well as an October BBQ. In the future, the society hopes to apply for grants as well as casinos to help increase their ability to financially assist the school. The society also hopes to work with an increasing number of local businesses and has plans to offer a Rimbey Co-op hot lunch in the coming months.
School principal Tim Lekas, when asked for feedback from the society, mentioned that while the fundraisers have not only the potential to lessen the school’s financial burdens, they have also created a sense of enthusiasm as well as added to student culture within the school.
Another offshoot of the society is that it provides an outlet for parents who would like to become more involved in their child’s school to help out while enhancing the school’s positive culture and feeling of community support.
The society is open to all parents as well as community members. They will be holding their next meeting on Tuesday, March15 in the high school library following the school council meeting which begins at 7 p.m. Everyone is welcome to attend and input is always welcome. As well, the society welcomes community support from individuals and local businesses. If you are interested in assisting the society in any way, please contact Jean at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also keep up-to-date by liking their Facebook page — search for Rimbey.