Inspire-A Night With Champions
We Are Hiring
Fr. Whelihan School Gets Physical
Chance 2 Enhance Raffle

Chance 2 Enhance Raffle

Don’t miss out on a great opportunity to win awesome prizes and support schools and students. The CCEF is sponsoring a raffle starting April 11th and ending with a draw on June 6th.Tickets are $10 each or 3 for $25 and there are only 19,500 tickets printed. Prizes include:

Grand Prize- 2018 Toyota Rav4 – valued at $30,240 from Country Hills Toyota

    • Sundance Hot Air Balloon Ride for 2 -valued at $650
    • Calgary Stampede Gift Package – valued at $512
      • Men’s and Ladies Jacket
      • an original art print by Paul Van Ginkel,
      • 2 tickets to the evening grandstand show
    • Calgary Pro Sports Game package – valued at $450
      • Calgary Stampeders – 3 tickets for 1 game and parking pass
      • Calgary Roughnecks – 4 ticket vouchers for 1 game
    • Calgary Pro Sports Gift Package- valued at $410
      • Calgary Flames hockey stick signed by Doug Hamilton
      • Calgary Hitmen Jersey signed by Jake Kryski
  • Delta Kananaskis/Nakiska Ski and Stay package valued at $380
    • 1 night in the Delta Lodge at Kananaskis
    • 2 adult ski lift passes for Nakiska
  • Alpine Helicopter Tour for 2 valued at $270
    • 12 minute 3 Sisters Peaks Tour
  • Fairmont Palliser Afternoon Tea for 2 valued at $115
    • Includes taxes and gratuities
  • Chinook Centre Gift Card valued at $100
  • CASH PRIZES – 4 prizes of $500 each

 

Fr. Whelihan School Gets Physical

Fr. Whelihan gets physical with new athletic equipment.

We talked to Fr. Whelihan school about the new weight and cardio equipment they purchased thanks to a grant from the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (CCEF).

What was the goal of this project?
The project was to extend and supplement both our Hockey Canada Skills Academy (HCSA) Off-ice Program and Athletic Performance classes by providing students weight and cardio equipment.

The priority was to develop a program that would use materials that could be easily transported from our fitness equipment storage room to a small gym for student use. The equipment needed to be durable enough to withstand daily use by both our athletic performance classes.

The equipment also needed to be versatile enough to be used by students with little background in athletic training but also able to provide more advanced students and adequate challenge.

How did this funding impact the school?
Fr. Whelihan’s Hockey Canada Skills Academy was in desperate need of training equipment. In previous years, the HCSA off-ice comment was held at the YMCA facility, but changes to district policy resulted in our academy no longer accessing that external facility.

The grant has allowed the school community to purchase a complete set of portable weight and cardio equipment for students. The equipment can be stored in the school’s physical education storage room and is portable enough to be used in a remote location.

This equipment is not only used by our HCSA students, but also by all junior high physical education students as part of their regular physical education program of studies and by several staff members that train together after school.

The testimonials say it all

“I love the new weight equipment. I much rather train at school than at a professional gym where I felt intimidated by older athletes and adults. My strength has improved, and this has helped my on-ice performance.” – Evan

“The new equipment is awesome. We have enough weight sizes that I am constantly challenging myself to use heavier weights “- Stevenson

“I was shocked at how much my hockey coaches know about training. It is really fun to train with them at school.” – Claire

Inspire-A Night With Champions

Thank you to our wonderful athletes, Elisabeth Vathje, Sean McEwen, DeVone Claybrooks and Colin Forbes and our host, the charismatic Beesley, who made our ‘Night With Champions’ such a successful event. We enjoyed your enthusiasm, authentic stories and your honest answers to our questions. You are all truly inspiring!

 

We Are Hiring

Do you want an opportunity to make a difference in the lives of children? Are you passionate about Catholic education?  The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation (“CCEF”) is seeking a new executive director.  The CCEF is a non-profit charitable organization established to provide enhanced learning opportunities for students in need in the Calgary Catholic School District. This is a part-time position.  For details of the job posting please click here.

Interactive Learning at St. Martha School

We talked to Principal Lynn Leslie about engaging students with Osmos, Makey Makeys & Little Bits

WHAT: Our goal was to introduce the students to new ways of learning and to introduce the idea of Makerspace in the Learning Commons. Specifically, we wanted to teach the students how to use the Osmo’s, Little Bits and Makey Makey’s in a responsible manner, have the students experiment with each of the new items and create something and increase math skills with the Osmo.

HOW: With the grant money, we purchased Osmos, Little Bits, Makey Makeys and IPads:

  • Osmos/iPads are physical math/word manipulatives that link to an app on the IPad and allow student to get immediate feedback on their learning tasks (i.e. numbers, tangrams, letters, fractions, etc.)
  • Little Bits are electronic pieces that allow students to create robotics related devices.
  • Makey Makeys are devices that allow any material to become conductive and perform a task like game controllers, music composition etc.
  • IPads, in addition to using them to interact with Osmos, are used to document the step by step documentation and reflection, as part of the challenge expectations.

WHY: The Osmo was introduced to the Grade 2 and 3 classes with much success. The students are very engaged in working together to solve equations with the Numbers software. Their excitement when a bubble bursts and they free a fish is over the top.  After using it for a couple of weeks, their math skills have gotten sharper as they want to beat high scores.

The introduction of Little Bits and Makey Makeys to the Grade 4 and 5 students involved showing them what they were and how to use them. They were given a couple of classes to experiment with them.   The students were then challenged to come up with a project using these items. In a group, the students had to come up with an idea, then research it, design it and build it. Some of the projects included: A Makey Makey Pac-man machine game, Little Bits monster car, Little Bits bubble machine, Dance Dance Revolution Makey Makey, Little Bits Bumper Ball and Water Music melody using Makey Makey.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “I like the Makey Makey’s and the Little Bits because they are a little challenging but when finished, you feel accomplished.”- Jewel and Daniella, Grade 5 students
  • “Both the Makey Makey and Little Bits in the Learning Commons are fun and I like that they are electronic.” – Tristan, Grade 5 student
  • “You get to do epic things with Makey Makeys. You could play Pac-man and make controllers.” – Brooklyn, Grade 5 student
  • “Osmo is epic. The Numbers game makes you smarter” – Randy, Grade 3 student

STAFF FEEDBACK:

    • “I love to use the Little Bits and Makey Makeys because they allow my students to create without any limitations. I love the idea that it connects to my Electricity and Magnetism unit and allows students to gain experience creating circuits through hands-on inquiry learning. I am excited that we have these resources in our school, because I believe that they really enhance our student’s learning.” – Grace Goudie, Grade 5 teacher
    • “The technology involved in Makey Makey’s and Little Bits is so simple for kids to use and figure out, and the possibilities to build and create with them are endless! The students noted that you can create something that can actually be useful to you! Students really enjoyed how they could create something you wouldn’t necessarily expect, like building a piano out of a banana with Makey Makey’s. There is a strong curricular connection to Grade 4 as well with our Simple Machines unit and Building Devices and Vehicles that Move. Having more of these materials available to use would allow students more hands-on experience with building with technology for a purpose. Interactive hands-on learning is important for all students, but especially for our ELL population who tend to learn a lot by doing and experiencing. Technology is such a large component of our world and day to day life. Students need experience with using it in a positive and successful manner at a young age, in order to take those positive skills into their lives and the workforce when they are older. These simple, yet extraordinary technologies will foster creativity and possibility in students at a young age that can help instill an entrepreneurial spirit that they can take with them throughout their educational and professional journeys.” – Lindsay Anderson, Grade 4 teacher
  • Our shift towards a Learning Commons environment over the past year has been slow and steady. The grant money allowed us to push full force into creating an environment of inquiry, imagination, problem solving and teamwork. I believe we have achieved one of the benefits as outlined by the Alberta Education ministry, “Learning Commons emphasize active and collaborative engagement and encourage the co-creation of knowledge by all learners”. The level of creativity and energy that is flowing through the room as the Grade 4 and 5 students work on their big projects using the Makey Makey’s and Little Bits is amazing. The Grade 2 and 3 students are so excited to play with the Osmos because they are working to beat high scores and advance levels; their math skills have increased because of this motivation.” – Kathy Conroy, Learning Commons Librarian

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided $3,950 in funding to purchase the new Makerspace items, which are positively impacting many students at this K-9 school.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Learning Through the Arts at St. Rita School

 We spoke to Principal Elizabeth Grill about the impact of arts on her school community

WHAT: The theme of our project at St. Rita was “Learning through the Arts.” Our entire school community had the opportunity to participate in two Artist in Residencies. Specifically, we had a dance residency and a felting artist (fabric arts).

WHY: This funding allowed the St. Rita School community to access the arts in a way that would otherwise not be possible due to financial hardships in our community. There are only a handful of students in our school that have ever had exposure to dance lessons. None of the students in our school had ever done any felting or had an art class outside of school time. The students exposed to these wonderful artistic residencies were full of excitement and positive comments.

HOW: This project allowed us to use arts as a vehicle for learning and creative expression. During our felting residency, each student created an original piece of art. The students found another way to communicate and express themselves. In addition, the teachers learned how to integrate art into subject areas and project work.  The teachers explored curriculum links to the fine arts.  Many of the teachers intend to continue with felting on their own next year.

The experiences with dance and fabric arts were shared with our parent community via our Spring Concert and a Dance Showcase. The feedback was extremely positive with many parents telling us that they were very thankful for the opportunities that their children had to be part of these experiences. We shared our photos and experiences on Twitter and in our weekly communication with our school community.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • “It was amazing doing hip hop. It was awesome learning the grooves!” – Guanar, Gr. 5 Student
  • “I liked felting soooooooooo much. I might do it at home.” – Katie, Gr. 4 Student
  • I liked felting, it was so cool. My art was even good! I learned how to felt and how to hold a needle the right way. I am glad that I got this opportunity. When we felted, I felt that I would never have this opportunity again. It was so good.” – Gr. 3 student

STAFF FEEDBACK:

  • “A grandparent approached me after the Dance Showcase and told me how she got teary-eyed watching her grandchildren in the Dance Showcase. Her oldest grandson has special needs and she said it was wonderful to watch him up in the front row trying his best to hip hop. She also said that she wanted me to pass along her thanks to CCEF for this opportunity. She said her grandchildren would not be able to learn anything like this on their own. Her daughter has been out of work for a while and the kids just don’t have these opportunities. I would also like to share that one of our students who has had particular challenges participating in any physical activity and who is very withdrawn was right up there with his classmates doing hip hop. It was so incredible that he would participate and that he was enjoying himself so much. That moment was worth every penny of the cost of the Dance Residency.” – Principal Grill 
  • “I can’t help but notice how many students I’ve seen stopping and REALLY taking in the different felting projects. They really seem to be admiring them as well as being proud of their own work.  So lovely to see.  “ – St. Rita Staff Member

PARENT FEEDBACK:

  • “Madeleine was introduced to felting as part of a school-wide activity. The completed felting piece of each student was displayed during the school’s annual Spring Concert. Madeleine was thrilled to show and describe in detail how she created her piece, an elephant. She took it one step further and asked if I could take her to Michael’s to buy felting supplies so that she could continue to create new pieces outside of school. She did not even ask me to buy the supplies for her, but she used some of her own hard-earned money to buy the supplies! She was so excited! Upon returning home from the store, she immediately began creating her next piece – a rainbow. It was lovely. She brought the piece to school to share with her class. She is now enjoying creating new art pieces and – in her words – “I did not know you could create so much with yarn!” – Parent of a Gr. 3 Student

 

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided $5,500 in funding, which positively impacted all 163 students at the school and all teachers.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Education is Our Buffalo program at St. Timothy School


We spoke to Principal Kevin DeSouza about supporting First Nations, Metis and Inuit (FNMI) students

WHAT: Our goals for this project were: to improve the variety of supports in place that directly impact and improve the education of our students from diverse learning backgrounds and to fill educational gaps in their programming; to see an increase in graduation and post-secondary acceptance rates; to provide specific Aboriginal content and events to educate our school community about Treaty 7, Residential Schools and to bring cultures together through understanding; to continue to build our relationships within the parent and Elder community of Morley and with all of our students; to institute a comprehensive mental health and grief initiative, (SAGE), in conjunction with spirituality to address the many difficult issues our community and students face, often to the detriment of their education; to equip students with Chromebooks to use on a daily basis to facilitate their access to technology, D2L, course work, online programming, teacher feedback and internet resources, which in turn improves homework completion and allows for ADLC and St. Anne’s course work.

HOW:

  • Smudge Ceremony – fall 2016, spiritual ceremony to welcome in the new school year and set up an environment for success with students and teachers.
  • Pilgrimage to Mission and Blackfoot Crossing – an opportunity for students to hear from residential school survivors and explore the history on display at Blackfoot Crossing.
  • Food Safety Course – in keeping with employability skill training, students attended a half-day food safety course to enable students to earn their food safety certificate.
  • SAIT Trip – expose students to higher education opportunities, campus life and the supports available to them.
  • Nature Journals – to continue to offer times in the day where students can reflect, relate, get in touch with nature and participate in healing through eco-therapy.
  • Parent Gathering – Held at Stoney Nakoda Resort on the Morley Reserve in order to continue to build parent relationships, establish bonds and gather insight into how we can involve them more in the education process.
  • Social Skills Group – weekly group run by family support worker to build interpersonal relationship skills.
  • Grief Group – SAGE organized and implemented by the school counselor to address the issues around grief and tragedy that our students live with every day.
  • Technology/Chromebooks – every FNMI student has a Chromebook to use daily in order to facilitate technology and educational needs. (students, parents, teachers, staff)
  • DVD Purchase and Showing – “Making of an Elder” – part of the social studies curriculum to engage students and promote Alberta history and cultural understanding.
  • Aboriginal Day – cultural sharing and community building.
  • Pow-Wow – School-wide dance celebration including Holy Spirit school to promote and celebrate Aboriginal culture. It is an educational experience that promotes community building, cultural awareness and uniqueness of individuals.
  • Acknowledge Treaty 7 Land – display statements, artwork, photos and language to acknowledge Aboriginal culture.
  • 1000 Years Edu-Kit – an educational kit to educate students on Residential schools and promote understanding of intergenerational trauma and how the ‘system’ has had a lasting effect on those cultures.
  • Aboriginal Stories/Book Titles – a continued collection available to all students in the library and for use in classrooms to support curriculum instruction in Religion, Social, ELA, Math and Science.

RESULTS: From 2016 vs. 2017:

  • Improved Attendance – Increase of 19 per cent attendance for those students who previously were attending less than 60 per cent.
  • Improved Literacy Rates – Avg. DRA scores improved by 2 levels, both Independent and Instructional reading.
  • Graduation Success – 80 per cent of student FNMI population graduating.
  • Early SAIT Admittance – 20 per cent early SAIT acceptance.
  • Improved Academic Performance – Jr. High, improvement in academics & assignment completion, by 75 per cent.
  • Parent Roundtable at Stoney Nakoda in Morley – 93 per cent parent/family attendance.
  • Parent Meetings – 15 per cent increase in parents meeting with teachers, counselors and family support workers to access support.

STUDENT FEEDBACK

    • “I can use my Chromebook and track my homework on D2L, I know what I need to do in class.”-Grade 7 student
    • When I smudge at my school, it feels peaceful and helps me to not feel so anxious.” –Grade 12 student
    • “I really enjoy coming to school and it makes learning easier. I like to work in a small group, I feel more comfortable.” –Grade 9 student
    • “I love breakfast!” –Grade 8 student
    • “I want to do this program again next year, it helps me learn, and I want to graduate like my brother, my father was so proud.” –Grade 9 student

 


STAFF FEEDBACK:

  • “The CCEF grant has been an integral component for supporting our “Education is our Buffalo” program for our most vulnerable children and families. It has assisted us in building bridges with our indigenous students from the Stoney Nakoda Nation (Morley). Relationships with parents and children have been enhanced and the parents have experienced positive change. They have demonstrated ownership of their child’s education through simple actions such as calling the school to say “the school bus did not come today.” The parents visit the school on a more regular occasion and have begun to share their story. The parents report that they entrust their children to us.” – Susan MacLellan, School Counsellor, St. Timothy School

 

PARENT & COMMUNITY FEEDBACK

  • “Thank you, thank you, thank you, we know we are here today because of you too, and always helping us to get our son to get to school.” –Parent from Stoney Nakoda on Graduation Day.
  • “J wants to be at school every day, he is happy and has his own Chromebook so he can be like the other kids.” –Parent
  • “No one really cared about us like this before, we get forgotten, but not here.” –Parent
  • “This is an important step in continuing to build trust and our relationship, to help our parents learn about your school, and how important education is. The support they have, how you care about our homes and our traditions, you are willing to listen, and make us feel valued and a part of our children’s education. You came to us and that needs to happen more often.” -Elder from Stoney Nakoda Nation, who attended the parent gathering.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED:
The CCEF provided a grant of $7,640, which positively impacted 420 students at the school.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.

Catholic Education Sunday

Thank you to everyone who took part in Catholic Education Sunday 2017! On November 4-5th, our parishes and community came together to recognize and celebrate the gift of Catholic education. Many CCSD students, parents, teachers, administrators and trustees took part in the celebration as readers and shared why their school was special to them. Thank you also to those who gave to the special collection. A portion of the funds raised will be granted to the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation which supports innovative programs and projects in CCSD schools.

    

CCSD Flames Student Nights

Calgary Catholic is happy to partner with the Calgary Flames again this season to offer its students, staff, and families a discounted ticket to a Flames game, while also fundraising for their school, CCSD and the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation.

Due to the success of the program last year, we have added a third CCSD Student Night to choose from. The three nights are:

-Friday, October 27th vs. the Dallas Stars

-Thursday, December 14th vs. the San Jose Sharks

-Wednesday, January 30th vs. the Vegas Golden Knights

CCSD Price: $39/ticket. For every ticket sold the Calgary Flames will donate $10 back to your school. Tickets can be purchased here.

Last season this fundraising program raised over $10,000 for CCSD schools and the Calgary Catholic Education Foundation.

Enhancing the Active Living Program at St. Bede School

We spoke to Principal Rose Ferreirinha about the impact of getting students out of the classroom.

WHAT: This project was designed to support our Active Living program for students outside of the traditional classroom. Our goal was to enhance student wellness and life-long learning by providing our students the opportunity to experience activities that will encourage them to be physically active.  The three activities that were identified for funding were: inline skating (Gr. 1 and 2), swimming lessons (Gr. 3 and 4) and curling lessons (Gr. 5 and 6).  By participating in these types of activities, students develop life-long skills around exercise, water safety and skating.

WHY: Many of our students do not have the opportunity to participate in these activities as the majority of our students are not enrolled in sports activities at home. More than 25% of our student population comes from immigrant communities or families with high financial needs.  Through the CCEF funding, all students in grades 1-6 were able to participate in activities outside of the traditional classroom environment.

TEACHER FEEDBACK:

  • Students were very active during the presentation. I heard from a few students that they were asking for in-line skates for Christmas. This spring, children have shared that they have gone in-line skating with their families.
  • Students were eager to go to swimming. At least half of the students were in the new to swimming or beginner swimmer levels and showed noticeable growth in the confidence and skill development by the end of the swimming lessons. Not only did this grant give our students the daily physical activity of swimming, but it gave them the increased confidence and skill to be safer when swimming.
  • Many student who don’t experience a lot of success in the classroom, did so in the pool. Just as some students who are skilled in the classroom, were sometimes less so in the pool. It helped all to experience a new level of learning and develop resilience.
  • Many students in our community do not have a chance to do any of the skills that were developed through the grant. For many of the students this was their first time to skate, and the skills of balance, muscular strength and confidence that were developed was amazing. This grant allowed our students to develop not only develop physical skills, but mental skills as well in confidence to try new things.
  • Our student population is made up of a great number of new Canadians and lower income families. These activities are ones that the students would not have been able to afford or would not participate in regularly.

STUDENT FEEDBACK:

  • Our school is great because there are fun activities like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • Thanks for all the things you do like inline skating – Grade 2 student
  • I love swimming! – Grade 3 student
  • I’ve never been curling before! – Grade 5 student

PARENT FEEDBACK:

  • My son had decided to have his birthday party at Lloyd’s rollerblading rink this year because of his new skill he learned and everyone he invited for his class had a blast. They all had already learned from school and they were able to enjoy themselves together with their new skills.
  • Thank you so much for giving the children an opportunity to try new activities and get them active without parents having to foot a big bill. Greatly appreciated.
  • Aside from what they learned, they took away a really fun experience, and talked about it with excitement beforehand and enthusiasm afterwards.
  • Would love to see more funding put towards these things as simple swimming lessons have made a world of difference for my son. He was excited, learned a lot and is more comfortable around water and being under water.

HOW THE CCEF HELPED: The Calgary Catholic Education Foundation provided $8,000 of funding to St. Bede for their Active Living program. The inline skating, swimming lessons and curling lessons positively impacted over 300 students at the school. These experiences would not have been possible without funding.

Learn more about donating to the CCEF to help fund meaningful projects and school enhancements that positively impact Calgary Catholic students.