Education Ministry sets new fundraising guidelines for school boards
London Community News
As kids across the province are preparing to hit the books again, public school boards are already studying the province's new guidelines for fundraising.
A province-wide standard for raising money in schools has recently been released by the Ministry of Education through its fundraising guidelines, namely to find ways to raise money that reflect the values of a healthy lifestyle and community spirit.
For London resident Maria Calleja, owner of Budding Artists and mom to two school-aged children, that’s good news.
Calleja said she’s been asked to buy frozen cookie dough, magazine subscriptions and candy bars for school fundraisers, but suggests those items are often inconsistent with school values and don’t always reflect the standards and expectations of the school community.
"We encourage healthy lifestyles in our schools," Calleja said in a press release. "Yet many parent-teacher associations continue to fundraise for healthy school initiatives, such as new sports gear, with the sale of chocolate bars.
“Our goals for better schools are often contradicted by the tools we use to fundraise."
Budding Artists’ keepsake art projects offer an alternative fundraising solution for parents and teachers.
One example that can be found is from a group of parents and teachers at St. Francis of Assissi in Petawawa who recently raised $1,200 through Budding Artists to assist with the building of their new school. They wanted a colourful and welcoming environment, and transformed their student’s drawings into a tiled mosaic wall, finding a fun, interesting and profitable way to preserve and display their student’s masterpieces.
“A child’s imagination provides brilliant art,” Calleja said. “Children are artists — preserving and displaying their artwork boosts self-esteem, adds value to their school art initiatives and encourages creativity.”
The tiled wall mosaic is only a small part of Calleja’s business. She offers three types of fundraising programs all geared toward the needs of the school and school culture. She offers to create functional keepsakes such as shirts, coffee and travel mugs, and tote bags.
Calleja also offers schools, sports teams and not-for-profit ideas, memorabilia and even art workshops on artists like Monet, Warhol and Picasso.
To learn more about Budding Artists, visit http://buddingartists.ca.