Each year, in our community, there are thousands of children that go to school without the basics…they go to school hungry; they have no lunch, no warm clothes and no new school supplies. There are currently 12 schools in Metro Vancouver that are deemed as "inner city". In a 2001 article in Teacher Magazine, Sam Fillipoff, a teacher at Grandview Elementary, noted the following as the demographics for a typical inner-city school in Vancouver: - over 80% of the students and their families live in poverty; most live in single-parent families with the mothers; - 52% of the children are of Aboriginal ancestry; within this group are numerous nations and tribal groups representing a diversity of cultures and languages but lacking any organized political representation; - 40% of the children are recent immigrants or refugees to Canada, bringing memories of war, atrocities against their families, and deep emotional wounds that need healing and understanding; English is not their first language; - 40% of the children have significant special needs; most of the needs are social, emotional, and behavioural. According to Ministry of Education criteria for behavioural needs, there are at least two severe and several moderately severe students in every classroom. - 30% of the children live in foster care; - children with fetal alcohol or narcotic syndrome make up 8% of the population; - the school has a high absentee and transience rate, with a stable population of only 30%.
He writes; "Many of the children come to school hungry. Healthcare, proper diet, and physical fitness are often at minimal levels. The result for many children is poor health and lack of sustained energy. The children do not choose poverty. Poverty is not just having too little money to live comfortably. Poverty creates loss of self-respect, loss of personal freedom, and poor physical and mental health. It makes access to everything and every place in the larger community difficult. It can often be a humiliating experience. Parents attempting to secure services for their children needs feel frustrated and powerless. Many families with children attending inner-city schools live in crowded, noisy, substandard housing. Some students live in abusive relationships with no means to escape. Alcohol and drug abuse often leads to family violence. " 1.
With your generous donations, we funnel much needed funds to front-line organizations and inner city schools where the need is the greatest.
Cause We Care has provided Thunderbird Elementary School with funding to run their Kids First after school program for the 2013/2014 school year. We also have funded a March break program this year. Thunderbird is an inner-city school in Vancouver.
For more information on Thunderbird Elementary's Kids First program go here.
1. Teacher Magazine Volume 13, No.5 March 2001 "Inner-City schools: Canaries for the public school system" by Sam Fillipoff, teacher at Grandview Elementary.