Summer may have just begun, but the Tools for School campaign has kicked off and local FCSS staff are spreading the word that applications are available and donations are needed.
“Our Tools for School program – we try to launch it as the kids are leaving (school). It’s in preparation for the upcoming school year, so we try to reach the families at the schools so they have the information to take into the next school year as well,” said Wendy Griffin, community projects coordinator with Lacombe & District FCSS.
“We also have collection bins that will be going out here in August.”
In the meantime, she said the main focus is on collecting donations of cash.
“The way we structure the program is that we partner with School Starts. They have kits that are already specifically designed for schools across Canada. So when a family applies to us, we learn the child’s name, their grade, and the school that they go to. We send that information to School Starts, and they send us the packages.
“They build the packages, ship them to us, and then we hand them out to the families,” she explained.
This is where community donations kick in – cash donations go towards supporting the ability to purchase these items for local kids.
Still, as mentioned, bins will be set up in town later this summer as it’s important to have stock available for local families at the start of the school year.
“We have lots of families who will be moving in – who are new to the community. So we will be doing those collection boxes.”
Griffin said that last year, the organization served just shy of 300 families.
“We are anticipating that number will actually be up this year,” she added.
In other summer news, Lacombe FCSS will be presenting the ‘Lunchbox Theatre and Family Expo’ on July 14 at the Lacombe Memorial Centre. The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Griffin said vendor booths are available.
“This is part of Lacombe Days,” she said. “There will be booths and vendors there from different organizations around Lacombe and the area,” she said, adding that organizers are currently on the lookout for more vendors.
“We have two showtimes as well – 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. – with two-dollar admission to come in and watch the magician. That also includes your lunch,” she said. “It’s going to be great!”
Advance tickets can be purchased online, but they will also be available at the door.
Another summer highlight – FCSS has partnered with 5024 General Store to run a skateboard camp.
“It will run every Tuesday for the entire summer,” she said. “It’s free, but you have to register.”
Fifteen kids can sign up for each session.
“We are pretty excited to be running that.” And looking even further ahead, a youth fishing camp is slated to run later this summer, too.
“We have some really great stuff coming up!”
For more on how to support Tools for School, check out www.lacombefcss.net or find them on Facebook.