I am ANGRY. It’s time to not turn a blind eye.

Hold the Line - Support BC Teachers

Hold the Line - Support BC Teachers

I’m sure there are thousands of parents that are so happy their kids are finally back in school. Losing nearly a month of education not only puts stress on the teachers & children but also on the grade curriculum. Kids don’t remember everything they learned the previous year, with 2 months off from your regular job I’m sure there would be things you would forget as well, now add on another month.. and the stress of coming into ill prepared classrooms and schools.

Most of us have heard of the financial burden the British Columbia school’s are suffering right now. The budgets have been cut so drastically that the normal items teachers would purchase out of their own pockets aren’t an option right now.. they have to focus on feeding their own families.

My daughter is 3, she attends a Strong Start program inside a local elementary. She has been there for just about 3 years and always had the same teacher. She knows her teacher Kelly, and knows what to expect when she walks into the classroom. She bee-lines it to the craft table, gleefully gluing on sparkles, puzzle pieces, feathers and pom poms… coloring up a storm and letting her little brain go wild. That is MY favorite part of being there with her, watching her brain make connections, learn and absorb new activities. I was heartbroken to hear from her teacher that their budget is so small this year that they can afford construction paper, markers and crayons. Any other crafting items will have to be provided by the teachers. With 30 kids everyday, 5 days a week.. that’s a lot of supplies.

I am angry - Alivia at school

Immediately I was angry, I AM angry. Seriously, The budget is so freaking small that a dollar store trip is out of the question? How is that even possible with the amount of taxes I pay in this province!?

Well, now the news is even worse. According to this Vancouver Sun article, the government is now asking for money BACK from the schools to help fund their $40 a day promise to parents. So essentially… thanks for giving us money, then taking it out of our kids hands where they need it the most.

I don’t think I can think of a single school that does not have underprivileged kids attending it, the teachers and staff go out of their way to provide much needed supplies, food and clothing for these kids. OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKETS. The government seems just fine to ask us to keep paying for things, but isn’t directing our money where it needs to go.

If you aren’t angry yet.. you definitely will be after reading that article.

How you can help;

– Start by talking to the staff at your child’s school. Is there a need? Are you in a financial position to help them? My daughter’s snacks and craft items are included in the budget in her class so I plan to help by donating gift cards, snacks and craft supplies. If you are already out shopping, add an extra item or 2 to your bill and donate them.

– Fund raise with the classroom, when the teacher’s send home those cookie/book/whatever booklets, don’t toss them out, BUY something. Now more than ever the school’s need every extra cent they can get.

– Keep last years winter coats, rain boots and shoes. If they are in good condition, hold onto them and ask the office if they may be able to help a child in need at the school.

– ADVOCATE for your children! If you don’t speak up for them, who is going to? It’s easy to have a short term memory when it comes to things the government promises and doesn’t follow through on, but it is our responsibility to remember. Our children deserve the best.

– Not every parent can afford to, but if the $40 a day is just a bonus to you, think about paying a little bit of it forward right back into the school. From what I understand, cash donations made directly to the school qualify for a tax receipt.

– And lastly, the couponer in me shops in bulk… so if you are able and see a great deal on items that can be used in a classroom (the most needed items seem to be glue, tissues, markers, paper) STOCK UP. If even just a couple of parents in each class thought about giving back to the schools, they might just make it through this.

Do you have any ideas on how we can help? Share them in the comments!

Tara Jensen
Tara is a parenting influencer based on the West Coast. With her full time career in health care, she focuses on green living, healthy family choices and encouraging families to live a fabulously frugal lifestyle. She lives on coffee, cuddles and post-its, generally in that order. When she isn’t working, she can be found outdoors exploring beautiful British Columbia with her family.