Merritt learning centres will be receiving significant financial boosts to their extracurricular programs, part of an $11-million investment from the province.

Over $30,000 will go to Merritt’s parent advisory councils (PACs) as part of the Community Gaming Grant program.

“This has been a difficult year for everyone, and I’d like to acknowledge the hard work and creativity of parent advisory councils, which have worked tirelessly to find ways to continue to safely engage students in extracurricular activities,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs. “These activities contribute significantly to students’ health and wellness by providing opportunities to connect, play and learn.”

A breakdown of the funds:

Collettville Elementary School: $3,240

Community Learning Centre: $580

Diamond Vale Elementary: $3,200

Merritt Central Elementary School: $4,700

Merritt Secondary School: $11,940

South Central Interior Distance Education School: $6,760

SD58 Nicola-Similkameen: $2,500.

“Now more than ever, we need to support our kids so they can safely participate in activities that promote their physical, social and emotional well-being,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education. “While things look different this year, B.C. PACs are doing wonderful work to ensure students have extracurricular outlets where they connect with each other and share the things they enjoy together.”

These gaming grants go towards helping students kindergarten through to grade 12 with everything from student publications, to grad ceremonies, sports or playground equipment, as well as writing, drama and music clubs.

“Currently it is very difficult for PACs to raise funds in their communities,” said Andrea Sinclair, president, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils. “Continued financial support from Community Gaming Grants enables PACs/DPACs to reduce the burden on parents at the school level and ensures PACs can continue to support activities for students and parents, which will be much needed in the coming year.”