Eight school advisory councils in Merritt will be among the more than 1,300 province-wide receiving Community Gaming Grants funding which will support a wide range of school and extracurricular activities.

“We’ve been through so much over these past couple of years, and parents have been champions in our schools, working hard to keep kids connected with safe and rewarding extracurricular activities,” said Josie Osborne, Minister of Municipal Affairs.

“Activities like these provide tremendous benefits for children’s health and well-being, and they help keep students active and engaged in learning.”

In total, nearly $11 million in Community Gaming Grants will be supporting Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and District Parent Advisory Councils (DPACs) in the 2021/22 school year. Schools in BC receive funding each year through PACs and DPACs for activities that benefit students’ cultural, physical and social health.

“Extracurricular activities are so important for students so they can connect with their friends and maintain their physical, social and mental health,” said Jennifer Whiteside, Minister of Education.

“Through Community Gaming Grants, PACs and DPACs across the province provide a wide range of extracurricular activities for students, allowing them to build new friendships, develop life skills and share more experiences together.”

Extracurricular activities for K-12 students include sports and playground activities, drama, writing and music programs as well as graduation ceremonies. PAC groups use the funds to put on music, dance and theatre performances, purchase computers for extracurricular activities such as robotics, yearbook and photography clubs, and holding social gatherings such as movie nights.

“The ongoing pandemic has severely limited the ability of parent advisory councils to raise funds in support of numerous school programs,” said Andrea Sinclair, president, BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils.

“Parents are grateful that Community Gaming Grants will be distributed to PACs throughout the province, thereby ensuring that the students’ experience at their school will continue to be enhanced while reducing the burden on families.”

PACs and the DPAC in Merritt will be receiving nearly $40,000 through this year’s Community Gaming Grants funding, distributed as follows:

Collettville Elementary School PAC – $$3,060

Community Learning Centre PAC – $$680

Diamond Vale Elementary PAC – $2,580

Merritt Bench Elementary PAC – $2,840

Merritt Central Elementary PAC – $3,860

Merritt Secondary School PAC – $10,840

SD58 Nicola-Similkameen DPAC – $2,500

South Central Interior District Education School (SCIDES) PAC – $9,280