The annual school fun fair in Ashcroft is largely funded by gaming grant money.

The annual school fun fair in Ashcroft is largely funded by gaming grant money.

Gaming grants assist local schools

The funds from the gaming grants go to support extra-curricular activities for students.

The Parent Advisory Councils (PAC) at several local schools have been the recipients of community gaming grant funds, designed to support extracurricular activities for students.

In the announcement last week, the Desert Sands Community School PAC in Ashcroft received $5,340; the Cache Creek Elementary School PAC received $2,220; and the David Stoddart School PAC in Clinton received $2,060. The funding is based on a per-student formula.

Susan Mclean, co-chair of the Desert Sands PAC, says that the bulk of the gaming fund money each year goes to supporting the annual fun fair (which started at Ashcroft Elementary and has continued at the new K–12 school).

“We always gain approval from B.C. Gaming before we spend. Most things considered extracurricular fit within their guidelines. The fun fair happens outside school hours, so it fits; as do field trips, or busing. We check every year and get approval prior to spending.”

She says that this year the grant was higher than expected, and members of the PAC are deliberating on what to do with the extra funds. “Were going to deliberate on it for a month. We’d like to do something extra-special, but will make good use of the funds. We just need to find the best way to spend it.”

The chair of the Cache Creek Elementary PAC, Tracy Cox, says the members will have to meet and discuss what to do with the funds.

“At this time there are always so many things the school can use, such as playground equipment for the younger children. We also have our eye on more staging equipment. The money always goes fast, but it goes for good things.”

The David Stoddart PAC also has no specific plans yet for the grant money, according to PAC chair Brenda McKay.

“In the past we’ve spent it on various things throughout the year, like swimming lessons, field trips, and anti-bullying workshops,” she says. She adds that for the past few years, the school has sent 30 to 40 students to the annual Boogie the Bridge running and fitness event in Kamloops, supported by the gaming funds.

“The students belong to a run club after school, and train in P.E. classes as well,” says McKay. “For the last few years David Stoddart has been the largest school entry at the event.”