Nanaimo Parent Advisory Councils debate where to spend provincial grant money

NANAIMO – Changes in Nanaimo school district will affect gaming grant money from the B.C. government to parent advisory councils.

Changes in Nanaimo school district will affect community gaming grant money given from the B.C. government to parent advisory councils.

The government announced that $12 million in money will be doled out to the province’s councils for students’ extra-curricular activities, with $240,760 going to councils in Nanaimo district.

Applications were made based on last year’s school enrolment and according to the Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development, $20 is given to each student. When a school is closed, the money is given to another council to reflect the reassignment.

With the re-opening of Cedar Community Secondary School, its council will see money being re-allocated from a number of schools. Kathie Aarsen, Cedar parent advisory council head, said $106 is coming from Woodlands Secondary, which closed in June, $1,660 from Ladysmith Secondary, $1,460 from John Barsby, $40 from Dover Bay Secondary and $160 from Nanaimo District Secondary.

Aarsen said the council hasn’t decided where to spend the money yet, but it will likely be for sports jerseys.

“Jerseys [are] one of the main things that we’re in need of right away because when the school closed, a lot of the jerseys left with the kids, as kind of a legacy gift because they didn’t think they were going to be needed,” said Aarsen.

John Barsby’s council was set to receive $15,340, but with catchment zone adjustments and the re-opening of Cedar, in addition to money from Woodlands’ closure, Leona Horvath, head of the Barsby council, said it will receive about $14,000.

Barsby’s council had a meeting to decide money allocation Monday night, after News Bulletin press time, and Horvath said sports uniforms, weights for the gym and a drama program trip to Cowichan for a festival were among the requests.

“We had about 20 requests in total, so we definitely don’t come close to what we got, for what the requests are … we’re definitely short quite a bit,” said Horvath.

Nanaimo District Secondary’s council received $20,140, Dover Bay’s $26,680 and Wellington Secondary’s $15,140.