Minister of Education to help celebrate School as Hubs initiative at Balwin School

On Tuesday, February 21, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., Balwin School (7055 – 132) will host a celebration to recognize the students, parents and community partners who continue to support the success of the School as Hubs initiative. The Minister of education, Thomas Lukaszuk, will be in attendance, in addition to Edmonton Public Schools’ Board Chair, David Colburn, and Trustees Leslie Clearly and Ken Shipka. The program will include brief remarks by dignitaries, a representative from REACH Edmonton and a high school student who benefited from the programs offered at Balwin School. Later, the Minister will be taken on a tour of the school, visiting an adult English as a Second Language (ESL) classroom and with students currently participating in after-school programs. “Our Board is incredibly appreciative that our goal to make students and their families feel welcomed, respected and accepted is also shared by a number of excellent community partners,” says Dave Colburn, Board Chair. “Their contributions help the Schools as Hubs initiative remain an incredibly positive force in the lives of our learners and their parents – instilling in them a sense of hope for their future – we could not be prouder of that.” “I am excited to celebrate Balwin School’s success in its community,” said Minister Lukaszuk. “When a school acts as a community centre, not only are parents more engaged in their child’s education, the whole community can be a part of an inclusive educational experience.” The Transition Centre at Balwin School is one of two that exists within the Edmonton Public School district; the other resides at McCauley School. They each serve as sites for the Schools as Hubs initiative, which is facilitated by the City’s REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities. The program also benefits from additional grant funding from the Province and Citizenship and Immigration Canada. The Transition Centre has become a major lifeline for many students and their families who have limited English skills and little experience with formal schooling. At Balwin, they find a welcoming environment that offers comprehensive, diverse warp-around supports designed to help them adjust to life in Canada. Compassionate and skilled cultural coaches, after-school mentors and ELL instructors work to build strong relationship and connections with families. The event will shine a well-deserved spotlight on their efforts to make a difference in their community. -30- For further information, please contact:?Jane Sterling, Communications?780-970-4356