This was St. James-Assiniboia School Division’s—or #SJASD, as they’re tagged on Twitter—very first year in the United Way Plane Pull. And they “pulled in” a ton of enthusiasm, school spirit and fundraising dollars!
SJASD’s team, the Principull Hercs, were the second highest team fundraiser of the day, bringing in nearly $5000. Their pull time for moving the enormous DC9 across the tarmac was a respectable 9.54 seconds.
Brooklands school principal Rex Ferguson-Baird was the top individual fundraiser, with over $1000 in donations. He won $1000 in gas cards for the effort.
We talked to Principal Ferguson-Baird about his school division’s incredible efforts, and why they value United Way in their community.
“The mission of St. James-Assiniboia School Division is to provide a meaningful, safe and caring educational environment so that all students are prepared to be responsible citizens in a democratic society.
Our students benefit from United Way agency partners in both after school programming as well as through parent and family supports. I have seen a number of families supported with safe and caring after school programming as well as through food and nutrition education and support.
A great United Way-support program in the community I work in, Brooklands, is called the Brooklands Literacy Project. It’s a partnership with high school students from St. James Collegiate mentoring and celebrating literacy with our elementary students.
This program allows our young students to see themselves as high school students, reflected in the community role models who share their love of reading.
Another wonderful community support the NorWest Co-op Community Health centre and its facility on Alexander Street. This safe after school program is so important for many of our students and families as it provides a destination that is supervised and that exposes kids to fun and appropriate activities.
Both are great examples of United Way agency partners in our neighbourhood.
Our school division believes that schools are an integral community partner. A main outcome of our Strategic Plan is that students will value the concept of social justice and recognize its importance for the betterment of an ever changing world.
As principals there is no better way to teach social responsibility and respect for self and others than to model it ourselves.
The mission of United Way parallels our mission in St. James-Assiniboia School Division.”