I usually do not comment on much in regards to politics and government issues because regular citizens’ opinions don’t seem to matter to government anyway. However, I cannot sit by and stay quiet with regards to funding cuts once again by the government to the Communities in Schools (CIS) Program.
I was a CIS Coordinator in 2005, at which time there were two coordinators per school. The last few years there has been only one per school. The demand for these workers was huge. My coworker and myself organized and put off the Kids Eat Smart Program (aka Breakfast Program), we assisted teachers with reading groups, assisted the school in organizing school events and functions, supervised Homework Haven, assisted teachers and coaches in supervision of sports activities, and the list goes on. Teachers have a large enough workload on them today and without a CIS worker, a lot of the extra activities and programs will not be able to go ahead.
I was shocked to learn that funding for this program was cut, but then again I should not have been surprised with the lack of government support in going forward with programs such as these. Every time you turn on the news or radio, that’s all you hear: cut backs, cut backs. When is Minister Burke going to realize that cut backs to these programs are not the answer?
I have two children that attend Grandy’s River Collegiate who go to the breakfast program faithfully as do many of the students there.
Last year CIS started the same time school started, however the year before due to late funding announcements there was no CIS worker at the beginning of the school year. That meant no there was no breakfast program. However thanks to a handful of volunteers the breakfast program began until the CIS worker took over. I’m not sure if the same will happen this year. It is hard to recruit volunteers to commit to preparing, serving and cleaning up from the breakfast program for the full school year. Many parents work and are unable to volunteer for this program. Some live in the next community and are unable to commute to volunteer (as with most schools).
It was a punch in the face when Minister Burke denied JCP funding for tourist operators to open. But now picking at schools and kids, that’s a bit below the belt, don’t you think Minister Burke? I would also like to know, Minister Burke, how do you justify cutting funding for Community in Schools’ program? Why don’t you cut your own “breakfast” budget?
I’m beginning to think PC stands for “Promising Cutbacks” instead of Progressive Conservative. Maybe it’s time for people to get rid of this Promising Cutbacks Government.