For the past 10 years, Georgian Bay Community School teacher, Amy Teed-Acres has been fundraising for backpacks for learning. A 20-year teaching veteran at GBCS, Teed-Acres started this program in response to a need expressed by one of her students. As the need has grown, so has the program and has become an essential part of supporting students beyond the classroom.
“The Backpacks for Learning Program is an initiative focused on supporting students and their success at school through food security,” says Teed-Acres. “This program is essential to creating and supporting strong kids and strong communities.’ she adds. Every Friday students pick up a backpack that has been filled with snacks, easy to prepare meals and toiletries. These backpacks help to get students, and often their siblings or families, through the weekend or through a pay period when supplies at home are low. They return the backpack on Monday and it is filled again at the end of the week. The program focuses on investing in youth and sends a positive message to young people and their families resulting in a much higher chance of being successful in school, graduating and giving back to their community.”
Thanks to a partnership with the Orillia Youth Centre, Meaford Hall has been granted an opportunity to present an evening of music featuring American singer, songwriter Roger Harvey and special guests, My Father’s Son and SAMMY.
“We were given this amazing opportunity to host a concert and what better way to use a gift like this, than to pay it forward in support of local youth. Backpacks for Learning seemed like the perfect fit,” said Krista Storey, Meaford’s Manager of Cultural Services.
In addition to backpacks, the program has expanded to holiday hampers, emergency assistance throughout the summer and clothing needs throughout the winter.
“This is all done in collaboration with local groups and relies solely on donations. So, fundraising opportunities like this are essential,” added Teed-Acres.
This fundraising concert will take place on Wednesday, September 27, at 7:30 pm with a choose your own ticket price option. Tickets can be purchased on-line at www.meafordhall.ca or by calling the Box Office at (519) 538-0463.