River Park South community correspondent
Sandy Nemeth is a community correspondent for River Park South and chair of the Louis Riel School Board. Email her at email@example.com
Recent articles of Sandy Nemeth
Last month, school divisions in Manitoba finalized their budgets for the 2022-2023 school year and submitted their plans to the Manitoba government. For each school board and senior leadership team, including those of the Louis Riel School Division conversation focused on two intertwined areas, as they have for several years.
The first: How to manage finances when provincial funding from the province is not keeping up with increased expenses? The second: Given inadequate funding, how do we keep resources in the classroom and protect the programs and services that support student success.?
Impacts of these challenges have already been felt, with jobs lost and programs cancelled in several school divisions across the province.
With a review of the education funding model in process, the hope is that adequate, predictable, sustainable, and equitable funding will flow to school divisions with a new formula optimistically scheduled to be in place for the 2023-2024 school year. The Manitoba School Boards Association is advocating for a portion of funding to continue to be levied locally to ensure the unique needs of each school division community can be supported. This speaks to the second challenge mentioned above.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — River Park South is a supportive and caring neighbourhood of folks who will act when asked to do so, provide what’s needed when the call goes out, and lend their voices to the conversations that build and nurture a community that continues to grow and prosper.
Yes, there are those who seem to thrive on introducing an element of negativity whenever possible (I see it with increasing frequency on social media); however, and without fail, cooler and more rationale heads usually prevail to set a more positive and helpful tone.
A case in point was a recent exchange on the RPS Facebook page. Specifics aside, a contributor observed that recreational opportunities, social services and supports, programs and resources for families, food banks, and access to addiction and mental health supports and services were key to crime reduction and prevention. It was noted that although RPS enjoys lower crime rates because many of these supports exist here, there is always room for improvement.
I agree 100 per cent.
Aug. 14, 2020 is an important day for River Park South. It’s the day Better Days Wellness Foundation was incorporated, and for Diana Botelho-Urbanski, Cami Daeninck and Sarah Graveline, it’s also the day their desire to see more conversations about mental health taking place in schools took a big step forward.
The idea for BDWF was born of student voice. In reading applications for the Jaedra Winter Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually at Collège Jeanne-Sauvé (CJS), it became clear to Daeninck that an important aspect of addressing youth mental health in schools was to engage directly with students themselves. After all, there is no one who can better inform the path to take in the pursuit of mental wellness than those for whom the need is so great.
Fueled by a desire to promote conversations about mental health, and wanting to honour the memory of two peers, these three young people are being the change they wish to see in the world. It starts in their own community, and at CJS, from which they all graduated in 2016.
Providing opportunities for students to have conversations about the importance of good mental health, and creating supportive and comfortable environments where these can take place, is the goal of BDWF. Funding student-led initiatives is the focus of the non-profit organization.