KELOWNA – The provincial government has provided $466,500 to local Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) and the District Parent Advisory Committee (DPAC) in School District 23 to help support student activities outside of the classroom.

The funds will be used to enhance the student experience through extracurricular activities. These grants cover various costs including sporting equipment, musical instruments, playground equipment and field trips.

“Teachers do a great job in the classroom, and parents play an important supportive role in organizing extra-curricular activities,” says Steve Thomson, MLA for Kelowna-Mission. “Together, these experiences are creating a varied and beneficial learning environment for our students.”

“Activities like sports and the arts help kids build important life skills like teamwork, problem-solving and creativity,” says Norm Letnick, MLA for Kelowna-Lake Country. “These grants worth $466,500 will support the types of learning opportunities outside the classroom that benefit students greatly.”

“Parents don’t have a lot of free time to begin with, and those who find the time to help out in PACs and DPACs are going above and beyond,” says Premier Christy Clark, MLA for Westside-Kelowna. “They’re the unsung heroes behind a lot of events and activities that parents and students alike look forward to.”

The parent-run councils help ensure B.C.’s children have access to activities that ensure the development of a well-rounded educational background.

Overall, nearly $11.1 million has been delivered to more than 1,400 PACs and DPACs throughout British Columbia for the 2015-16 school year. The funding is through the provincial government’s community gaming grant programs.

Local PACs receive $20 per student, while DPACs receive a flat rate of $2,500. The grant funds must remain under the management and control of those that receive them. Funds cannot be used for, or transferred to, curricular purposes or to schools or school districts or their activities or programs.

The provincial government distributes $135 million annually in community gaming grants to benefit more than 5,000 local organizations representing virtually every community in the province.