A number of schools east of Edmonton have partnered with a local charity to help ensure children in the area who don’t have a proper bed will get one.
On Wednesday, Elk Island Public Schools (EIPS) issued a news release about the initiative, which sees Bev Facey Community High School, F.R. Haythorne Junior High School and Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary work with Sleep in Heavenly Peace, a charity that operates in Strathcona County.
EIPS said students at the schools had learned from the charity about sleeping conditions some families in the area are enduring and “agreed to turn their construction labs into bed-producing workshops to help the charity meet demand.”
“Each school pledged to build 60 beds, and under the guidance of their construction teachers, students of all grade levels got to cutting, routing and sanding bedframes and bundling the finished pieces for delivery,” Laura McNabb, director of communication services for EIPS, said in a news release.
According to the school division, many students took part in assembling the beds themselves.
“Building these beds with my class made me realize how fortunate I am,” said Sarah Weidmann, a Grade 12 construction student at Bev Facey. “I can’t remember a time where I didn’t have a bed with pillows and blankets to sleep on.
“These families who are having trouble meeting their basic needs are out there and we don’t even realize it. By building these beds, I know we’re helping to make a difference for these kids.”
Students at F.R. Haythorne also planned a school dance and a “game-a-thon” to raise money to buy bedding for the initiative. EIPS said that fundraising campaign raised nearly $2,250 and was able to purchase 44 sets of bedding.
“The initiative students have shown in organizing this fundraiser is inspiring,” said Erin Clark, an assistant principal at F.R. Haythorne. “They were responsible for all of it, from the initial planning, to the organizing and running of the events.
“We’re so proud of what they’ve been able to accomplish.”
According to EIPS, some beds were already delivered to families but more are still to come.