Skool-Aid helping more families this year

The number of families plagued by the growing cost of education in Greater Trail is on the rise.

The number of families plagued by the growing cost of education in Greater Trail is on the rise.

Demand for the  Skool-Aid initiative—that helps low-income families buy school supplies—has increased by 20 per cent this year, up to 140 students from 112.

Although the increase is substantial, said Louise McEwan, a Catholic community volunteer who recently finished working on the third annual campaign to aid local students, she could not explain why.

There definitely is financial need in many areas—with demand up for food bank services—and the increase reflected that, McEwan said.

“But I’m not really an expert on what’s going on in terms of people’s economic situation locally, but it just seems to me that the prices of everything are going up,” McEwan said.  “Even when I go to the grocery store and I’m buying the same amount, I seem to be spending more money. Plus a lot of kids who participate in this program are also registered for our lunch programs too.”

The Skool-Aid initiative helps low-income families that need to buy school supplies in Fruitvale Elementary School, Glenmerry Elementary School, Webster Elementary School, Saint Michael’s School, J. L. Crowe Secondary and Rossland Secondary School, based on written referrals from school officials.

McEwan was not the only one who noticed the increase this year. When asked how students responded to the program, Carolyn Catalano, principal of Webster Elementary School, said “it means the world to them.

“They’ve arrived and they’ve got all the supplies like everybody else and this year’s supplies were just beautiful,” she continued. “Hall’s did an exceptional job so the kids felt pride and excitement—like every kid should coming back to school. I honestly just think it comes down to awareness of a really great program.”

The Skool-Aid program works closely with Hall’s Basics to ensure local students are aided with supplies from Kindergarten to Grade 12, serving families all the way from Rossland to Fruitvale. It supplies students with most things, with the exception of gym clothes and sneakers.

“Hall’s Basics does an absolutely amazing job of putting all the orders together and they’ll take them to the school or Salvation Army family services,” said McEwan. “They (deliver) in mid-to-late August, but we still get referrals during the first week of school.”

Skool-Aid raised roughly $8,000 this year, up from $6,800 last year. In addition, Skool-aid received $1,000 from Teck Trail Operations, $700 Le Roi Community Foundation, $1,000 from BC Hydro Employees Community Services Fund and $500 J.L. Crowe’s 1971 grad class.

The Skool-Aid program is expected to run again next year.

For more information contact McEwan at

Just Posted

J. L. Crowe Secondary will host the convocation for 2021 Graduates on Saturday starting at 9 a.m. Photo: Jim Bailey
Convocation goes Saturday with Kootenay Columbia grads in learning groups, no parents

Parents can live-stream the ceremony of their 2021 graduates online

Clarice Tuai, seen in front of the ‘50 Objects for 50 Years’ exhibit, is a summer student for the Trail museum/visitors centre. Photo: Sheri Regnier
Trail museum invites everyone to visit new Doukhobor exhibit

‘50 Objects for 50 Years’ runs until October 1

Students at Creston Valley Secondary School put together an art installation of a replica residential school room. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)
Creston students create art installation of residential school room

The replica was decorated with a small bed, school uniform, and notes written with pleas for help

A living wage sets a higher standard than the minimum wage; it is what a family needs to earn to provide the basic needs based on the actual costs of living in a community.
Fruitvale now a living wage employer

“I’m really excited that Fruitvale is leading the charge for municipalities locally,” Morissette said.

Black Press file photo
West Kootenay communities behind provincial COVID-19 vaccination rate

Only Trail is at the provincial average for vaccinations

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

A vial containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine is shown at a vaccination site in Marcq en Baroeul, outside Lille, northern France, Saturday, March 20, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Michel Spingler
mRNA vaccines ‘preferred’ for all Canadians, including as 2nd dose after AstraZeneca: NACI

New recommendations prioritizes Pfizer, Moderna in almost all cases

Most Read