May 14, 2015 - Community Spirit filled up W.P. Wagner Gym at 6th Ready for Life Breakfast

Wagner Warriors rock!  On May 14, 2015, our guests were greeted in the school parking lot and at the doors by excited students who were pumped to be hosting our Ready for Life Breakfast.  In addition to the musicians that serenaded people into the building, guests could get their picture taken at a photo booth at the front entrance and the hallways were full of activity, artwork, installations, and science and technology displays showcasing the exceptional teaching and learning happening at W.P. Wagner.

That was just the start to an amazing one-hour long program which began at 7:30 a.m.  As students directed guests to their tables, background music was provided by the school’s Jazz A Band and students from the Culinary Program served up coffee, tea and juice, along with platters of fresh fruit and homemade pastries.

The event was emceed by Grade 11 student Judy and Grade 12 student Sheldon, and opened with a touching interpretation of the Etta James’ tune – No One is Alone – sung by a Grade 12 student and W.P. Wagner graduate.  The Foundation’s Board of Governors’ Chair Dr. Louise Hayes spoke about the importance of getting children ready for learning at the front end of their educational journey, and Director Tracy Poulin shared stats about why full-day Kindergarten makes sense and reflected on the critical role the community can play in getting children ready for life.

In between presentations, guests watched our “Show and Tell” video demonstrating the value of full-day Kindergarten and showing a few of the little Kinders thanking some of our supporters during a surprise visit to their workplace or home.  The full-day Kindergarten staff from Beacon Heights, Calder, Lauderdale, Mee-Yah-Noh, Princeton and Tipaskan schools announced that they raised $3,698 via their own pay-it-forward campaigns.  As well, the Tipaskan School Tigers Kindergarten students belted out the ABC song – frontwards and backwards – to the delight of the crowd!

The real WOW moment of the morning occurred when Margaret, a Grade 12 student and member of the school’s leadership team, asked guests to find it in their hearts to make a contribution.  What inspired folks to do so was her preamble!  “When the students were told the school was hosting this year’s breakfast, we decided to plan our own Ready for Life project and make a contribution as well,” explained Margaret.  “Our idea of giving back to community blossomed into a pep rally to create enthusiasm among students that included a day of fun with Princeton School’s full-day Kindergarteners and concluded with a 24-hour bike-a-thon – all of which was videotaped!”  The finale happened when all the students in the gym raced to the stage to present the Foundation with a cheque of $43,110 and gift the Kindergarten classrooms with over 1,500 new and gently used children’s books they collected.  The feeling of community spirit was everywhere and welled in the eyes of many!

350+ friends, students and staff members came out to support children who will be attending full-day Kindergarten during the 2015-16 school year at the six schools that reside in Edmonton’s most socially vulnerable neighbourhoods and are currently funded by the Foundation.  We are pleased to announce that $64,000 (and still counting) was raised through the generosity of community - not including the early bird commitments made by generous Edmontonians, Foundations, corporations, funding organizations and service clubs.

Check out photos. (pics to come soon)

View the Show and Tell video. Why Full-day Kindergarten and Thank you to Supporters

Click on link to Watch the Wagner Students’ video.

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