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F.P. Walshe Awarded $100,000 CFEP Grant

A recent $100,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program (CFEP) provincial grant is going to help create even more excellent outdoor spaces for students at F.P. Walshe School. 

Principal Chad Jensen expresses the school community’s excitement for this opportunity. “The grant awarded to the F.P. Walshe Fundraising Foundation Committee is a huge deal for our school community,” says Chad. “With Phase One of the outdoor development project complete, this grant allows us to move forward with Phase Two and the creation of an outdoor classroom along with additional play structures to be used by our students.”

The F.P. Walshe Fundraising Foundation Committee has worked for years to raise money and access grants for projects that would benefit “Every student, every day” at the school. Phase One included installing an NBA full-size outdoor basketball court, tether balls, nine square game, and seating areas. “We have already seen the benefits of the project, with our students accessing these spaces on a daily basis,” says Chad.

F.P. Walshe teacher Mitchell Duram, who works with the Fundraising Committee, says that the $100,000 CFEP grant will expand the outdoor experience. “We're in the midst of settling on a final design based on feedback from staff, students, and parents/guardians,” says Mitchell, “but we're aiming to install an outdoor classroom, more picnic tables and benches, and a playground suited for older age groups.” 

The school is also planning to install a sign that says "Oki" at the front of the school with raised funds.

School administration, staff, and students are grateful for the continued efforts of so many to help students.  “We as a school community are so appreciative of the work of the F.P. Walshe Fundraising Foundation Committee,” says Chad, “and all the volunteer hours that are going into improving and supporting health and wellness for our students. It is very exciting to be able to continue moving forward with this important and impactful project.”

When the students and staff of F.P. Walshe are asked how the Phase 1 outdoor equipment has impacted their lives, the response is overwhelmingly positive. One student commented, "It's amazing! I'm happy [the outdoor equipment] is there, and I use it a lot." 

In fact, students, staff, and community members are almost always using the outdoor equipment. Mitchell says it isn't uncommon to see people of different ages and abilities playing a game of basketball or chatting with friends at the picnic tables before, during, and after school. “Students are excited and happy to be outside and to be active,” he says. “And staff love having the opportunity to connect with students in a different way and in a different environment."

The Fundraising Committee wishes to thank all the patrons and donors, including:

  • Fort Macleod Royal Purple
  • Fort Macleod Elks
  • Fort Macleod Community Initiative Association
  • Fort Macleod Rotary
  • Town of Fort Macleod
  • Willow Creek Wilderness Walk/Run
  • Community Foundation of Lethbridge and Southwestern Alberta
  • Volker Stevin Highways Fort Macleod
  • F.P. Walshe School students (financial proceeds from past Christmas Markets)
  • As well as very generously donated manpower and machines from local businesses, parents and students without which Phase One would not have been completed. 
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