PSBAA helps Slave Lake pupils

ADAM JACKSON/Ponoka News

With the recent wildfires in the Slave Lake area, the Public School Boards Association of Alberta (PSBAA) is doing what it can to help students affected by the fires.

President Patty Dittrick and the PSBAA have proposed a program to school boards in Alberta to help replace any school supplies lost in the fires.

“Really what we’re doing is trying to support students in their transition back to school,” said Dittrick.

The PSBAA is looking to start a “Fill a Backpack” program that will use the resources of all its school members, parents and students in an effort to replace necessary school items.

The association is also accepting financial donations from school divisions, staff and students.

“We’re watching what’s going on there and we want to do anything we can do to support everyone impacted by the fires,” said Dittrick, who also has a personal reason for helping out.

Before moving to Stettler, Dittrick and her family lived in Peace River, a community frequently affected by flooding.

“We remember what it was like to wake up in the morning and hearing that we have to be evacuated immediately,” said Dittrick. “And you don’t know when you’re going to be able to go home.”

The PSBAA has been in contact with the High Prairie School Division as well as the Northland School Division, which has three school communities affected by the fires, as well as another that is at risk of being destroyed.

On May 19, the High Prairie School Division approved the offer of assistance from the PSBAA.

Some minor details, such as logistics for the bags, have yet to be worked out, but the PSBAA is work diligently to get all details in place.

The association is also urging anyone who donates to remember all ages and grade levels of students.