As more students are identified as in need of special services, the Vanguard School continues to create the tools and techniques vital to their scholastic success. Last week, they moved $250,000 closer to their goal of raising $4 million during their 2014 – 2019 major fundraising campaign. Once collected, the funds will help the school with some major needs including renovations, increasing student support services and expanding their Centre of Expertise.

The Vanguard Foundation received a boost to their five year fundraising campaign from one of their closest partners, the Desjardins Group, whose donation has lifted the total raised to $3.2 million. Since the school’s creation in 1973, both Vanguard and Desjardins have seen their individual missions coalesce into the idea that education of children and youth directly improves the economic and social situation of all people.

The funds are very welcome.

« With 20% to 30% of children in the province identified as special needs, the need of an institution like Vanguard has never been more important, » explains Nicole de Flandre, Director of the Major Fundraising campaign. « The funding will help us develop technologies and let us continue offering our expertise to educators throughout Quebec. »

Funding the future

Once gathered, the funds will be allocated for six projects.

Half a million dollars will directly support the students in the form bursaries for lower income families to cover transportation costs and fees. It will also boost to the employment-centered Interval Program, which helps students learn how to develop good work habits and entrepreneurship through Vanguard’s food services business.

The school is also upgrading its facilities. The $2.5 million investment will include some needed major restorations to its infrastructure for prevention purposes and to achieve the goals set up by the School`s energy efficiency program. Vanguard plans to continue renovating their gymnasium and installing retractable bleachers for students to enjoy educational or sports events.

The remaining money is bookmarked for key developmental areas and will be invested into improving the methodology and functionality of the Vanguard teaching model. 2020 Classes are working labs where technological advancements and theories are tested and teaching methods and tools are refined for their special needs clientele.

Finally, a significant portion of the funds will be for the Vanguard Centre of Expertise (VCE) which supports the growing list of other educational institutions that are confronting an increasing number of special needs children.  Based on their work with thousands of kids suffering with severe learning disabilities, the VCE wants to continue to share its expertise, best practices and deep knowledge with public elementary and secondary schools across Quebec.

Director of Pedagogical Services of the School Stéphane Proulx hopes as the fundraising is almost complete, the remediation specialists, speech and language therapists, psychologists and special educators will be able to concentrate on their work into the foreseeable future and help more children.

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