TORONTO, ON-Children First: School Choice Trust is once
again offering grants to low income families in Calgary who
feel their children would benefit by attending a private
Children First grants are awarded based solely on financial
need. The program provides grants that cover half the cost of
tuition at any Calgary private school, up to a maximum of
"Our sons were enrolled in an independent school in Calgary
that my husband and I felt was in line with our beliefs,
values, and philosophy on education," says Kristen Walker of
Calgary. "But then our financial situation changed and we
had to consider withdrawing our children from the school.
Thankfully, we were able to keep our sons in the school with
the help of the Children First grants."
Founded in 2003 in Ontario and now in its third year in
Alberta, Children First School Choice Trust supports 100
economically disadvantaged students attending 18 private
schools across Calgary. The grants are available as early as
kindergarten and are renewable until the students complete
Grade 6, subject to funding availability.
Tuition at Calgary private schools participating in the
Children First program ranges from $400 to $11,500 per year.
The average tuition at schools chosen by Children First
families is $3,456 and the average grant just over $1,491.
Once a family is awarded a grant, they can choose which
private school their child will attend, including, Montessori,
Waldorf, arts, academic, and special needs schools.
"Private school education offers families many choices and
our program helps make those choices available to parents who
may not otherwise be able to afford it," said Michael Thomas,
Children First Program Director.
"Children First helps families who have different needs,
whether it's a desire for smaller class sizes to help their
kids catch up, developing artistic talents, or just wanting a
safe school that teaches values important to the family."
Parents can apply online for a Children First School Choice
Trust grant at
Applications can also be submitted by mail or parents can
apply over the phone at 1-866-924-8881. The application
deadline is March 31, 2008.
All new grants will be awarded in April via a random lottery
once the applicant's financial need has been determined.
The Calgary Sun is the official media sponsor of
Children First: School Choice Trust