May 6, 2008
FREDERICTON (CNB) - A total of 395 teacher-led innovative educational projects received more than $4.6 million in funding during the 2007-08 school year. Education Minister Kelly Lamrock said today that the funding was provided under the Innovative Learning Fund.
The purpose of the Innovative Learning Fund is to provide financial support to innovative educators by investing in original projects led by teachers, schools and the districts, which can then be shared with and copied in other schools. Any teacher, school, or school district in the New Brunswick public education system may submit a proposal for funding.
"If we want to build the best education system in the country, our teachers need support for the innovative ideas they have to offer our students," Lamrock said. "The Innovative Learning Fund provides our teachers with the resources they need for their projects, and gives them the opportunity to share their best teaching practices with other educators so that new and exciting leaning environments can be created for our kids."
In the anglophone sector, the Innovative Learning Fund contributed just over $3 million to 272 projects. About $1.6 million was invested toward 123 projects in the francophone sector.
Today, Lamrock visited with two recipients of funding from the Innovative Learning Fund.
At Fundy Shores School in Dipper Harbour, Lamrock was given a demonstration of a program entitled Beyond the Books, which promotes a culture of literacy within the school, home, and community. The program is delivered in five sessions, each targeting a specific literacy skill (reading, writing, role play/drama, oral discourse/storytelling, and alphabet/wordplay). Among other things, it increases student motivation and broadens parents' conceptions of literacy education in the school environment.
In Cocagne, Lamrock visited École Blanche-Bourgeois to observe the project La littératie et la photographie au cœur de la communauté (Literacy and photography at the heart of the community), which is directed at gifted students and those with learning difficulties in literacy, and is intended for kindergarten-to-Grade-8 classes. Through photography and information technology the children have access to motivating, experiential, and adapted learning activities to teach writing, reading, and oral expression.
"It is very exciting to see so many innovative projects that are aimed at enhancing and engaging student learning," Lamrock said. "Allowing our teachers and schools to be innovative will help us more forward in achieving self-sufficiency for New Brunswick."
The $5-million Innovative Learning Fund will be available again in the 2008-09 school year. Detailed information about the application process is available to educators online through the New Brunswick Education Portal.
The Innovative Learning Fund, and the other 140 specific actions outlined in When Kids Come First, will advance the Province of New Brunswick toward its objective of building the best education system in the country.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Angélique Binet or Jason Humphrey, communications, Education, 506-444-4714.