Support for Public Education is Alive and Well in Canton MA
Canton is lucky to be blessed with an excellent public school system. Well, maybe it is more than luck. Overall, the citizens, parents, teachers and elected officials in Canton have time and time again provided support to our public schools whether it be through funding, private donations or just plain moral support.
One group in particular that provides funding and support for our schools is the Canton Alliance for Public Education, otherwise known as CAPE. CAPE is a non-profit, community based foundation that is run completely by volunteers. Their mission is to promote innovative and unique programs that challenge students and teachers alike and help them reach their full potential. Throughout the year, the tireless CAPE volunteers fundraise through various events. At the end of the school year, the grant committee volunteers review the grant applications that are submitted by teachers and administrators throughout the district and pick the best programs to fund. They are able to fund some great programs that are not within the regular budget of the school department, especially during these tough financial times. They particularly look for projects that will be sustainable year after year without further funding. The grants are spread out over our three elementary schools, the middle school and the high school. Teachers and administrators are encouraged to come up with programs that will qualify for a grant.
They have funded science boxes for the elementary school 5th grade classrooms, outdoor classrooms at the middle school, IMacs for the high school performing arts department, Civil War and Revolutionary War re-enactment program at the middle school, SMART boards for the Math classrooms, music program for the district's autistic program and so much more. These are just the few projects I can remember off the top of my head. CAPE has been awarding grants annually since its resurrection in 2004. The energy that goes into both the fundraising efforts and the grant application efforts is truly amazing and shows how much can be accomplished when people work together towards a common goal.
One of their major events is coming up in a couple of weeks. On Friday, January 21st, CAPE will host its Annual Town-wide Spelling Bee. This is truly a feel-good and fun event that brings everyone together. The early part of the evening, starting at around 5:30 pm, features Spelling Teams from the three elementary schools. There are 3rd, 4th and 5th grade teams, made up of five members, that compete against the teams from the other elementary schools to boast for top honors for the year for each grade. Honestly, it is an honor just to be on the team! The Middle School competition features teams from each of the three grades who compete to be the Middle School Winner and the High School has teams from each of its four grades competing for High School Winner.
After a short break, the real fun begins as the adult and community teams compete to see if they really are smarter than a 5th grader! There are teams of teachers, administrators and parent groups. Not to be outdone, the Fire Department and Police Department often have teams as well, as do local business organizations, Girl Scouts Leaders, Boy Scout Leaders and other community based groups. My favorite teams from last year were made up of senior citizens and young teens working together. The event is usually moderated by the Superintendent of Schools and is well attended by teachers, staff, administrators, parents, students and community members. Money is raised through admission fee, registration fee for the adult teams, raffles, concession and the ever popular "Sponsor a Letter" program (for example, R is for REALTOR!).
The Spelling Bee will be held on January 21st at Canton High's Morse Auditorium starting at 5:30 pm. It is a fun, feel-good event sure to snap anyone out of the winter doldrums, all while supporting a good cause.
It certainly is proof that support for public education is alive and well in Canton MA. And, it is one of the many reasons why Canton MA is a great place to live and raise a family. If you want to find out what more the town has to offer, stay tuned to my blog! Or contact me for more information about buying a home and living in Canton MA.