Variety Schools Grant Program

Variety BC is thrilled to announce the launch of our new Variety Schools Grant Program. Imagine a school yard where students with special needs have permission to exercise their curiosity and explore their environment. Picture a classroom where children with special education designations have their unique needs met and are thriving. Variety BC is working with schools across the province to help make sure that learning is inclusive, accessible and safe for everyone – so that kids from every background can achieve their full potential.

A diagnosis or identification of a special learning need or medical condition does not necessarily mean that a child will receive a special education designation from the BC Ministry of Education. Provincial funding is provided to the school district … not to the individual school that the student attends nor directly to the child. Often the need is greater than the support schools receive. And new families to BC who received assessments for their children outside the province end up finding themselves on long waitlists to be reassessed before being eligible for designation and getting the support they need.

That’s where Variety steps in.

BC Schools are Making a Difference

“Schools are busy places with competing demands. Most students enjoy coming to school and find success here. Others have unique challenges that can hinder their growth. With enough students who are officially designated for special education to fill a classroom, there are several additional families who are waiting for a diagnosis and whose children need the same level of support. Educators are working hard simply to keep students safe while meeting their educational requirements, but they are struggling to meet the increasing needs of our students. Thanks to the Variety Schools Grant Program, we are able to provide specialized equipment (such as sensory toys, noise reduction hearing protection, and wiggle seats) to the school and provide students with the tools they need to self-regulate and understand how their bodies and minds interact with their environment. Students are being set up for success in their own individual ways, and staff burnout is being reduced.”

– Variety Schools Grant Program pilot school, 2022

Application Process

Variety is currently accepting applications for the 2021-2022 school year applications until Friday, April 29th. Applications received after this date will be considered for the 2022-2023 school year.

1. CHOOSE YOUR INCLUSIVE PROJECT

Meet with your Parent Advisory Council, Principal, and/or Special Education staff to identify and brainstorm ways to make learning more accessible for students with unique learning needs.

Here are some ideas from participating schools:

  • Sensory path throughout school hallways
  • Wheelchair accessible playground
  • Tactile outdoor water play area
  • Closed captioning technologies
  • Library books in braille

Determine a budget, set a fundraising goal, and map out a timeline to implement your project.

2. SUBMIT YOUR APPLICATION

Eligibility requirements:

  • Your project must promote inclusivity and support students with special needs.
  • Your application must include your PAC’s most recent audited financial statement(s).
  • Your school administration must approve of the project prior to receiving your grant.
  • Grant funding must be used within the same school year that you apply.
  • Variety will match up to a maximum of $10,000 per school.

DOWNLOAD YOUR VARIETY SCHOOLS GRANT APPLICATION HERE

3. HOW IT WORKS

Variety BC pays only your chosen vendor and cannot pay the school directly. If your application is successful, your school’s matched funding will be granted upon the completion of a purchase order submitted by Variety. The school is required to submit its fundraising proceeds to Variety for this purchase order to be completed.

Please allow 2-3 weeks for Variety to review your application.

Contact Us

To learn more about the Variety Schools Grant Program, please email schools@variety.bc.ca.