Variety Schools Grants
Transform your school into a more inclusive and accessible space and Variety will match your fundraising efforts to bring the project to life!
Variety Schools Grant Program
Imagine a school yard where kids from diverse backgrounds and abilities are empowered to exercise their curiosity and explore. Picture a classroom in which students with all unique learning styles can thrive as their educational needs are met. Schools across the province are transforming their spaces to make all of this possible and Variety BC is here to help.
Variety is working with BC schools to help make learning more inclusive, accessible and safe for all students. Here are just a few of the upgrades participating schools have made as part of this program:
- Sensory rooms & equipment
- Indoor & outdoor sensory paths
- Inclusive & accessible playgrounds
- Outdoor communication boards
- Adaptive classroom furniture
- Accessible bikes & stationary “brain bikes”
- Buddy benches
For all this equipment and more, check out our Preferred Vendors.
Education for All
Variety BC is working with schools right here at home to make sure that learning is inclusive, accessible and safe for everyone – so that kids from every background can thrive in school.
With the demand for educational support greater than ever in this province, students who do not receive government funding need additional resources to reach their fullest potential in school. That’s where Variety steps in… filling the gaps to relieve some of the pressure our education system is under and making sure no child is left behind.
Your project must promote inclusivity and support students with special educational needs.
Variety BC funds specialized equipment for schools, and cannot provide funding for décor (such as paint or plants). If you are unsure whether your request meets this criteria, please email [email protected] and we would be happy to review your inclusive project with you!
If approved, your school must raise 50% of the total project cost and submit its funds to Variety to be matched. Your school must include with its application a fundraising plan outlining your timeline and disclosing all other funders and/or sources of revenue your school will use to reach its fundraising goal.
Your school administration must approve of the project prior to receiving the grant.
Your application must include formal a quote from your chosen vendor(s) which is valid for at least 60 days from the date of estimate. Quote(s) must include the total purchase amount in CAD (including all applicable taxes and shipping costs).
Variety BC does not accept screenshots of online shopping carts or itemized wish-lists. Quotes from e-commerce, hypermarket, outlet and discount stores (i.e. Amazon, Wal-Mart, Facebook Marketplace, Dollarama) are not accepted.
Schools are limited to ONE quote per vendor “type” (i.e., if you are already sourcing sensory equipment from one vendor, you may not submit a second quote from a different company which supplies similar equipment). Schools may submit multiple quotes per application only if they are for different types of equipment not already supplied by another vendor (i.e., sensory equipment + adaptive classroom furniture).
If approved, your project must be installed and/or implemented within the same school year for which the application was submitted.
Please note: Variety BC can only accept quotes and make payment to Canadian vendors at this time.
Variety Schools: Grant Application Process
We’re here to help schools transform into more inclusive and accessible learning environments.
Please follow the instructions below carefully to apply for the Variety Schools Grant Program and begin your school transformation.
Choose your project
Choose your Inclusive Project by meeting with your PAC, Principal, and/or Special Education staff to identify and brainstorm ways to make learning more accessible for students with unique learning needs.
Get a quote
Get a quote from your chosen vendor. See our preferred vendors guide for ideas and resources. When you choose a preferred vendor, your school makes an even bigger impact with a portion of sales being donated back to Variety to help even more kids right at home in your community!
Determine a timeline
Map out your fundraising plan and a timeline to implement your project by the end of the school year. Set a fundraising goal to reach 50% of the quoted cost. Variety will match your fundraising proceeds up a total of $10,000 per school, per school year.
Please allow 4-6 weeks for Variety to review your application after the deadline closes.
Supporting Documents Checklist
To help you complete your school’s grant application, we’ve created a checklist of items you must include with your submission:
An outline of all planned fundraising projects for this school year, including your timeline and any additional funders and other sources of revenue being allocated toward this project.
A formal quote from your chosen vendor(s) in CAD and including all applicable taxes & associated shipping expenses. Please ensure the “bill to” field is to “Variety the Children’ Charity of BC” and the “ship to” field is to your school.
Letters of reference. While this is optional, you may want to ask parents and/or special education staff to share their perspective about the need for this inclusive upgrade.
How it works
- Variety will review your application within 4-6 weeks after the deadline closes. If your application is successful, you will receive a formal approval letter by email along with Conditions and Recognition agreements required to be signed and returned electronically in order to accept the grant.
- Complete your fundraising and mail Variety a cheque for your school’s 50% proceeds raised. Instructions will be provided in the approval letter.
- Variety will match your efforts and issue a single purchase order to your vendor(s) with the combined funds. You will be copied on the email to your vendor in order to liaise directly regarding delivery and/or installation logistics (and so you know when your order has been issued).
- Vendors will be provided with EFT Authorization instructions and will be asked to invoice Variety BC directly by our dedicated Heart Fund team.
Variety Schools Preferred Vendors
Get your quote here! Variety BC works with a number of trusted vendors to deliver quality equipment and services to your school with efficiency. When you choose one of our preferred vendors for your inclusive upgrade project, you can be assured that your project is in the hands of experts! Plus, when you choose a preferred vendor, your school makes an even bigger impact with a portion of sales being donated back to Variety to help even more kids right at home in your community!
CDI creates tailor-fit furniture solutions for school environments to help kids thrive. They are committed to helping administrators and teachers build warm, welcoming, and modern learning spaces that give students the freedom and flexibility they need to reach their full potential. They understand that behaviours are influenced by surroundings, which is why they create tailor-fit and fully customized student-centred spaces that enable effective learning and support teachers to do what they do best. CDI Spaces gives back by helping to outfit an entire classroom when funding is requested through the Variety Schools grant program.
Sensory is their specialty. Therapy Freedom Happiness (TFH Canada) provides products that enable the “Power of Play” through functional intervention, learning opportunities, and play for everyone! TFH believes that every person has the right to meaningful inclusion, providing sensory products that develop or reinforce skills, knowledge and behaviours (such as sensory toys, therapeutic products, and specialized multi sensory rooms for snoezelen-therapy). TFH Special Needs Toys has pledged to give back 10% of Variety Schools orders to help even more kids in BC reach their fullest potential and thrive.
Providing quality park and playground equipment throughout BC since 1992,
Swing Time strives to create inclusive, sensory-rich play spaces where children of all ages, stages and abilities, needs and preferences can experience the joy of outdoor play. From their wheelchair-accessible merry-go-round to their roller table and so much more, they provide a wide range of inclusive playground equipment for all to enjoy! When you select Swing Time as your equipment provider for outdoor inclusive play and communication equipment, your impact goes even further to transform more lives right here at home with 6% of the total purchase price being donated back to Variety BC.
Spark Adaptive is on a mission. They want everyone to feel that spark of pure joy that comes with the freedom of getting where you want to go and being supported to fully participate with your peers. Whether that is on a bike path, a forest trail, a snowy route or to the ocean’s edge. Their unique adaptive equipment will help schools support the inclusion of ALL students in outdoor play, field trips and bike programs. Let Spark Adaptive help you remove barriers to inclusion while also ensuring the right to education is realized for all students in your school community. Your purchase at Spark Adaptive transforms even more lives with 6% of the total purchase being donated back to Variety BC to help more kids with adaptive equipment in your community.
Sensory paths are the next big thing in schools across Canada, providing children with a fun outlet to get moving and regulate behaviours, reinforce literacy, feel a sense of accomplishment, and reduce anxiety and stress. Sensory Paths Canada’s designs are big, bold, and full of colour! Choose a popular theme OR build your own custom path with your school colours and mascot! Graphics are printed on quality 3M materials and come with installation and maintenance instructions. Your purchase at Sensory Paths Canada transforms even more lives with 6% of the total purchase being donated back to Variety BC to help more kids with specialized therapies in your community.
School Grant Resources
Preferred Vendors Guide
Variety BC works with a number of trusted vendors to deliver quality equipment & services with efficiency!
Use this guide to facilitate conversations with other parents in your school community so that everyone understands your school’s unique needs.
To learn more about the Variety Schools Grant Program, please contact Anna Polden by email or call her directly.
Want to fundraise for Variety and help more kids in your community? Click on the School Fundraising button below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the application requirements for the Variety Schools Grant Program?
Along with the application, schools must submit the following supporting documents: quote(s) from your vendors of choice and a fundraising plan including an outline of your school’s planned fundraisers for the year and a list of your school’s current funders and grants. We also welcome letters from school staff and/or parents of students who will benefit most from your project!
Please note that Variety BC only accepts quotes from Canadian vendors, and does not fund items from hypermarket, e-commerce, discount or outlet stores.
What is the application process for the Variety Schools Grant Program?
Apply online by the deadline listed on our website. Variety reviews all applications within 4-6 weeks after the deadline closes. If your application is successful, Variety BC will e-mail you an official approval letter and require you to sign a Conditions and Recognition Agreement to accept the grant.
The Variety Schools Grant Program matches school fundraising to help bring your inclusive project to life. Once your school has reached its fundraising goal (50% of the total project cost), your school will be required to submit these funds by cheque to Variety BC. Please note that Variety BC pays only your chosen vendor, not the school directly. Once your cheque has been received, Variety BC will match your fundraising efforts dollar for dollar, and issue a single purchase order using the combined funds to the vendor.
Variety works with your vendor(s) directly to be invoiced directly for all equipment funded by this program. You will be required to submit the contact information for your vendor(s) with your application.
If our school is already receiving government funding, are we still eligible to sign up for the Variety School Grants Program?
Yes! It can take a village to transform our communities into accessible and inclusive spaces for all. Variety BC is happy to support your school as a partial funder for larger projects which require multiple sources of support. Please disclose your current funders and grants in your application.
Is there warranty on the equipment funded by the Variety School Grants Program?
Variety BC works with several preferred vendors for the Variety Schools Grant Program whom we have vetted as reliable sources of quality equipment and services. If you experience any issues with the quality of equipment from any of your chosen vendors, please follow up with them directly. You will be copied on the purchase order Variety BC sends to the vendor by e-mail when issuing your grant. Schools are responsible for liaising directly with their vendors regarding delivery and installation logistics, and for delayed or damaged items.
Will our school or supporters receive a tax receipt?
- Schools will receive an unofficial tax receipt by mail acknowledging your donation to Variety BC.
- Parents and supporters who require an official tax receipt can receive one from Variety BC:
- For those who donate directly to your school’s online fundraising page set up by Variety BC, a tax receipt will be issued immediately by e-mail.
- For those who prefer to donate offline, a personal cheque can be made payable to Variety – the Children’s Charity and mailed to 4300 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, BC V5C 6C6. Please ensure your school’s name is written in the cheque memo. We’ll add donations made by personal cheque to your school’s fundraising total, and a tax receipt will be mailed to the individual donor.