Airdrie mother Elise Andrews, whose three children attend Herons Crossing School and who is the Chair of the School Council is drumming up support for the school in the hopes that they will win a $20,000 cash prize via a contest presented by KidoodlED - a Calgary-based media and technology company. 

According to a press release, the contest invited school staff to nominate their schools by submitting a one- to a three-minute video showcasing why their school should be chosen to win one of 100 $10,000 prizes and identify educational initiatives that will benefit their students. Voting opened on June 1 and runs until June 15. However, Andrews said that the prizes were increased to $20,000 for the top five schools.

Andrews said that the school council is almost always fundraising for various school activities and she said that it's a lot to ask of parents

"Those funds [from fundraising] per year, on average were about $20,000 and that gets stretched pretty far when you're thinking 960 kids."

According to Andrews, Herons Crossing is currently operating over capacity, as the school can accommodate 880 kids. Her own daughter's Grade Six is one of the largest in the school, totalling 37 kids. Hence, not only is infrastructure being challenged but so are technological resources for the students. She explained that much of the curriculum being taught in the older grades - such as Grade Five and older utilizes technology. 

"If a family is not providing a laptop for their child, the school is then having to provide one; with a class size of 37 kids, we don't have enough laptops to be giving one to every child in the class," Andrews said. "We have to win this."

There is also hope that the funds would go towards purchasing CCTV cameras which would help to curtail vandalism in and around the school. If Herons Crossing does happen to come out victorious in the contest, Andrews said it will mean the world to the school community.

"It's giving them access to more. If we were to win this money, it just helps the kids to feel like they're important and that they're being seen and heard," she said. "This would alleviate that pressure and stress from a lot of families that are just barely making it by."

The winners of the contest will be announced this Friday and Andrews is encouraging the community to help the school by casting their vote. 

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