Home and School

Mabel Hubbard Bell, wife of Alexander Graham Bell, assisted in organizing the Parents Association of Baddeck Schools, Nova Scotia, in 1895: thus began the Canada-wide organization known for years as “Home and School.” The Canadian National Federation of Home and School was founded in Toronto in 1927; in 1951 this became the Canadian Home and School and Parent-Teacher Federation, and was incorporated as a non-profit organization. Over the years it has been shown that a parent's involvement with a child's education will greatly enhance that child's achievement: an enlightened adult can give the child a reason to want to learn. Saskatchewan's first Home and School Association began in 1926 at the Buena Vista School in Saskatoon, and soon Home and School groups were forming throughout the province. In the village of Gainsborough, for example, the group paid expenses for various grades to enter the annual Music Festival, sponsored the formation of a 4-H Club, discussed discipline and safety on school buses, celebrated the graduation of Grade 12 students, sponsored gun safety and snowmobile safety courses, organized talks by RCMP for both students and parents on drug and alcohol abuse, gave prizes for students at public speaking evenings, etc. It is thanks to their efforts, too, that the opening of a branch library took place nearly forty years ago.

In 1996 the Saskatchewan Home and School Association became the Saskatchewan Association of School Councils (SASC) and was in a better position to become the umbrella organization for the upcoming school councils. Nowadays, SASC members assist in classrooms and libraries, raise funds, and help with decision-making in many areas. From the very start of Home and School, all this has been voluntary work. The organization, which represents about one-third of Saskatchewan's schools, strives to fulfill its vision statement: “Providing a provincial voice for every parent on behalf of every child.”

Sheila Stevenson