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June 2020 Newsletter

Directed Call for Research 2020 – COVID -19

June 17, 2020

 

No single event has impacted teaching and learning in the history of the province like the 2020 global pandemic. Given that we don’t know when a COVID-19 vaccine will be available or when restrictions around large public gatherings will be fully lifted, the fall return to school will likely present challenges and opportunities for Saskatchewan educators.

Like many of you, McDowell Foundation is curious about the fall and the longer-term impacts of the pandemic on Saskatchewan classrooms and pedagogy. The Foundation wants to continue to support teacher-led research the best way we know how, by providing access to funding, research and networking opportunities. As such, the Foundation has developed special research grants to support teacher-led research to explore this specific topic.

Saskatchewan PreK-12 teachers and other educators are invited to submit an application for McDowell Foundation’s directed call for research 2020. Grants of up to $5,000 per project will be awarded for research projects to explore the impact of COVID-19 on Saskatchewan classrooms.

Call for research applications for the 2021-2022 school year will occur starting in September and are separate from the Directed Call for Research – COVID-19 process.

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge

June 11, 2020

The Great Canadian Giving Challenge is a National public contest to benefit any registered Canadian charity. An initiative from CanadaHelps, it encourages Canadians across the country to donate to charities throughout the month of June.

Every dollar donated to the McDowell Foundation by an individual in June via GivingChallenge.ca, or CanadaHelps.org, is an automatic entry for The McDowell Foundation to win a $20,000 donation from CanadaHelps.org. Individuals are also encouraged to share socially to encourage their friends to participate as well.

Every $1 donated IN JUNE is an automatic entry for your charity of choice to win (minimum $3 donation required). Challenge begins June 1, 2020 at midnight Newfoundland Daylight Time (NDT) and ends on June 30, 2020 at 11:59:59 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (PDT). Grand prize draw is on CANADA DAY, July 1, 2020 – $20,000 will be donated to the winning charity. Only donations made on givingchallenge.ca or through the canadahelps.org website will be entered for the prize draw.

In 2019, the fifth annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge, over 109,000 Canadians participated, donating more than $14 million to over 12,000 charities, representing a 25% increase in donations compared to June 2018’s annual Great Canadian Giving Challenge.

Do you remember your life-changing teaching moment?

March 25, 2020

Did you have a teacher or a research project that continued to inspire and structure your teaching career? At the McDowell Foundation, we want to continue to inspire and support many worthwhile research projects, just like those that changed your life.

Our projects and activities are student-centred and relevant to successful instruction in today’s classrooms. Teachers are doing research every single day. This year we have had an amazing group of research projects. Topics this past year include Early Years Education, Fine Arts, Inclusive Education, English as an Additional Language, Indigenous Education, Literacy and Language Arts, Mathematics and Science, Physical Education and Health, Social Justice and Equity, Teaching and Learning, and Technology and Education. If you would like to check out our current projects, please go to our website at http://mcdowellfoundation.ca/research/?status=current .

Current and completed research projects represent countless hours of dedicated research by teachers and other educators in Saskatchewan. Have you ever thought of supporting the future of education for our children by giving to the McDowell Foundation through a Legacy Gift?

Simply stated, Legacy Giving is honouring a loved one by using the value of your donation dollars, small and large, to help make a difference with the McDowell Foundation in your will. Legacy Giving is people. People like you who want to and are making a difference in the world. People like you who would want to leave a legacy you will never see, but will help add “tomorrows” for our future Saskatchewan students. Is the McDowell Foundation already in your will? Thank you! Please let us know about your plans as it helps the Foundation plan for the future.

So what does your legacy look like? Have you ever wondered if you could provide a legacy with life insurance you no longer need? Many smart and forward thinking people buy life insurance to protect their family members. However, as life changes, so does your family and your life insurance needs. Next thing you know you have more coverage than you need. Did I just describe you? Did you know that if you are carrying a fully paid life insurance policy that your family no longer needs, you could donate it to the McDowell Foundation?

When you make a gift of life insurance, you will support our mission by enriching teaching and learning by supporting professionally led research. You will receive an immediate charitable tax receipt and help reduce estate taxes for your heirs while it costs you nothing in your lifetime. You can change your mind or revoke it at any time, and it allows you to be more generous than you ever thought.

It is easy to arrange and straight forward to see why this giving strategy is gaining popularity. It is a win-win situation as each gift makes a difference. Let your love of education become a part of your legacy as each legacy gift continues to be a transformative gift for our future students.

If you would like more tools for your Legacy Planning, our website offers some guidance. Visit http://mcdowellfoundation.ca/donations/ . For gifts of a more complex nature, we highly recommend always having conversations with your family, lawyer, financial advisor, or accountant. If you have any questions, want to talk about our Legacy Society, or would like to know more about remaining anonymous, you can reach me 306-373-1660 or by email at colleen.ostoforoff@stf.sk.ca. We will be happy to help you every step of the way. Leave your mark on the future and start being remembered today! – CO

2018-19 Annual Report

February 18, 2020

The Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research Into Teaching Inc. Annual General Meeting was held November 29th, 2019. The 2018-19 Annual Report was presented to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation Executive.

What gives your life meaning?

January 23, 2020

It is funny how we all start to think about our lives and how we go through difficulties, time of clarity, confusion along with joy and excitement. Yes, our lives hold rich meaning as we unfold our purpose of living. However, what really motivates you to do your best in everything in YOUR life?

Years ago, Krista McMillen decided to be a teacher. She found that it was a good place to learn, grow, and express herself. As Krista evolved in her teaching career, she found that she really wanted to reach out and help children with exceptionalities and their families as they struggled learning in her classroom. This greater purpose aligned with what turned out to be a deeper passion and commitment to research and promote student mental health. “As a learning resources teacher or a student support teacher, it means that I am the biggest impact on these kids and their education and how they can contribute to the workforce and society.”

As a classroom teacher, you have an impact on children one maybe two years, but as a learning resources teacher Krista realized that her teaching influenced her students and their families for a lifetime. Krista fulfilled one of her purposes become a bigger inspiration for Saskatchewan classrooms with the funding from the McDowell Foundation.

I constantly question my own Life’s Purpose and Legacy. Legacy Giving simply stated is the process of an individual planning to facilitate a gift to a charitable organization covering the full spectrum of generosity by individuals now and for the future. What does your Legacy look like? Have you ever thought about the future of education for Saskatchewan’s children by supporting the McDowell Foundation’s endowment fund? Let me back up. Do you know the ancient Greek proverb, “A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit”? That is what I mean; a Legacy can take on a meaning specifically for you by planning and creating your own Legacy in advance of your passing. It is a hard subject to think and talk about, but it is also an important topic to fulfill your life’s wishes after you are gone.

Legacy Giving is honouring a loved one by using the value of your donation dollars, small and large to help make a difference with the McDowell Foundation in your Will. Legacy Giving is people, people from all lifestyles and income levels. People like you, who want to and are making a difference in the world. People like you would want to leave a Legacy you will never see, but will help add “tomorrows” for our future Saskatchewan students.

Bequests are one of the most popular planned gift tools. They are gifts made through Wills that an organization receives after the death of the donor and usually one of the easiest to make, costing you the donor nothing during your lifetime. If you are considering a Bequest gift in your Will only takes a simple designation, and this provision can change at any time. It is easy to include in a new Will, or added to an existing Will through a simple amendment or a codicil.

Planned Giving is a way to make an impact and grow a meaningful Legacy, both for yourself, and for the McDowell Foundation, in ways that you likely had never imagined. It is a way to build a more secure future for yourself, your loved ones, and research in Saskatchewan students through The Foundation. Is the McDowell Foundation already in your Will? Thank you! Please let us know about your plans as it helps the Foundation plan for the future.

If you would like more tools to your Legacy Planning, our website offers some guidance on Bequests, Life Insurance, RRSPs, RRIFs, TFSAs, and Real Estate. Visit http://mcdowellfoundation.ca/donations/ where the Foundation accepts gifts of many different kinds. For gifts of a more complex nature, we highly recommend always having conversations with your family, lawyer, financial advisor, or accountant. If you have any questions, want to talk about our Legacy Society or would like to know more about remaining anonymous, you can reach me 306-373-1660 or at by email colleen.ostoforoff@stf.sk.ca.

Thank you to all of our donors that help us inspire and support many worthwhile research projects. We deeply appreciate the generosity of our donors and funders and encourage you to join our on-going support for teacher-led research in Saskatchewan. You support allows us to continue funding teacher-led research projects like Inclusion for children with exceptionalities; Reconciliation; Developing sense of belonging through land based-education; Practicing anti-racist education and more. Each gift makes a difference! Your Legacy Gift will continue to be a transformative gift for our future students.
–Colleen Ostoforoff

Learning From Practice 2020: What is an Inclusive and Diverse Classroom?

January 6, 2020

In thinking about our theme and the projects that will be presenting at this year’s Learning From Practice conference, it is important that we continue to build on other conversations occurring throughout the province about the role of public education.

Conversations about inclusion and diversity and what that looks like are occurring at a number of tables in the province. When thinking about what an inclusive classroom might look like for Saskatchewan students, the report Education Re-Imagined: 12 Actions for Education released in the fall of 2019 provides the basis for this year’s conference theme in Recommendation One:

Learning spaces must be resourced so that teachers can create a safe and effective learning environment for the diversity of student learning.

What does a safe and effective learning environment look like for all students in the province; and how can the work of the McDowell Foundation support this recommendation?

You do not have to look far in the province to find teachers hard at work supporting inclusion and diversity in the classroom. The McDowell Foundation is fortunate to have Chris Scribe, Nakota/Nehiyaw (Assiniboine/Cree) from the Carry the Kettle Nakoda Oyade provide the keynote address at the annual Learning From Practice (LFP) conference. Chris is the director of the Indian Teacher Education Program (ITEP) at the University of Saskatchewan and the founder of Think Indigenous, a conference designed to inspire educators to incorporate Indigenous knowledge into the everyday practices of teaching. In addition, Chris co-created the Red Talks – a series of podcasts designed to create understanding and knowledge of Indigenous ways of knowing in education. Chris has become an advocate for Indigenous knowledge in education and will be sharing his passion with all of us.

At lunch we will be joined by His Honour the Lieutenant Governor Russ Mirasty and Her Honour Donna Mirasty. His Honour will bring greetings and present the McDowell Foundation Research Award for the 2019-20 year. The McDowell Foundation was chosen as a patronage by the Lieutenant Governor as part of his commitment to focus on reconciliation and education in his five-year term.

In addition, a number of other McDowell researchers will also be in attendance to share what they have learned from their research projects including presentations on the following:

  • Catholic School Teachers Enacting Papal Encyclical Laudato si’ (Praise Be To You – On Care For Our Common Home)
  • Cross-Cultural Collaboration and Belonging in an Islamic School
  • Exploring Reconciliation and Understanding Through Art
  • History Underground: The Road to Conciliation
  • Indigenous Culture-Based School Mathematics for Reconciliation and Professional Development
  • Navigating Elementary Schooling Across Borders: Refugee Children’s Pre- and Post-Migration Experiences
  • Promising Practices for Meaningful Family Engagement
  • Stumbling Towards Enlightenment: How Diverse Lead Learners Helped Develop a System-Wide Instructional-Support Approach to Improve Indigenous Students’ Achievement

Learning From Practice is an annual conference hosted by the McDowell Foundation to support teacher-led research in the province. The one-day event is being held in Saskatoon on January 31, 2020 at the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation building. Register at https://www.stf.sk.ca/professional-resources/events-calendar/learning-practice

McDowell Foundation Receives Honourary Patronage of the Lieutenant Governor

August 8, 2019

SASKATOON – The Dr. Stirling McDowell Foundation for Research Into Teaching is pleased to announce that His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty, Lieutenant Governor of Saskatchewan will serve as the Honourary Patron of the Foundation during his term in office.

“We are thrilled that the Lieutenant Governor will be continuing his support of the McDowell Foundation in his new role,” McDowell Foundation Manager Ellen Whiteman stated. “During his time as a member of the board of the Foundation, His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty was a valued addition by bringing his knowledge of northern Saskatchewan and serving as our public representative.”

The McDowell Foundation provides funding for teacher-led research in the province through their partnership with the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation. In their more than 25 years, the Foundation has funded almost 300 teacher-led research projects and awarded over $1.8 million in grants. His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty served as a member of the board for the past year.

The Lieutenant Governor’s service to education has also been shown through helping lead the Student First Engagement Process and as a member of the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents.

“We are grateful for His Honour the Honourable Russ Mirasty’s deep commitment to education and wish him all the best as our province’s Lieutenant Governor,” said Whiteman.

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