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Langley School District Foundation gala raises thousands for schools

Chelsea McNeill clears a jump on her horse Phlush during the seventh annual Langley School District Foundation Grand Prix Gala at Thunderbird Equestrian Show Park on June 3.  - Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times
Chelsea McNeill clears a jump on her horse Phlush during the seventh annual Langley School District Foundation Grand Prix Gala at Thunderbird Equestrian Show Park on June 3.
— image credit: Miranda GATHERCOLE/Langley Times

Students in Langley struggling with basic math skills will now have the opportunity to get extra, thanks to efforts from the Langley School District Foundation.

A total of $51,000 was raised at the seventh annual Grand Prix Gala, held at Thunderbird Show Park on June 3, which will be used to purchase “Do the Math” kits for the school district.

Nearly 70 per cent of high school students who do not graduate from Grade 12 are prevented from graduating by  poor math skills, said Susan Cairns, executive director of the Langley School District Foundation.

“A lot of times what happens is some kids miss the concepts early on, but it’s not really recognized,” she said. “They keep getting passed and going through the system until about Grade 10. Then it becomes clear they can’t do math properly, they’ve missed it along the way. That’s quite tragic, they can’t go on to university programs and a lot of times they don’t graduate at all.”

The kits are designed to teach these kids the basic math concepts to help students who have fallen behind catch up.

Last year, money raised at the annual event went to furnishing schools with the online Kurzweil software — a reading, writing and study skills program to help students with learning disabilities learn at the same grade-level as their classmates.

This year’s grand prix event featured a world-class horse jumping competition, wine tasting, gourmet food and a silent auction which raised $10,000.

“Even though it was a little chilly, the event went very well. People enjoyed it, the venue was fantastic and the horses, wine tasting, hors d’oeuvres and silent auction,” Cairns said.

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