By Maggie Macintosh Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The latest round of successful Teachers’ Idea Fund pitches includes the creation of a new technical vocational institute in northern Manitoba — the most expensive project to be approved to date.

Education Minister Cliff Cullen has announced nearly $5 million — $750,000 of which is for the Northern Lights Institute of Trades and Technology — has been earmarked for 28 new educator-led initiatives that aim to improve student outcomes in the province.

During a conference call with reporters Monday, Cullen said Swan Valley School Division’s proposal to develop a vocational institute caught his attention because of the extensive partnerships involved in the project.

The institute of trades and technology, which will receive $150,000 in provincial funding annually over the next five years, will support high schoolers and mature students to enter post-secondary training by providing them with “transitional opportunities.”

The division’s plan is to work with nearby communities, First Nations, employers and educational institutions in the North to help graduates build both confidence and resumés.

“We’re looking for new and innovative ideas coming from (teachers). I would say our goal here is to see what programs are effective,” said Cullen. “If we find very effective programs, that’s something we can implement across the province.”

The Teachers’ Idea Fund is a $25-million pool set aside to fund front-line education projects — which can focus on items including teaching models, mental health, pandemic recovery learning, K-12 transitions, and parent engagement — over the next five years.

Since the inaugural round of projects was unveiled earlier this year, the province has approved $6.5 million for 108 teacher pitches, 18 of which are multi-year projects.

The latest initiatives include recovery learning interventions and virtual art classes.

Teachers can apply for up to $25,000 for a single-year initiative. The cap on multi-year projects is $150,000 annually.

This item is reprinted with permission from Winnipeg Free Press, Manitoba. See article HERE.

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