Another $50,000 has been committed to making Parksville a hub for international education.
The money was presented to the International Sustainability Education Foundation (ISEF) Tuesday afternoon at The Beach Club by Wetegrity, the Vancouver-based private investment company responsible for startup funding. Wetegrity has already provided $100,000 in funding, with $1.5 million more to come.
The two private companies have joined School District 69 (who will contribute a site lease and staff time) and representatives from the three parties signed a letter of intent in May to work together to bring an international school to Parksville complete with a residential village, as well as start an international education program that will tour students across Canada.
SD69 superintendent Rollie Koop said the “Canadian Ambassador Program” has matured and is slated to start in January, 2015.
He said the idea is to bring together 15 local students and 15 international students and allow them the opportunity to travel across the country stopping at various universities with the hope that international students will choose to study post-secondary in Canada.
“We thought — what if the classroom was moving across the country?” said Koop.
Jonathan Reynolds, general manager of ISEF said the program will be based in Parksville but take students as far as Halifax allowing them to study, acquire graduation credits and experience various Canadian universities along the way. Reynolds said the program will cost domestic students $1,500 and international students $35,000.
“We’re providing a learning experience that will benefit both international and local students,” said Koop.
In terms of what has been deemed the “Parksville International Academy” Koop said the school district is poised to sign an intent to lease the land now occupied by Parksville Elementary School, one of four schools closing this fall. Koop said the land will be used to build a residential village for international students.
“I’m absolutely jazzed about this,” said Koop. “It’s allowing us to move forward.”
The International Sustainability Education Foundation will host a workshop Oct. 2-3 to engage with the community e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.