The Cochrane Public Library received grant money from the Cochrane Foundation to help fund their Homeschool Helpers Initiative.

A conservative estimate puts Cochrane at 400 students currently being homeschooled.

"We were talking with a lot of different home educated groups to try and sus out what that number was, but again, at least 400. If you go into any of the homeschool groups on Facebook in this area, there is upwards of about 1000 participants, there are lots of families that homeschool their kids." said Library Director Monique Fiedler-Sills.

All those students need more collections and more programming, the library is giving support through their resources that can help with their learning and trying to connect them with other homeschooled kids. 

She said "This is going to allow us to better serve that community. Programming that is happening throughout the day that allows the kids to connect to new ways of learning with each other. We're going to have curriculum lending kits. We're going to have a little bit more curriculum focus books"

Fiedler-Sills added "How else are they getting some of those things when you think of some books that might cost upwards of like $100 or the kind of support that people get through the public school system that just isn't available to homeschool students. Those are some of the gaps we've seen that we're going to be looking to help out with."

Director Monique Fiedler-SillsDirector Monique Fiedler-Sills receiving the grant

This is the second time the library has received a grant from the Cochrane foundation, the first being to help fund the Lucky Day Collection.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, homeschooling in Alberta has seen a 60 per cent increase. The most prominent numbers were seen in Grades 1-2.