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Rural post-secondary students getting help in Water Valley

Adequate, stable internet needed for online learning
rural students being helped web
Ryatt Nugent, left, who is studying Education at the University of Calgary, and Alia McCracken, who is studying Biology at Mount Royal University, are two of the students who plan to use the Water Valley library’s fibre-optic network connection during the fall 2020 semester. Submitted photo

WATER VALLEY - Post-secondary students in the Water Valley and Cremona area are being helped out this fall through a local fundraising effort.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the local students will be taking their classes online this semester. In response, a unique fundraiser has been launched and centred on the use of the Water Valley Public Library’s high-speed internet connection.

“As you many or may not know, many people in the Water Valley area cannot get adequate internet due to geographic location and lack of internet town/satellite accessibility and this creates many issues for students who need adequate and stable internet to proceed with their distance studies through the pandemic,” said librarian Lisette McCracken.

To address the problem, McCracken has teamed up with local university and college students to raise money for the students to use the library and rent the four-room building for exclusive access to the library’s fibre-optic network, two study rooms and the full kitchen two days a week.

“Our goal is to raise enough money to rent the building and pay two students to run the library twice a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays, which will be open exclusively to rural post-secondary students to use as needed,” she said.

Over the past two weekends, a book sale has taken place at the library, as well as a bake sale of locally-donated items and the sale of locally-roasted Wildcat coffee.

As well, a Fundly page (similar to GoFundMe) has been set up to raise funds for the initiative. The site is

About a dozen students are already signed up to use the facility, she said. The goal is to raise about $4,500.

A maximum of 40 students from the Cremona and Water Valley area will be able to use the facility.

A decision will be made later whether the program will continue past January, depending on whether post-secondary schools resume in-person classes.

The Water Valley Public Library will remain open Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays for the general public.