Eliminating Barriers to Learning

No child should miss out on their education
because of financial challenges.

When children lack basics like proper clothing, food and school supplies it has an impact on their ability to learn. HLF provides immediate financial support  to more than 1,000 low-income students and their families every year who are in crisis, in transition to longer-term support, or have short-term funding needs. The Eliminating Barriers Fund supports a student’s basic needs to come to school, and subsidizes school activities to allow kids to fully participate in learning.

It was so great to be able to get things I need and spare my Dad  from feeling badly that he couldn’t help me.


There aren’t a lot of services out there that we can get immediate help from (for our students). The Halton Learning Foundation has been very responsive to our requests for assistance. We’ve been able to get help immediately for our students.


To be without food and without money has such a negative impact on your spirit. We’re giving them the tangibles so that the intangible spirit is there for them to continue with their education. Without this Foundation that would not be possible.


The Barriers Fund support is always much more than funds and material goods – it is about students knowing that we care about them.

School Social Worker
  • How the Eliminating Barriers Fund works

    • HLF accepts referrals from principals, teachers and social workers on behalf of students or their families.
    • The request must support a student’s basic personal needs, contribute to helping the student come to or stay in school, or support a student who wants to participate in a school activity where lack of funds would mean he or she could not participate.
  • Emergency Funds and Subsidies Support

    • Groceries/food/lunches/cafeteria vouchers
    • Clothing, footwear, hair cuts, hygiene items
    • Emergency family situations (parental death, fire, abuse)
    • School trips and excursions (cost to participate)
    • School supplies such as backpacks
    • Elective school subjects and course fees
    • Extra-curricular activities (participant fees, sport-specific equipment)
    • Safety shoes and tools for co-op placements
    • College application fees
  • Benefits

    • can positively impact a student’s physical health and the ability to focus academically
    • builds self esteem and a sense of inclusion
    • builds social/physical/emotional resilience through participation in extra-curricular activities
    • offers learning opportunities they might not otherwise be exposed to

We would like to get some funds for winter boots for these siblings as none of them own a pair. Also, they do not own winter jackets and often have little to eat for lunch and snacks.


“Dear HLF, thank you for helping to get my new glasses! My old glasses were broken and my parents couldn’t afford to replace them. People like you are very caring.”

Barriers to Learning Request Form (accessible only by HDSB staff).