Home > News Article > Celebrating 20 Years in our Village!

This August marks the 20th Anniversary of the Cumberland Community Schools Society (CCSS)! The Society was first established in August 2000 with the goal of providing support for low income families, offering educational programs for adults, and increasing the use of public school facilities. Over the past 20 years CCSS has worked hard to grow and evolve with our Village! Thanks to all our supporters, past and present, who have contributed to where we are today. 

A look back over the years…


  • CCSS is established.

2000 to 2006

  • Cumberland Elementary is designated as a Community School. 
  • CCSS develops After-School programming and a Lunch Program for students in kindergarten to grade 6, and life-long learning opportunities for adults. 
  • First Santa’s Breakfast fundraiser (we are a bit unsure of the start date!)


  • CCSS secures funding to revitalize the school garden and initiate a waste reduction program. 


  • After-School Mountain Bike Club is developed in partnership with the United Riders of Cumberland and Dodge City Cycles.
  • First annual HUGE Garage Sale fundraiser.


  • CCSS becomes a registered charity.


  • CCSS starts a Walking School Bus.
  • CCSS Strategic Plan includes vision for a drop-in Youth Centre and Skatepark. 


  • Mamacentric, a weekly gathering place for moms with babies, is started. Eight years later this program is still running every Tuesday and continues to grow in popularity.
  • CCSS continues to provide a Healthy Lunch Program and After-School programs for elementary students, as well as educational and learning opportunities for adults.


  • CCSS enters into a formal partnership with the Village of Cumberland to develop and fundraise for a Skatepark. 


  • Cumberland Elementary School and Cumberland Junior School are amalgamated into a single K to 9 learning campus with an enrollment of 387 students. The school is renamed ‘Cumberland Community School’.
  • The CCSS Healthy Lunch Program is expanded to include grade 7’s.
  • CCSS secures funding to hire a Youth Coordinator. The Coordinator completes an extensive needs assessment to guide the development of a youth centre and age-appropriate programming.
  • First annual Thunderballs fundraiser.


  • Youth Centre opens.
  • After-School programming is expanded to include students in grades 7 to 9. 
  • CCSS secures funding to expand the Healthy Lunch Program to include grade 8 and 9 students, with 310 students participating.
  • CCSS starts running weekly Bingo Nights at the Cumberland Legion. 
  • First annual Reel Youth Film Festival in Cumberland, a fundraiser for the Youth Centre.


  • CCSS partners with the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market to provide a Coupon Program during the summer months.


  • After 4 ½ years of planning and fundraising, the Cumberland Skatepark is complete. Over the next year, CCSS works with the Village of Cumberland and Get on Board to offer Learn to Skate after-school programming. 


  • The Village continues to grow, along with participation in programs. 414 students participate in the Healthy Lunch Program, 255 students register in after-school programming, 42 youth access the drop-in Youth Centre and 190 adults participate in community programs! 


  • Enrollment at Cumberland Community School reaches 550 students! 
  • The Cumberland Food Share is established in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative, a joint project between CCSS and Weird Church, includes both a permanent Food Shed and weekly deliveries of Healthy Food Boxes. 


  • You tell us! Fill out our survey to share your ideas for the future, or a story from the past. We are a bit fuzzy on the history of the early years (2000 to 2008). If you have some knowledge we’d love to hear from you!

Photo Credit: Sara Kempner Photography