Across Ontario, students are celebrating Canada's 150th anniversary with a variety of special projects. Here are just three of them.
Valley View Public School in Val Caron is one of 150 Canadian schools, community organizations and municipalities marking Canada's sesquicentennial year with a "Happy 150th Birthday Canada" celebration garden. All gardens feature 1,000 red and white tulips donated through a project sponsored by the Canadian Garden Council. The Val Caron students gathered with board trustee Judy Kosmerly and other members of the community at a special planting ceremony in October 2016.
A special flagship garden has been planted at Niagara Falls with 2,500 blooms. Images of all gardens are posted on www.canadasgardenroute.ca.
For more information, contact Chantal Lacroix, principal, Valley View Public School, (705) 671-5956.
In January, the Halton DSB announced that it had received funding from the federally sponsored Canada 150 Fund. Director of Education Stuart Miller expressed his gratitude for the funding, saying that it will be used to create a medicine wheel in each school across the board to teach students and staff about the contributions to our country made by Indigenous peoples.
For more information, read "Burlington to Receive Canada 150 Funding" at www.insidehalton.com, January 3, 2017.
In February, the Limestone DSB launched a board-wide initiative to honour Canada's 150th anniversary by supplying each classroom with a Canadian flag. Spearheaded by trustee Wes Garrod, the project received a $10,000 grant from the Limestone Learning Foundation to purchase 1,149 flags. Students at several schools were commissioned to build holders. This project launched on February 15, the 52nd anniversary of Canada's Flag Day, at a ceremony at Bath Public School.
For more information, read "Celebrating Canada's 150 in LDSB Schools" at www.llf.limestone.on.ca or "Initiative Hopes to See Flag in Every Classroom," Kingston Whig-Standard, February 7, 2017. More information about Canada's flag and Flag Day is at http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1448563713350.
A unique character education initiative at G.C. Huston Public School is making Seven Grandfather teachings from the Saugeen First Nation a visible and permanent part of this Southampton school. Across the whole school, lessons and activities in the Bimaadzwin-Good Path project have focused on a different teaching each month, helping students manage situations that occur in their daily lives. A team of art students at the school was also commissioned to paint classroom doors with a design featuring each attribute: an eagle, representing love (Zaagidwin); a wolf for humility (Dbaadendizwin); a bear, representing bravery (Aakdehewin); a turtle, representing truth (Debwewin); a beaver for wisdom (Nbwaakaawin); a buffalo, representing respect (Minaadendmowin); and mankind, representing honesty (Gwekwadiziwin).
For more information, contact Jamie Pettit, communications, Bluewater District School Board, (519) 363-2014, ext. 2014, email@example.com; or search for "Student Art Reflects Grandfather Teachings" and watch the slideshow "Hawks in Action" at www.hus.bwdsb.on.ca.
In January, the Simcoe County DSB launched a partnership to promote math skills and physical fitness among students. Through the Pedometer Project, 21,000 pedometers were distributed in 45 board schools to track students' steps and allow them to participate in the board's math strategy. The program was devised by Deb Shackell, the board's healthy active living resource teacher, and Anita Simpson, superintendent of program and innovation.
A website, www.scdsbpedometerproject.blogspot.ca, has been set up for students to download data from the devices and chart their progress toward personal or group goals. The pedometers were provided by the Canadian Tire Jumpstart charity.
For more information, read "Pedometer Project Puts Thousands of County Students in Step," Barrie Examiner, January 12, 2017, or contact Anita Simpson, superintendent of program and innovation, Simcoe County District School Board, (705) 734-6363, ext. 11357, firstname.lastname@example.org.