“For the past year Twain Sullivan staff and members of our parent group, have been collaborating to build an outdoor covered building. The building will be used as an extension of the classroom where classes have the ability to explore there designed curriculum via hands-on learning,” said Janna Delany, Vice Principal at Twain Sullivan.
The Ministry of Education has redesigned its curriculum, which became effective this year. Twain has comprised a set of education goals which consist of four components. School connection, nature connection, student engagement and competencies.
The goal of school connection is to close the gap between socio-economics and bring students together to increase learning and social responsibility by having students work together more.
The importance of nature connection is to bring a curiosity and inquiry to plants and wildlife, with an Aboriginal education aspect that teaches medicinal plants and wildlife-hunting. This part of the program would also include outdoor garden boxes and knowledge towards the conservation of nature.
Creativity, inquiry, and learning experiences are the core of student engagement. These will help connect the interests and passions of students and as well as increase responsibility for their selves and others.
And finally, communication, creativity, critical thinking and problem solving are the focus of Twain’s educational goals for enabling competency.
For now the blue print of the outdoor building is 704 square feet. It is a post and beam structure with a roof.
“In the upcoming stages we want to put in a teaching board with a small storage bin, and seating of some sort,” commented Delany.
Stage one of the project will cost between $8000 and $10,000.
“We have applied for a few grants and have received two; one from Dash B.C. Northern Connections ($5000) and one from Dungate Community Forest ($825.32). Canfor is also contributing by donating a large portion of the timber needed and we are still waiting to hear back from another local business. The school will be selling poinsettias and Purdy chocolates prior to Christmas on top of the Fresh to You fundraiser we are currently doing now. Our PAC have also been gracious and donated $2500 toward the project and will continue to help by having popcorn fundraisers and a hot lunch program,” said Delany.
Fresh to You is a fundraiser sponsored by the school fruit & veggie program. They promote healthy food choices, while also giving the school 40 percent of the profit. Submission for orders ended on Oct. 20, but Twain is continuing to work hard to access all funding opportunities to build their outdoor classroom.