Comox Valley kindergarten students will likely learn fine arts alongside seniors in the fall.
Comox Valley School District director of instruction for elementary Allan Douglas last week told the Board of Education about a new intergenerational project he’s in the midst of planning.
Douglas noted he sees great value in connecting students and seniors and when he approached Berwick Comox Valley about his idea, staff there were keen.
“And Berwick is very, very interested,” he said, noting he’s had two meetings with Berwick staff so far, and he hopes to start it in the fall.
“The seniors, who choose to, and the students, will be learning together around fine art, poetry, language arts, drawing — and the connections between the seniors and the students are going to be very, very powerful,” he continued.
Douglas pointed out the program will start small, noting a couple of kindergarten teachers from Valley View Elementary are very interested, and classes would be shorter at first to see how things go.
“And then maybe we’ll look at expanding,” he said, adding he expects the program to be successful. “We’ve got a couple of other seniors centres in the Comox Valley that we can expand to.”
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A summer challenge program for outdoorsy secondary students will kick off in July.
Comox Valley School District assistant superintendent Tom Demeo noted the program was created in partnership with the John Howard Society and will feature a blended learning model through Navigate powered by NIDES (North Island Distance Education School).
Students between ages 14 and 16 can participate in the month-long program, which will be based out of Lake Trail Middle School, “with the classroom being the Comox Valley,” explained Demeo.
“They will do some of their learning in the outdoors, working on resiliency skills, working on leadership skills, working on team work skills,” he added. “The second part, which is really neat, is it also is going to provide an opportunity, for a couple of students between the ages of 17 and 19, an opportunity to be mentors. And they will actually be peer mentors in this program, and working on their own leadership skills.”
Demeo noted the program seems popular as about 17 students had signed up as of last week and interest was growing.
Students will work on a couple of courses via Navigate, but Demeo noted that if they don’t finish them during the month of July, they can pick them up again in the fall.
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The ACE IT carpentry program will be held at Mark R. Isfeld in September.
“ACE Carpentry will run for the first time in a new format up at Mark Isfeld, which we’re really excited about,” Comox Valley School District assistant superintendent Tom Demeo told the Board of Education, noting students will build houses at the new space at Isfeld.
He noted a site plan is being prepared and students from Highland and G.P. Vanier secondary schools will join Isfeld students to attend the new program in September.
The dual-admission program, in partnership with North Island College, will see students complete their first year of post-secondary carpentry training by the time they finish their Grade 12 year.
Vanier has had a construction program for years, in which students built houses, and some students have taken ACE IT Carpentry through Vanier’s construction program, according to Demeo.
But, September will see the first full ACE IT Carpentry program for the Comox Valley School District.
The district already has number of ACE IT programs in place, including plumbing, welding, electrical, hairdressing, cooking and automotive.