Students of William Konkin Elementary (WKE) school will be learning all about kindness this year through a Build Grow Share Kindness Project taught by Vice Principal Cordell Ware.
“The students are being taught these skills during a careers class that I teach. This class runs all year, and I see each class once a week for a 40 minutes block,” said Ware in an email to Lakes District News.
As a part of this project, students will be taught to build wooden crates, after which they will grow fresh produce, and package that produce in the crates to be shared with those who serve the local community and those in need within the community.
Last week, the school received wood material, equipment and a mobile workshop trailer, the Applied Design Skills and Technology (ADST) trailer for the school year through SD 91’s careers’ department head Darren Carpenter after which students of Grade 6 and Grade 7 had their first taste of carpentry and building of the crates. However all students, from all grades will be part of the project and will work in small groups.
“Our timeline is flexible because of the age range in our learners, but generally speaking it will be happening in a cycle. The students will complete the build portion of the project first, then we will shift to growing and gardening, once we have fresh produce share we will do so and then start the build-grow-share cycle again,” said Ware adding that the students will be able to grow fresh produce using indoor tower gardens, and will then share those labours with the local food bank along with other individuals serving the community.
The school is partnering with Candice Little to be able to share the produce through the food bank.
Along with Ware, school librarian, Shawnese Trottier will also be working on this kindness project. “She is collaborating with classes to document the narrative of the project though different forms of media. She is enabling students to capture their personal story about this kindness project and share that with others to create a reflective learning process,” said Ware.
The school hopes that this project will have a great impact on students on multiple levels. According to Ware, the school is hoping that on the surface the students will learn practical skills like using a hammer, tape measure, handsaw, wood glue, etc. while the next step in learning would be to walk away with new knowledge on building something from scratch and growing; something that they can always carry with them in future.
“Within the most central layer, we hope that students learn to show kindness with depth. That they practice intentional and purposeful kindness, kindness that is displayed through real actions that positively impact those around them. We truly hope students learn to care for others by building, growing, and sharing kindness,” said Ware.
William Konkin Elementary ultimately hopes to sell the wooden crates, along with other small student wood projects to raise money and sponsor a child or children together, as a school.