Three-dozen students from an elementary-to-high school transition program organized projects that helped bring joy and smiles to young children’s faces while learning about the value of giving back to the community.
Students from the Halton District School Board’s LEAP program at Robert Bateman High Schools, and Craig Kielburger and White Oaks secondary schools engaged in two particular assignments, explained Lisa Brock, the Board’s Numeracy Support Teacher, LEAP and LDC Programs.
Robert Bateman and Craig Kielburger held fundraisers late last month in support of a Burlington boy diagnosed with leukemia. Bateman students held a poutine fundraiser, making and selling the popular French fries and cheese dish to staff and students. LEAP students at Craig Kielburger supported the same cause by hosting a pasta lunch for staff.
Both schools planned the fundraisers including menu planning, advertising, researching food costs, preparing and serving meals, and collecting donations, Brock said. Through the two fundraisers, a total of $645 was raised for Camp Trillium, a childhood cancer support organization.
White Oaks LEAP students made bracelets and bead creations and visited McMaster Children’s Hospital on Halloween, in costume, to distribute them to young patients. They also provide toothbrushes, toothpaste, and stickers donated by two local dental clinics.
“When they visited the hospital, LEAP students wore costumes and spent time with the children, handing out gifts and getting to know one another,” Brock said. “One of the goals of the LEAP program is to get students involved in their community by taking part in hands-on learning and helping others at the same time.”
These kinds of projects dovetail effectively with the curriculum, Brock said.
“Community involvement in fundraisers and projects like these provide an opportunity for hands-on, experiential learning that spans the curriculum,” she said. “LEAP students are able to build their numeracy and literacy skills, as well as their sense of social responsibility.”
LEAP CKSS student, Keaton, said: “It made me feel good about myself and how I helped someone. I would like to do this again because it was fun and it made me feel good about how I’m helping people.”
The LEAP program provides experiential and project-based learning to meet the varied learning styles of Grade 8 students. The skills acquired will assist students in selecting a pathway matching their abilities. It also focuses on preparing students for success in Grade 9 by promoting:
• re-engagement in school
• basic skill development in numeracy and literacy
• development of social skills through collaborative learning opportunities
• use of technology to support skills acquisition where appropriate
• positive self-esteem as a learner