Submitted by Emily Cameron
April was our Puddles and Planet appraisals month at Bruce Peninsula District School (BPDS). We spent the month focusing on many Climate Action Goals.
On Monday April 24, students from BPDS and Kikendaasogamig participated in a huge community wide Earth Day Climate Action Challenge planned and led by Emily Cameron’s Secondary Business Leadership Class at BPDS.
Intermediate and Senior students were given maps and score cards and grouped into four quadrants in the town of Lion’s Head, focused on four of the Learning for Sustainable Futures goals: Health, Poverty, Infrastructure, and Water. Students ran around their quadrant in Lion’s Head speaking to 15 community experts about a variety of environmental topics related to their assigned LSF goal, as well as participating in hands-on and physical challenges to promote good health. Students used the maps to navigate the locations and earned points as they completed each challenge.
Students in Junior grades went to the beach and made sandcastles, learned about recycling sorting from Bruce Davidson, as well as sustainability and fishing with Bob Bell, and performed a beach clean-up. The Primary grades stayed at the school and participated in a school wide scavenger hunt, spelled out nature words using their own bodies, drank hot chocolate, sang nature songs, and collected puzzle pieces after each station, eventually creating a nature puzzle.
Every Primary and Junior student got to take home their very own tree sapling – provided by Grey Sauble Conservation – and four winning teams from the Intermediate and Senior groups duked it out in a tug of war in front both schools, and 10 lucky students (the two final winning teams) got to take home larger five-year-old spruce and/or red pine trees purchased at Peninsula Out of Doors.
It was a wonderful afternoon full of learning about Green Initiatives and LSF goals, and community building. The Business class would like to personally thank the following people and organizations for their support:
-The Municipality of Northern Bruce Peninsula – for letting us use the Rotary, Arena, Fire Hall, and Pavilion (special thanks to Jack Burt and Bob Hofstrand)
-Grey Sauble Conservation and Peninsula Out of Doors – for facilitating the Tree give-away
-Lion’s Head Home Hardware – for donating supplies
-Members of The Rotary, Bruce Peninsula Environment Group, Pike Bay Community Hall, Keep the Bruce Clean, and The Legion – for helping organize speakers
-All the speakers/presenters: Bob Bell, Caley Doran, Bruce Davidson, Marg Glendon, Tim Lang, Tim Wilson, Barb Rabiki, Tamara Wilson, Rod Layman, Owen Glendon, Jim and Jan KeullmerMackie, Angela Beutel, Bunkey Cuncliffe, Catherine Henderson, and Noreen Steinacher
-Judy Halpern of Learning for Sustainable Futures – for planning and support
The World Cultures class also spent the month learning about Poverty and Sustainability through a textile Recycling initiative. Students, staff and community members were asked to donate gently used clothing, housewares, and electronics. Items were sorted by the students, weighed, and picked up by CP4CP on May 9.
Chloe Cameron and Emma McMann collected and sorted 2450 lbs of used items. They raised money for the Cerebral Palsy foundation and also for the school. The girls then posted an excellent display in the school which examined how textiles and fashion are related to culture and comparing Canada’s use of recycled textiles to other countries. Way to go girls!
On April 6, students in the Outers, Green Industries and Natural Disasters classes travelled to Walkerton to visit the Clean Water Center to learn about clean water processes, turbidity, chlorine testing, and ways to protect our natural resources.
The Green Industries class and Trish Preston’s grade 2/3 class have embarked on an initiative called Plant Buddies in which senior students meet with elementary students to teach them about ecology and horticulture, while also working on team building. Thus far, students have decorated a wooden well to be placed in one of our atriums and made recycled pop-bottle planters, and then planted annuals in them. The classes are excited about future opportunities to get together.
On May 1, BPDS competed in the Regional Envirothon competition at the Bluewater Outdoor Education Center. The five team members participated in investigations and activities in the areas of Forestry, Soils, Aquatics, and Wildlife and made a presentation based on a provided scenario about mitigating the effects of new housing developments on species at risk.
Tara Stanton noted, “Although the team was the only group at the competition, they still performed very well and earned a spot at the provincial competition. We’re very proud of Elise, Gracey, Rowan, Sam and Thalassa for all of their hard work in preparing for this competition.”
Secondary Student Government held a successful decade dance on April 14. Students dressed in festive costumes spanning multiple decades and enjoyed mocktails provided by the OSAID club. They have also been busy planning several events, such as the upcoming Footprints Conference. This conference – which is in its fifteenth year – runs from May 30 to June 1. Every secondary student will travel to the Bruce Peninsula National Park to participate in 3-days-worth of exciting activities related to our Specialist High Skills Major program in the Environment.
It has been our goal for many years to make this program accessible to all secondary students. It requires funding to sustain a program such as this and we have been very fortunate for the immense community support. Thank you to those who continue to donate to this program. If you have any questions and would like to donate to the program, please contact Jen Cameron at BPDS.
Students were also focused on good health throughout April. Many physical activities were taking place, such as Secondary and Elementary Badminton, Elementary Boys and Girls Basketball, the grade nine physical education classes’ trip to the YMCA, Secondary soccer, and Secondary track and field. Busing for these events is very expensive, and we are still looking for community support to help us fund these important extra-curricular activities. If you would like to contribute, please contact the school main office.
Several members of the Junior and Senior Badminton made it to CWOSSA. Josh H and Annabelle compete in Junior Mixed Doubles after placing third at BAA. They had a very competitive game, taking their competitors to a third match. Paityn and Reagan competed in Senior Mixed Doubles after placing third at BAA. Blake and Kenzi also competed in Senior Mixed Doubles after placing fourth at BAA. Coach Abby Myles said, “Both teams showed great improvement in their positioning over the course of the season and shared a lot of laughs!”
The Elementary Girl’s basketball team won first place at the North Bluewater Tournament, taking home the coveted banner. The girls then travelled to Chesley and Walkerton on April 26 and competed in the Regional Tournament, coming up just shy in each of their three games. We are so proud of all their hard work.
The Elementary Badminton team travelled to PSDS on May 5 to compete in the North Bluewater Tournament. Many of our teams placed first and second, and we won the Banner for overall first place team! All 16 of our players get to move onto the regional tournament on May 15.
Another student we are proud of is Aria Thomas. She travelled to Hanover Saturday April 22 to compete in the Regional Legion Public Speaking contest and won first place! Then she was off to the provincial competition in Stoufville and won first again!
Finally, even our school play had an Earthy-Woodsy theme! Into the Woods Jr. wrapped up its three show run on Saturday April 22 in front of a full house. Thanks to the hard work of staff members Tara Stanton, Emily Cameron and Jessica Rice, as well as a long list of community members and student volunteers, the sets, lights, props and costumes were a great addition to the performances by the student actors.
Stanton said, “Special thanks goes out to our generous community donors – The Peninsula Players, Miller Lake Rona, Scott’s Home Hardware, and Hellyer’s Foodland. We appreciate their support of our program!”
BPDS continues to be an amazing place to work and learn.