Main photo: Riverside grade 7/8 students with the gifts they’ve made for local community groups (back from left) Avalon Martin-McTavish, Rebeyka Henn, Tanner Watts, Myah Perkins, Ben McPherson, Noah Galt, Jaccob West, Samuel Bickle, Malachi Kerr, Hollace Marks; (from from left) Maiya Nadrofsky, Kelseigh Petterson, Adin Cornish, and Maisy Moore (supplied)
Grade 7/8 students at Riverside Public School are in the midst of an exciting community project for their shop class. Led by teachers Katie Pellerin and Greg Pitts, they have decided to use their shop time to design and build items for local organizations.
Each gift is handmade by the students and teaches them not only the power of giving back but also valuable carpentry skills such as project planning, blueprint designs, measuring, and working with tools like sanders and drills.
“Our Gift of Gratitude project is a self-directed project, meaning students are taking the lead. They each had to research an organization, create a project proposal, source materials, and then construct their design,” said Pellerin. “Seeing the love that our students are putting towards these projects, and then the pride they feel when it’s complete has been a beautiful experience.”
Organizations that will be recipients of the gifts include Hospice Huntsville, Huntsville Hospital, Muskoka Women’s Advocacy Group, Chrysalis House, the Men’s Shelter, The Table Soup Kitchen Foundation, and the OSPCA.
“The holiday season is a stressful and hard time for lots of people and it’s important that if we can make it even a little better, we should,” said grade 8 student Hollace Marks. “These organizations do so much for so many people this is just a little way of saying thank you.”
Typically the students would be raising money for their end-of-year trip but this year with COVID-19 they wanted to change the end-goal for these projects in order to brighten people’s holiday season.
“It’s amazing to see the craft and care put towards these community projects,” said Pellerin. “In a time where there is a lot going on in the world, it’s so nice to see our intermediates giving back and spreading positive around our community.”
Shop class has been part of the grade 7 and 8 curriculum for eight years at Riverside.
“This shop project is important because it shows people that no matter who they are or what they look like, they are loved by kids in the community. We want to make them feel good in this stressful time,” said grade 8 student Wyatt Swan.
Grade 8 student Myah Perkins is making a chalkboard for her project and it will be going to the OSPCA. “This project is important to me because where I’m giving it to will be able to use it,” said Perkins. “We decided to give back to the community because they do a lot of stuff for us.”
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