Queen Charlotte school has lots to celebrate

  • Jun. 30, 2009 1:00 p.m.

By Alex Rawlings–The Living and Learning School in Queen Charlotte has much to be proud of as it celebrated its 15th anniversary yesterday. Founded by a group of home-schoolers in 1994, the experiential Kindergarten to grade 7 school has been providing a creative and empowering environment designed to engage children for a life of learning, according to the school’s website. “Our teachers all have the highest certification from the Ministry of Education,” said Marcie Watkins, primary teacher who has been with the school since 1995, “our curriculum is set by the province and we follow it, but we build on it, trying to seize learning opportunities when they present themselves.”Some of the highlights from the past fifteen years include dinner and theatrical fundraisers hosted by the parents, teachers and students, as well as many field trips to places like Lepas Bay and Moresby camp. “The coffee houses were really popular with the kids,” said parent Lois Burkell. “They really enjoyed the elder reading and mentorship projects, and making pasta with Jeff (King) was also a big hit,” said Ms Burkell. The students at L&L have also enjoyed many other experiences such as paragliding, archery, and becoming environmental stewards. “The kids have been stream keepers for years, we raise and release salmon fry every year at the Honna, and often participate in stream clean up,” said Jen Jury, grade 4-7 teacher, “they have done bug identification, Ancient Murrelet research in our ‘School in the Bush’ program, and this year the kids are even raising ducklings at the school.” The school has set a mandate to provide small, multi-age classes in an open-minded, non-competitive, and cooperative atmosphere of respect for both the community and the environment. “We have tried to provide choice, an alternative to the public school system, and in doing that we have deliberately tried to keep the fees low, and use community resources as much as possible,” said Ms Watkins who also told us community outreach is a major part of the school’s mandate. “We help out a lot,” said Ms Jury, “there are various levels of involvement with the community, but we approach it as an experience. As a newcomer, it was really neat to see how community groups call on us for help with things like seniors’ lunches, and Mother’s Day dinner set up. In return, the community has really been supportive of the school.”The Living and Learning school is open to everyone, and anyone who is interested can call or stop by the school at 202 Bay St, Queen Charlotte.

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