Monday, June 19, 2023

Students and Staff at Conrad School gain new space to experience culture and engage with environment

Students, staff and SD52 officials checking out the new space
at Conrad Elementary School 

There is a new learning space at Conrad Elementary school on the city's east side, that as School District 52 and the Prince Rupert Port Authority's Community Investment Fund combine resources for new outdoor classroom feature.

Officially named ‘Syndooynm Na Ḵ'oom’ or ‘Garden of Hope’, the school’s new amenities, located on the traditional lands of the Sm’algyax speaking Ts’msyen People, are dedicated to Truth and Reconciliation. The outdoor classroom consists of a fully fenced garden with raised planter boxes, wooden picnic tables, seating, water tables, a composting station and a shed to store gardening tools. 

It is designed to create a safe place where students and educators can connect with the outdoors while exploring the changing seasons through an Indigenous cultural lens. With support from School District 52’s Aboriginal Education Department and the involvement of local elders who visit Conrad Elementary School as part of ongoing programs, the school aims to expand the offerings for students and others living in the surrounding community by using the new space for a wide range of activities and lessons.

The space offers  students and staff an area to engage with the environment and experience culture through hands learning and sharing of Traditional First Nations teachings and practices.

“Educators at Conrad Elementary School strive to create a diverse and inclusive learning environment that meets the needs of all learners. We thank PRPA’s Community Investment Fund for helping develop this outdoor garden and classroom space that supports that vision and greatly enhances the ways students develop a love of learning by providing a place that is hands-on and authentic.” -- Kerri Levelton, current Principal of Prince Rupert Middle School who was Principal at Conrad Elementary School at the time of the project’s development.

For the Port's CEO and President Shaun Stevenson, support for the new educational space is something  that is part of the Port's core values.

“PRPA understands that helping to build a strong community means contributing to the health, vitality, and prosperity of our region and we are proud to see our Community Investment Fund support local projects like this one that align with those core values. We commend everyone who contributed to making this unique learning opportunity a reality.”

The cost for construction of the new space was 84,000 dollars, the PRPA's Community Investment Fund put up 42,000 dollars towards that total.

You can lean more about the project and view some images of the celebration of its opening from the PRPA information page here.

Past notes on past community investment from the Prince Rupert Port Authority can be reviewed here.

Items of interest from SD52 can be explored here.

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