WHITBY — Academics may come first at Pringle Creek, but school spirit comes a close second.
They’re talking to people, making contact with communities. It’s a relationship-building initiative— Sue Lunn, principal
Aside from your typical extra-curricular activities, principal Sue Lunn said the focus at the school is to develop the whole child using four key factors: literacy, numeracy, safe school and student success.
One cool character-building initiative among the Grade 3 classes is “Who is Nobody,” a stuffed doll who doesn’t have an identity at first, but it’s up to the students to make him a “somebody” through good deeds. After each initiative, the kids put a souvenir on the doll to give him an identity.
RECEIVED A WAR PIN
To date, “Nobody” has helped with Unicef donations and received a war pin after one student wrote letters to a Canadian veteran.
“It helps with academics, the kids are writing about (what they did) in a scrapbook afterwards,” Lunn explained. “They’re talking to people, making contact with communities. It’s a relationship-building initiative. There’s the literacy that ties into it, the numeracy when they’re counting the money and it ties into our character education.”
Keegan McGonigal, 8, is one of the Grade 3 students who is working on making “Nobody” a real person. He’s collecting cell phones because they contain the coltan mineral, which miners are looking for in the Congo. As a result, gorillas are being poached to feed the miners. It’s McGonigal’s hope to stop the killings.
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“We can use that mineral over again in a different cell phone and it’d save the habitat and gorillas,” he said. “We’re doing this to help ourselves.”
The school, which has 525 students from JK to Grade 8, is among the top schools in Durham region, according to the Fraser Institute study.
This article was published in the Toronto SUN on March 1st 2009