Students are getting their hands dirty, constructing confidence and community links through service learning and real life opportunities.
Service Learning Week began June 2, when students across Nova Scotia showcased projects focused around community engagement and tangible outcomes.
Grade 10 students at Halifax West High School built 10 ornately detailed dollhouses to donate to IWK children’s hospital as part of their project.
“There were some ups and downs and some parts were frustrating,” said Sara Macdonald. “The shingles were a struggle.”
Halifax West Grade 10 students showcase the production cart they built as part of service learning, for Learning Centre students to transport their mobile shop. Michael Joyce, Ben Kuehn, Paul Chitate, Kaleb Mathews (L-R)
“Success is also learning about something they don’t want to do, before they spend money,” says Millwood High School O2 coordinator Shane Shaw
“We just graduated six from our flooring program on Friday and two went to work the very next Monday … and four were told they’ll get work within the next week,” says Bev Young director of Carpenter Millwright Trades College in Lower Sackville.
… But one of the key ‘game changers’ is getting the message to parents about what the program is about says Shane Shaw, O2 coordinator at Millwood High School in Sackville. “It’s not only about trades.”
A small humanitarian society along the eastern shore of Nova Scotia has spread it’s wings, since sparking to life, quite by happenstance, 10 years ago when a young woman from Lawrencetown was travelling overseas during a “gap year.”
Sunyata Choyce, founder of Project COLORS, had no way of knowing her decision to detour to a South African orphanage, home to 55 aids orphans, would catapult her into the full-time life as a NGO worker.
“If I let every little thing that backfired stop me from helping with Project COLORS , then so many kids wouldn’t have water, wouldn’t have gone to school, the teachers wouldn’t have had the Early Child Care education training, all those schools all over the world wouldn’t have these first aid kits … you have to look at the bigger picture. If you try a few things, something is bound to work out,” says Choyce.