Grade 3-5 students who have leadership potential and excel in their studies will be invited by their teachers to take part in a variety of community activities with experts to develop a passion for an area of study. This could include students spending the day with faith leaders, newspaper reporters, engineers, architects, dignitaries, farmers, criminologists, scientists, bakers, etc. Also, students will get to choose a non-profit organization to work with, such as Medicine River Wildlife Centre, Ronald McDonald House, the Lending Cupboard, etc. This project has been given for $3,120 to use over two school years.
This program’s goal is to allow students with high potential and those achieving excellence to develop passions and leadership skills. It has become a highly desired program within our school. Through it, students have the opportunity to work with experts in different areas, go on field trips of interest, and lead the school in Social Justice projects. In these social justice projects, the students are involved in all aspects, from initial brainstorming to final decisions as to how the money will be spent. This program helps the students develop the skill of humanness since each student’s experience will be unique – the sessions they take part in are selected just for them, and no two students will be in all the same sessions. The funds have been used to pay for buses to take the students to places off-site (Kerry Wood Nature Centre, Red Deer College), pay admissions and program fees, and to pay for substitute teachers when the lead teacher must be away from her class.
Having completed one year with this project, we have seen immense growth in students in terms of their confidence and understanding of who they are. Students with high ability often feel “different” than others and unable to connect with their peers. This opportunity to be with other like-minded students is invaluable. Students know they are not alone in their ways of thinking.