Adopted by Coles Heritage Place

East Ridge Community School

Owen Sound, Ontario 492 / 815 Books Given

Principal Burke Mason East Ridge has a unique story; one that is just beginning. The 2017/2018 school year was the first year of East Ridge Community School due to the closure and subsequent amalgamation of two (2) area elementary schools into a previous high school building. The move has provided an amazing facility and opportunity for our children.

For example, this larger facility provides us with the space to integrate a previous English stream and French immersion school and share cultural stories/learning opportunities. One such example is the Sydenham Fall Fair. This fair is the last school-based agricultural fair in Ontario and we now have the space to house the fair on the school property. As we are surrounded by rural-based communities, the importance of agricultural education is primary.

Our new school has a greenhouse. This is an amazing opportunity to teach students about horticulture, sustainability and community/self-sufficiency. High school students currently return to this facility to supplement their environmental education. With dedicated literary resources, we can inspire our students to learn to be a more self-sufficient generation, potentially propelling more into this subject matter at higher schooling levels.

We are also lucky enough to have a proper auditorium, complete with professional stage. Owen Sound has a vibrant arts community and there is interest in dance, music and theatre. What an amazing opportunity it would be to develop a drama and play-write section to our library! Two years ago Sydenham (one of the now closed schools) students put on a production of The Little Prince with participation from almost all grades. It was a huge success and garnered much enthusiasm from the entire school.

There is a YMCA-based daycare on-site as well, truly making this a community institution. A community college with an active ECE program, Georgian College, resides adjacent to the school. This allows for pairing of the two to provide for hands-on and educational opportunities for both sectors. Providing our elementary students with more literary resources on early childhood education would allow this link to develop for all.

However, as with any opportunity there have also been many challenges. The simple logistics of re-habilitating a secondary school for use as an elementary school were overwhelming. After the start of the school year, administration was faced with such issues as soap dispensers that were too high for younger students to reach, lockers that fit students, instead of just backpacks and a library that had shelving twice the height of the students who would eventually use it. The library was full of boxes of books, as well as boxes of extra materials/equipment from all over the school. With a librarian only available for 1 day per week, opening the library for student use seemed unattainable this school year. Can you conceive an entire school year that children did not get to use the library? Fortunately a small but mighty group of parent volunteers dedicated their time to unpack boxes, shelve books, decorate and do any work they could to help the librarian get the space functional. In November, merely 2 months after starting, the library officially opened and students were able to use this wonderful space. Additional low level shelving, colourful area rugs, inspiring art work and cozy book nooks were brought in and created to make this a space useable for elementary students. All items were purchased by the SCC from fundraising done in the previous year by both schools. Not one dollar of capital money was available to be put into this.

We have come a long way as a new school and as a literacy committee. We have a clear direction for moving forwards; where our gaps are in terms of resource material. A school-wide survey showed that 83% of our students love reading and last year alone, books were signed out of Sydenham and Bayview libraries an estimated 49,248 times. However, we are in desperate need of modern French books at the junior level, indigenous and diversity-based books at all levels and books that interest our intermediate students. Few to none of our intermediate classes are currently using the library as there are few to no appropriate resources there for them.

We also have a clear picture of what we are missing as a parent-based literacy committee. We need to have literacy gains tracked and continual assessments of where we are. We need resources and we need, as a committee, support from those that share our love of literacy and can help. With the proper guidance and inspiration, our students should be able to grow up confident in their education and to go anywhere in the world and secure a job in the field of their choice. According to many years of Census results for this area, this is not the current case. Our teachers work hard to give our students the best – let’s help them with the basics of having adequate literacy resource materials to provide to our students.

Indigo has an opportunity; an opportunity to impact a large volume of students AND the community through this Adopt a School Program.

Favourite books - Harry Potter
- Captain Underpants
- Diary of a Wimpy Kid
- Dork Diaries
- Land of Stories

815 Children
Children: 815
Avg. age of books: 10-20 yrs
$0.00 Budget/Child
Budget/Child: $0.00

Recent Updates

Hudson loves local authors (and we do too)!

East Ridge Community School September 24, 2018

What is Hudson reading these days you ask?  Well we were wondering that too, so we paid him a visit and look what we found.  As we looked down the aisle of the Children's Book Section at Coles Heritage Place we found Hudson surrounded by a collection of Elly MacKay's beautiful stories a...

Oh Hudson....and a pretty cool find!

East Ridge Community School September 21, 2018

We checked in with Coles Heritage Place and found Hudson being a tad mischeivous, or as we would prefer to say "playful".  It looks like he is having a great time over at Coles and fitting in quite well with the amazing sales associates.  We have warned him though that he must behave or...

Hudson makes a "Wish List"

East Ridge Community School September 18, 2018

It's been a few days now since Hudson left the school to move into his temporary new home at Coles Heritage Place.  We thought we should check in on him to ensure he was settling in alright and not missing us too much (we're really missing him).   By the looks of things he is having t...

Hudson takes a trip

East Ridge Community School September 15, 2018

Meet Hudson, he is one of five East Ridge Reading Buddies or Copain de Lectures.  Hudson and his friends spends their days at the East Ridge library where they offer a listening ear to all the students willing to read them a story.  They love all the cuddles and snuggles they get in the...

Quantcast