The teachers, administrators and parents at Guelph Community Christian School are continually looking for new ways to involve their students in the community.
They often rake leaves or shovel snow for elderly neighbours, for example, or they might bake a tray of cookies to share with someone in the neighbourhood.
Last month, members of the student council once again used Valentine’s Day as an opportunity to visit community leaders, offering small tokens of appreciation for their dedication of service.
Dee Butler, one of the school’s parents, offered to supervise the excursion, and principal Bob Moore was pleasantly surprised to receive a full written report by the eager parent.
He says it’s a prime example of the wonderful partnership that exists between educators and parents in the Ontario Alliance of Christian Schools community.
Butler first took the group to the public works department where they delivered cards and a basket of chocolates. Next the group visited the police station followed by city hall, where they were invited to meet Mayor Karen Farbridge.
Both the MP and the MPP were on the visitation route before finishing at the fire hall.
Everywhere the children visited they were warmly greeted with smiles of appreciation, Butler recalled, and Moore says the acts of kindness are an opportunity for the kids to see “they can give back to these people, that they are real people.”
“We make a point of praying for our leaders here at school, and so again, it means for the kids that (community leaders) are real people and it kind of creates some empathy and passion.”
He says the involvement helps children as they mature into young adults to better understand the role they play in the community.
“We like to show the children that we’re not isolated here, it’s not about ‘me’,” says Moore.
“It’s kind of the ‘me to we’ theme and we want to give back to the neighbourhood.”
Though teaching values is a major part of the involvement, Moore says there are other benefits.
As an example, he says the school is looking to bid on an empty public school in the neighbourhood for relocation and he’s heard nothing but support from the community.
“The way you treat others is the way you get treated,” he says.