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Students learn unique skills at Renfrew school

Written on August 8th, 2007

Students at Renfrew and District Christian School (RDCS) had a chance to learn some unique skills, including cake decorating and orienteering, this past year.

Several parents, grandparents, and community-members volunteered to teach these skills a few hours weekly in May.

“It was a nice way to get parents involved and grandparents involved and the community involved,” says Principal Sabrina Vandersleen.

“And it was a nice break for the kids. They always look forward to something different and they learned something they wouldn’t otherwise learn.”

Earlier in the year Vandersleen put out a request asking if parents or others would be interested in volunteering to teach a subject of their choice a few hours a week. She heard back from several.

Susan Phillips, a parent, has taken several courses in cake decorating and offered to help the Grades 5 and 6 students learn some of the basics of icing cakes.

Kathryn Bossy owns a craft store in Renfrew and spent several weeks teaching the Grades 3 to 6 students the art of making crafts. The students created a decorative mirror lined with beads, among other things.

A father and daughter team, Hubert Huyer and Valerie Riopelle, offered an outdoor education program for Grades 7 and 8. They took the students to their home in the country and taught canoeing skills and safety. They also did some orienteering, which is a running sport involving navigation with maps and compasses.

“A lot of our Grade 7 and 8 students are outdoorsy and athletic, so they really enjoyed doing the outdoor activities, tromping through the bush and going canoeing,” says Vandersleen.

She says the electives program was a success overall, based on feedback from the students.

“They loved it.”

RDCS has been in operation since 1985.