Over 7500 Local Students Participating in School year Challenge!
Over 7500 local students will enjoy regular outdoor learning this year, thanks to their teachers’ participation in the Kootenay-Boundary Take Me Outside for Learning School Year Challenge.
This challenge is offered by the Kootenay-Boundary Chapter of the British Columbia School Superintendents Association (BCSSA) which involves schools in school districts 5, 6, 8, 10, 20 and 51. This is the second year that this school year challenge has been offered, with nearly twice as many classes participating this year compared to last.
Through this challenge, teachers register to take their learning outside at least one day/week. The overall goal of this challenge is to better support students’ understanding of their local environment and empowering thoughtful action, through learning that is outdoor, experiential, place-based and place-conscious. Those who participate are provided with teaching resources throughout the year and are entered to win an overnight class trip to Columbia Outdoor School’s Blue Lake Camp.
Boundary School District 51 topped the charts, with an impressive 89% participation rate. Doug Lacey, Director of Learning for that school district, reflected that “We are proud of our teachers for enthusiastically embracing this initiative. We know that when students learn outdoors, they have the opportunity to work together to ask questions that can lead them to deeper thinking.”
In addition to this initiative, the committee has also developed several resources and coordinated professional learning opportunities for their staff. In recognition for their work, they were awarded the National Award of Excellence by the Canadian Network for Environmental Education and Communication (EECOM) at their awards ceremony on October 20.
Cheryl Lenardon, Assistant Superintendent for Rocky Mountain School District 6, accepted the award on behalf of the committee. She shares that “Learning outdoors and in communities allows students to gain a stronger understanding of, and appreciation for, their local place. They are empowered to become more active citizens and to engage in making our communities healthier and more sustainable. In addition to these benefits, research shows that learning outdoors also supports academic performance, and improves emotional, mental and physical health for both students and teachers.”
The committee wishes to thank financial support from Columbia Basin Trust and the Vancouver Foundation, as well as support from key partners such as the Columbia Basin Environmental Education Network (CBEEN), the provincial Environmental Educators Provincial Specialist Association (EEPSA) and the BC Classrooms to Communities Network Society (C2C).
Read more about the KBEE’s role and support for environmental education: https://kbee.ca
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact:
- Southeast Kootenay School District 5, Jennifer Roberts: Roberts@sd5.bc.ca
- Rocky Mountain School District 6, Cheryl Lenardon: Lenardon@sd6.bc.ca
- Kootenay Lake School District 8, Naomi Ross: email@example.com
- Arrow Lakes School District 10, Terry Taylor: Taylor@sd10.bc.ca
- Kootenay-Columbia School District 20, Kristi Crowe: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Boundary School District 51, Doug Lacey: email@example.com
Students demonstrating how they take their learning outside
Jennifer Roberts (School District 5) and Cheryl Lenardon (School District 6) receive a Canadian Award of Excellence on behalf of the Kootenay-Boundary Environmental Education Committee (KBEE), representing school districts 5, 6, 8, 10, 20 and 51.