Combine the task of meeting a new provincially-mandated curriculum with a highly motivated and creative educational team and the result is spectacular.
The pressure is to create an innovative and relevant curriculum for today’s student. The goal at Vernon Christian School is to create a curriculum for students that will challenge and inspire them; that will connect students and provide opportunities where they can serve, learn first-hand, and lead.
“Students are most transformed and impacted by a learning experience that connects them to the real world; to a legitimate need, partnership or audience outside their classroom walls,” said VCS principal Matt Driediger. “The more we can tailor our curriculum design to include such opportunities, the more I believe our educational model can truly transform the hearts and minds of our students, as well as the community around them.”
Regularly, VCS students from Grades 4 to 12 head out to serve the greater Vernon community in a variety of settings: care homes, the Gleaners, the SPCA, Random Acts of Kindness, transition homes and on the streets. Recently the French 8 students went to a local preschool to lead French activities they had created for the two to five-year-olds. The experiences gained from the time spent at the centre, speaking with and leading younger students, was golden.
The possibilities are endless to bring real-world teaching into the lives of these students. Being situated on the outskirts of town adds significant transportation expenses. Additionally, the challenge of rounding up enough volunteer drivers puts pressure on an already bursting schedule for staff.
Last November Vernon Christian School launched the Get them on the Bus Campaign to raise $75,000 to purchase a new 24-passenger bus. To date, generous donations from VCS supporters has helped raise $53,550 of the $75,000 needed to purchase the 24-passenger bus that will give classrooms “wheels” and help to relieve budget pressures and time constraints.
“We are absolutely thrilled about the progress we’ve made on the campaign. With just over 70 per cent of our goal reached, the anticipation is mounting. Our supporters have dug deep and brought us to this stage of the campaign in nine months,” said Steve Onsorge, director of advancement.
The staff and students are now turning to North Okanagan residents to help get them into the driver’s seat.
“The new effort to is to get this project to completion,” said Onsorge. “To help measure donations received, we’ve created a challenge that’s a bit of a twist on the classic fundraising thermometer.”
VCS is looking for donors who want to join the cast of 160 “VIPs” to give $150 each to give the academic program, community service projects and athletic teams the freedom they need to get out into the great big world around them.
“In the end, it’s not about the equation, the number who give, or the amount. It’s about meeting the $75,000 goal,” said Onsorge.
To give online please visit “Donate” at www.vcs.ca or drop your donation off at the school or in the mail to 6920 Pleasant Valley Rd., Vernon, B.C, V1B 3R5 —please remember to mark it as a donation for the bus.
All donations to this campaign are tax-receiptable. Please contact the development office at 250-545-7345, extension, 14 for further details.