Sherwood Park, AB. —Grade 3 students at Fort Saskatchewan Christian are undertaking a special fundraising project, one that aims to improve the lives of children in a small village halfway around the world. The students are raising money to build a playground for a school in the village of Prostore, Ukraine, and it’s a project that has global citizenship and faith-building at its heart.
The study of the culture and geography of Ukraine is part of the Grade 3 social studies curriculum across Alberta, but Brenda Mueller, the Grade 3 teacher at Fort Saskatchewan Christian, made a more personal connection to the topic than most gain from a textbook. Her cousin recently visited Ukraine and while there, toured an orphanage-turned-school built by her husband’s great grandfather. The school was quaint and tidy. It was clear, however, that it lacked a proper playground.
“She showed me a photo of the school,” says Mueller. “Their playground was little more than concrete and rebar. I was struck by the contrast between their small, basic playground and the brand new one that our students were enjoying.”
Shortly after, Mueller shared the photos and the story of Prostore with her students as part of their social studies lesson. Together as a class, they decided to begin raising money to build a playground for the children of this Ukrainian village. “I think it’s important to raise money for Prostore,” says Grace, a Grade 3 student. “We want to help others so they can enjoy recess like we do here in Canada.”
Already, students have raised close to $2,500. Given playground costs can run as high as $20,000, Mueller and her students have made a long-term commitment to the fundraiser, looking into creative ways to reducing costs while they collect money. In the meantime, Mueller is staying in steady contact with the principal of the Prostore school, which is enhancing her own social studies lessons through their communication.
“The Prostore school’s been eager to share their stories and first-hand knowledge about their country,” says Mueller. “As a result, students are connecting with the culture and geography of Ukraine in a new way. We’ve made a connection beyond the curriculum, and the students are gaining a real perspective of what it’s like to help people around the world.”
For more information about how to donate contact Fort Saskatchewan Christian at 780-998-7044.
Fort Saskatchewan Christian serves approximately 400 students in kindergarten to Grade 9 offering instruction with a Christian perspective. Located in Fort Saskatchewan, the school is one of 43 schools within Elk Island Public Schools. More information about the school is available by visiting www.fortchristian.ca.
For more information contact:
Laura McNabb, Director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902
Brenda Mueller, Teacher, Fort Saskatchewan Christian, Brenda.Mueller@eips.ca