| Mar 16, 2006


Feature Article - February 23, 2006

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Feature Article - March 16, 2006

Local high school gets a piece of the rural funding pie

by JeffGreen

North Addington Education Centre and Sharbot Lake High School will both be receiving funding to set up unique new programs.

At North Addington , the “Learning From Our Roots” Program will be an enhancement to the construction program at the school, a program which already exposes students to alternative building techniques such as Post and Beam Construction. New funding will be used to improve the school’s greenhouse, and pay for chainsaws and a portable sawmill, enabling students to learn about developing seedlings, harvesting logs, preparing lumber, and building as well.

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“The program was developed by Peter Rasenberg of our Tech department,” said Angela Salmond, acting Vice Principal at NAEC, “and it really is a natural for our school because of how important the forestry and logging industries are in our region. The grant will be felt by all of the students in our school, even at the elementary level, since part of the grant has been earmarked to make an outdoor classroom.”

The construction technology course at NAEC, which will be expanded thanks to this funding, is credited with keeping students in school who might otherwise be inclined to leave before graduating, a major goal of the rural funding initiative. NAEC will receive $81,000 as part of this initiative.

Sharbot Lake High School will receive $139,000 to develop a brand new program, called “Anything Fabric”. New equipment will be installed this summer as part of a renovation of the Family Studies room at the school. The equipment will be capable of attaching virtually any kind of fabric to any other kind of fabric. Materials such as canvas, animal hide, leather, rubber, etc. can be manipulated through this stitching machinery, which will be set up with computer interface as well.

A new course stream, Manufacturing Technology, will be available in grades 10 and 11 next year, and in grade 12 the year after.

According to the course outline, the program will give “students the opportunity to research, design, develop, and test products they will give them personal access to the spectrum of entrepreneurial opportunities in local, national, and international markets. Students can choose to make various products, such as tool belts, blankets, quilts, costumes, home dor items, etc.”

“The credit for putting this proposal together really goes to teachers Dave Gervais and Geoffrey Murray,” said Sharbot Lake High School Principal Tom Taylor. “We received a notice that rural funding was available for the right project, and ‘I put the word out to the teachers to come up with ideas. They worked this out and brought it forward, and I knew it was great. It will give us a program and equipment in our little school that is not available any where else.”

Putting together the funding proposal became a collaborative effort for many of the rural schools in the Limestone Board. Sharbot Lake High School Vice Principal Steve Ward spent a couple of days in February with Sydenham High School Vice Principal Debbie Chambers, writing up grant proposals for Sharbot Lake , North Addington, and Ernestown High Schools . Two out of the three schools received grants.

“We have to thank Debbie Chambers for her grant writing efforts,” said Steve Ward.

The granting program is a $10 million province-wide initiative aimed at improving the outcomes for rural students in Ontario .

The Sharbot Lake High School principal hopes that the new program will “build on existing partnerships and create new links between the school, students, and the community through class projects, product development, and co-operative education placements.”

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