Craig Bakay | May 22, 2019
Last week was a busy one at Prince Charles Public School in Verona beginning with a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) night, a concert by the Blue Skies Community Fiddle Orchestra, a play from the 1,000 Islands Playhouse Young Company and then on Thursday afternoon, the school’s Grandparents & Games gathering.
“There’s a common misconception that there are two kinds of people — math people and non-math people,” said Principal Peter Mouncey. “That’s not true.
“Everybody can do it (and) math is fun.”
To that end, Prince Charles invited grandparents (and other family members) to have a chance to play new and familiar games that promote arithmetic and problem solving skills for Primary/Junior age students (JK-Grade 4).
“In conjunction with the Faculty of Education at Queen’s University, the staff at Prince Charles are participating in a two-year project to help families find fun and effective ways that engage children with mathematics,” Mouncey said. “We will provide all the games, some light snacks and a math card game for each student to take home.”
And by all accounts, it was mission accomplished.
As Grade 6-7 class members Jorja Steele, Maddy Parks, Sydney Leonard and Isaac Badour wandered around the games tables offering cookies and snacks they’d baked as part of their classes, grandparents like Ina Emmons enjoyed the company of their grandchildren and their friends.
“He’s (grandson Tyson Revelle) always at my place but he made a point of wanting to do this this year,” she said. “He said ‘you come, you come.’”
Grandfather Peter Fitzsimmons was part of a larger group playing the card game Uno.
“Nobody knows the rules,” he joked. “They’re (the kids) picking on us.”
SK-Grade 1 teacher Lee Casement said games are a good way to teach concepts like probability, spatial sense and counting.
“This was so successful last year, we just had to do it again,” he said. “I remember being a student here in the ’80s and we’d have a grandparents tea.
“It’s nice bringing this concept back.”