LOUISDALE: Over the last six weeks, students in Career Development 10 and Production Technology 10/11 made items for the Richmond Education Centre/Academy Christmas Craft Fair on December 5.
“Many of the students are enrolled in the O2 [Options and Opportunities] program, but these courses are open to non-O2 students as well,” stated teacher Tommy Samson. “They put their newly adopted carpentry skills in place to create centre pieces, crib boards, wine racks, and other Christmas crafts.”
Samson said safety is paramount when it comes to safety and adhering to industry standards.
“There is no negotiating,” stated Samson. “It has to be safe.”
Samson, who said his goal in the program is for students to feel comfortable and confident in their ability to work with machinery, said there is no limit to what these students are capable to achieving once any fear-based avoidance is eliminated.
“It is one of the only courses in the school where there is a waiting list to stay after school,” he stated in an e-mail.
“Most days, up to 20 students meet in this shop to extend their learning.”
Deanna Martell, O2 lead teacher at Richmond Education Centre/Academy, said she wanted to highlight the fact students are “doing some pretty awesome things that maybe the public doesn’t realize are happening in the classroom these days.” She noted students in the same program helped fix the ballfield in Louisdale two years ago.
“They did really amazing work,” she said of the craft fair projects.
“Students aren’t always sitting in rows and reading. We do offer these trades courses at a lot of our schools in the board and they’re really popular. Kids are thriving in that environment.”