Grade 3/4, St. George
"The SEP program has been a game changer in my classroom.
While I have always taught through inquiry, the process of researching a cause and building a business to support it has provided endless learning opportunities touching on all areas of the curriculum. The students have tied their business, the Bumble Squad: Kids Protecting Pollinators, into a school-wide deep learning project. Funds raised go to the creation of our own pollinator meadow at St. George, with a percentage of profits going to Wildlife Preservation Canada (WPC).
We have tied in math (through examining our sales), language (persuasive writing, oral communication/presentations and pitches for seed money), media literacy (posters, advertising using WE video, twitter messages, creating a minecraft pollinator meadow), science (researching pollinators and their habitats). We have also built connections with the community at large through our business partnerships (Blue Shoes Honey, Focal Ottawa, Images Inter Alia and the WPC, the Craig Cardiff band).
While the innumerable curriculum connections are significant, the most remarkable aspect of the program has been the sense of community created in the classroom. Having the students all working together towards a common goal has given them a strong sense of belonging. We vote on all decisions and we listen respectfully to all opinions and ideas.
They are each proud representatives of their business within the school community —so much so that they have asked if the Bumble Squad can continue through the summer!"
Jacqueline Lawlor , Grade 3/4 Teacher @ St George School, Ottawa
Grade 6, St. George
"The SEP initiative has been a very positive experience for us, as well as, our students. In fact, we feel it is exactly what we needed after facing two years of restrictions and various limitations in the classroom. It has helped to rejuvenate our energy and love of teaching. Our students are thriving, having had countless opportunities to have their voices heard, to collaborate with one another, and showcase their creative talents. We have learned alongside them and are really proud at how far we have come as a team.
We also love that we have a business mentor to guide us along. It is great to know we are not alone in this venture and our students have definitely benefited from his expertise and have enjoyed having another leader/adult to run ideas by. The whole experience has brought us together and enabled us to connect and form different community partnerships which, we would say, is an invaluable experience. "
Isabelle Clermont & Leanne Kavanagh-Endicott Grade 6 Teachers @ St George School, Ottawa