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Lord Selkirk students think globally, act locally

June 2, 2021
Lord Selkirk - Roots and Shoots (Supplied)

Lord Selkirk School students are community change makers.  

The Nursery to Grade 6 school recently wrapped up its Roots and Shoots programming for the year, which included a variety of student-led, community-based projects.

Lord Selkirk, located in Winnipeg’s Elmwood area, is one of eight Canadian schools to be designated as a Roots and Shoots school by the Jane Goodall Institute.  

“It starts off with mapping your community and getting out there,” said Kaila Ladouceur, who teaches Grades 4 and 5 at Lord Selkirk.

“What are you noticing? How do you want to make your community better? It’s based on Jane Goodall’s belief that when you better your immediate community, you slowly benefit the world.” 

Ladouceur’s class completed two Roots and Shoots projects in the 2020-21 school year. The first was the Love Grows postcards project, where students created artwork to bring cheer to care home residents and frontline workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The second and most recent project focused on our feline friends.

“On our community walks, we discovered a cate café,” Ladouceur said. “In the window you can see these cats waiting to be adopted. The store isn’t open right now but the owner visits often to give them treats. The students wanted to help.” 

“We made cat art and paintings for an auction, donated cat food, and made adoption packages for the people who will adopt the cats,” said Anna, a Grade 4 student.

Ladouceur said the packages contain some wet food, treats and toys for the adopted kitties. 

Another Grade 5 class focused on a completely different animal, a wiggly way of composting. 

“Vermicomposting is when worms eat scrap food like banana peels and apple cores. We researched what they needed,” said Abby, a Grade 5 student.

“I learned from a student that worms don’t like egg shells, because egg shells slice their bellies,” Ladouceur said. 

The following are some other Roots and Shoots projects Lord Selkirk students worked on this year:

  • Nursery and Kindergarten students planted a garden to learn about the lifecycle of plants;
  • Grade 1 students partnered with Take Pride Winnipeg to clean up litter in Elmwood;
  • Grade 2 students raised awareness about Dutch elm disease with a project called Stop the Spread;
  • Grades 2 and 3 students purchased trees to plant in Lord Selkirk’s school yard;
  • Grade 3 students researched pollinators and the connection between insects, pollination and food security with a project called Bee Food Secure;
  • Grades 3 and 4 students collected tabs from pop cans to raise funds for the purchasing of wheelchairs;
  • Grades 4 and 5 students, moved by a young boy’s memorial in Ernie O’ Dowda Park, created signs to educate the community about river safety;
  • Grades 5 and 6 students researched Indigenous art and made Northern Spirit Flutes.  

Ladouceur said she’s proud of Lord Selkirk students and their work in the Elmwood community.

“They see themselves as change makers, who are able to be a part of changing their community,” Ladouceur said. “I think their projects are great. There are so many skills, not just academic, that these students are using. They have such big hearts.”

“You never know which project that you work on as a kid might inspire you as an adult and maybe even influence your potential career one day.”

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