April 22nd, 2024

Students sending positive vibes


By Dale Woodard on April 20, 2021.

Photos courtesy of Shelly David A student works on a project at Gilbert Paterson Middle School.

Students at Gilbert Paterson Middle School are sending out best wishes in a unique way.
In anticipation of Wishing Day May 1, the Grades 6-8 students at the school are rolling up their sleeves, getting their hands a little dirty and sending out positive vibes to seniors in the area via a bird-shaped piece of wood with a message of best wishes.
The activity is designed to mark the anniversary of the One District, One Book initiative, done in 2019, which is a novel study of Wishtree by Katherine Applegate.
“In the story, which is told in the point of view of the tree, Red, there is a wishing day where members of the community write wishes on ribbons and tie them to the tree,” said Gilbert Paterson teacher Shelly David.
Students will each make a wood block craft with an accompanying message or wish with the intent to share the messages with residents of Martha’s House, the Chinook Hospital’s GARU unit, River House, Sunrise Village and St. Michaels.
The wishes will be delivered in time for Wishing Day on May 1.
“The project itself involves making this craft of a two-by-six piece of wood,” said David.
“On that piece of wood there will be a bird and the kids are going to paint and use paper crafting to make this bird image on one side and the other side they will put their wish and message to whoever the recipient may be. There will be no way of knowing who gets their block.
“They will get to put on whatever wish they see fit to put out there as their wish. These will then be sealed, quarantined and sent out to various places to the recipients.”
Last year marked the first anniversary of Wishing Day, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic the students had been sent home for online learning by that time.
“We did a small video project that just basically got the message out to them that we were still thinking of them and our wish for them was that this would be over quickly,” said David.
“This year we were thinking about what we could do as another school-wide project. I spoke with one of our vice principals who said they were thinking of what we could do for Wishing Day.
“So we put our minds together and decided this project would meet both of those things.”
Crafting began Wednesday and will wrap by April 26.
“We have it broken down day-to-day and then we’ll be finishing up and distributing them,” said David.
“From the four classes I work with they seem to be enjoying it quite well. We’re getting a lot of creativity, the juices are flowing and they’re hands on.”
That hands-on work includes sanding, painting, cutting out the bird and ultimately deciding what their message to a senior will be.
“They seem to be enjoying it and they talk about the different (things) they could put on in terms of the message, whatever wish they want to put out there for the recipient,” said David.

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