At Parkside Montessori School in Grande Prairie, more than 200 young students now have the opportunity to put that statement to the test, thanks to a grant from the Community Foundation of Northwestern Alberta.
Provided through the Young at Art Fund by T. Sedore Photography, the funding allowed the school to purchase digital cameras for use in both daily learning and for specialized photography learning opportunities.
The Young at Art Fund was established with the Foundation by Grande Prairie photographer Tanya Sedore to support and encourage community art programs and projects focused on engaging and connecting youth under the age of 18.
The Parkside Montessori application for funding was a great match when it came to the grant. “We were able to purchase enough cameras that an entire class can use the cameras at one time,” says Parkside principal Corrine Shmyruk. “It has allowed us to put cameras in the hands of all of our students, from our youngest three-year olds all the way up to the Grade 6 students.”
For the kids, the cameras have been a welcome addition to their learning.
“It was pretty cool to have a photography lesson with the cameras,” says one Grade 6 student. “You could see different textures, use a really good zoom and it was a good opportunity. I would like to do more.”
A Grade 5 student says, “Taking pictures was fun and the scavenger hunt was fun. It was really fun to take pictures, make things look bigger and change the angle.”
While another Grade 6 student notes, “It was cool that we could be doing something new with technology that could help us in real daily life. I’ve never done photography before but I like it.”
Shmyruk says students have been using the cameras in their daily learning allowing them to creatively capture images to use as a record of their learning, as pieces of creative projects and to save their experiences when on field trips.
“It has opened creative outlets for students who may not have been aware that they were interested in photography,” she says. “These funds have also assisted our school Yearbook Club in being able to capture our school events.”
Some of those school events roll right back into what the Community Foundation is all about in terms of supporting the community, providing a sense of belonging and being inclusive to all.
“It is very important to our school culture to be involved in supporting our local community,” says Shmyruk. “Parkside does this through many different avenues, including being involved in the Community Foundation’s annual Random Acts of Kindness Day.”
The Community Foundation is proud to be able to support all aspects of our community through the community impact grants that we provide. Our partnership with Young at Art Fund by T. Sedore Photography provides these children with an opportunity they may never have had.
You can make a difference in our community – not only for today but forever. Whether you’re contributing to a fund in your name, supporting a legacy that you connect with or simply wanting to make an impact on community – a donation to your Community Foundation helps to build Smart & Caring communities throughout our region. Donations can be made online here –https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/5797 or by calling the Community Foundation at (780) 538-2820. Earnings from your gift are distributed to student awards or through community impact grants to numerous innovative charitable projects, large and small.