When the Grade 5 teachers at St. Luke School (Nepean) began brainstorming a science project for their students to cover the science curriculum “Forces Acting on Structures and Mechanisms” they had no idea that the project would turn into an opportunity for students to live out the OCSB’s Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News. But that’s exactly what happened.
One of the teachers came across a video about the Little Free Pantry movement. The Little Free Pantry is a community tool where those who are able leave foodstuffs and other items, and those in need are free to take what’s been left. Not only would this allow the students to build a stable structure, effectively covering the science curriculum, but it would also give them a chance to make a difference in their school community for many years to come. After discussing it with their students, they decided to move forward with the project.
The Little Free Pantry project started with each student using what they’ve learned to design their own pantry. The students then evaluated each design and voted on which one would be used. They then raised funds for the project by writing letters to companies requesting donations. Their letters helped them get a $50 donation from Home Depot and a custom metal roof from Premier Home Improvements. The students even explored the Gospel values associated with their Little Free Pantry project in religion class. Currently, they’re even working on commercials, print ads, and radio announcements to further promote it.
The Little Free Pantry currently sits outside St. Luke School (Nepean) so those in need can readily access its contents anonymously. It’s paired with their logo, which incorporates the Little Free Pantry’s motto, “Take what you need, leave what you can,” and the OCSB’s Spiritual Theme, Sent to be the Good News.
At the Ottawa Catholic School Board, we’ve been implementing Deep Learning practices in our schools, encouraging students to explore, create, and use knowledge in a broader context that’s connected to real-world purposes. The entire OCSB community is very proud of St. Luke Nepean for taking this curriculum-related project and turning it into an opportunity to be the Good News for others in their community.
See our Facebook album for more photos!
Kelly McKibbin is the Board Website Coordinator with the Ottawa Catholic School Board’s Communications Department, and manages all aspects of the Board’s district website. Kelly holds a Bachelor of Arts, Major in Communications, from the University of Ottawa, and is the recipient of a United Way Ottawa Community Builder Award.