By Jesse Laufer
Gabe Levesque’s enrichment class from Central Middle School hopes to improve literacy while distracting from screen time.
Along with Grade 7 students Moon Paynter-Aepay and Annika Clark, the french immersion teacher installed a little library outside of Castleview Child Centre in Rockland, Friday afternoon. It’s the first little library of 10 that was built as part of his mystery enrichment class.
Enrichment is a fun elective for middle school kids. Subjects range from music, to ‘here fishy fishy’ fish tank cleaning. Twenty students signed up for the mystery option, and ended up building little libraries that will be placed around the city.
The first library was stocked nearly full.
“I expected a little less,” said Paynter-Aepay. “It’s a lot of books that’s for sure. It’s nice that we fit all of them in.”
The library is in a convenient location, as Levesque’s students also take part in a big-buddy little-buddy program with the pre-school.
“It dawned on me that they’re so close together, something can be done here,” Levesque explained. “I designed a plan that every second Thursday the four year olds (come) to my school for a physical education block.”
Because the pre-school kids don’t have access to a gym for proper excersize in bad weather. The program has since expanded to more than just physical education—reading is another favourite activity.
“It’s really cool getting to know a little kid because obviously I don’t know how I was when I was four,” said Clark. “It’s cool because they can learn stuff from you.”
The libraries were built over eight one-hour sessions on Wednesday afternoons. The kids had to learn how to find and calculate measurements using hand tools—an exercise that can also be called “math”.
Another lesson, at least for some, was physics. Some of the smaller students like Paynter-Aepay had to actually get up on the tables to get leverage with the drills.
The library outside of Castleview Child Centre was built by Paynter-Aepay with the help of her friend Valentina. Clark was there to help her and Levesque with the installation.