Lambrick Park Grade 11 student Tyler Maxwell

Trades training in Greater Victoria School District helps build community

Leadership, community contributions in spotlight thanks to school district

A trades program at Lambrick Park secondary opened its door to more than just high school students last week.

Teens in the TASK program (Trades Awareness Skills Knowledge) showed a crew of kids from Gordon Head middle school around their small construction site for a couple of days, culminating in building a shed to benefit the preschool program at the rec centre next door.

The Gordon Head pre-teens were on hand as part of a two-day Spotlight on Trades program, set up by Anna Lisa Bond, the Greater Victoria School District’s middle school co-ordinator for career initiatives.

“It excites me to hear young people feeling excited about the possibilities in their futures and seeing options before them that they didn’t know they had,” Bond said.

Focused on trades and technical training opportunities, and leadership and community building, spotlights are designed to strengthen the connection and relationship between high schools and their feeder middle schools. Grade 8 students attend a one- or two-day experience in a particular trade (in Lambrick’s case, carpentry), and the high school students practise leadership skills by mentoring middle school students.

“It’s a good learning experience,” said Tyler Maxwell, a Grade 11 student in the TASK program.

The spotlight provided an opportunity to pass down the skills and knowledge he’s learned in high school.

“A lot of them, just from this experience, want to be in construction,” he said. “Or, like me, eliminate it (as a career choice).”

For Grade 7 students Jackson Orlick, 13 and Matt Clark, 12, working with Maxwell is simply a great way to spend a school day.

“I like building things so it’s fun,” Orlick said. “I’d like to do construction. I haven’t ruled out anything yet.”

Lambrick’s TASK teacher, Todd Buchanan, said the younger kids were keen during the two days of working with hand tools.

“It’s definitely important to get them excited about it early on and show them it’s a viable option, or at least a skill worth knowing,” he said.

Charlene Parker, manager of the Gordon Head Rec Centre, says she’s thankful her rec centre – and the Victoria Nature Preschool program, more specifically – benefitted from the spotlight program.

“We don’t have a lot of budget (to build a shed ourselves). It’s a $1,000 investment for us that they’re donating.”

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