On Friday, April 21, in honour of Earth Day, a team of adult and student educators gave the Grade 4 students a day of Lorest: Library in the Forest.
The idea for Lorest was formed in the fall when Mr. Pasquin, SJK’s Outdoor Experiential Education teacher, and Ms. Gallagher, one of the teacher librarians, realized that they had something in common. They both loved nature and they both loved books! Wanting to give students the opportunity to develop an appreciation for both and value the interconnectedness between the two, the seed of an idea turned into a forest of activities inspired by literature that was, in turn, inspired by nature.
Mrs. Malcolm and her DP1 students caught wind of the idea and enthusiastically offered to be part of the team, working with Mr. Pasquin and Ms. Gallagher to staff the event. Using the knowledge learned in their Environmental Systems & Societies course, the DP1 students led out the day reading to and then teaching the Grade 4 students about aspects of biodiversity, ecology, adaptation, stewardship, and species identification through experiential and explorational learning activities. Mr. Gallagher also pitched in to help adorn SJK’s beautiful new Outdoor Classroom with decor designed to provoke thought and honour an iconic environmentalist in children’s literature.
Special activities like these offer an opportunity to unite Lower and Upper School students. We see this at school-wide events such as Eaglemania, the Carol Sing, and Pancake Races. In the instance of the Lorest, rather than school spirit, we witnessed students come together because of curriculum and global issues.
As the sun sets on another Earth Day experience, it would be safe to say that in watching the DP1 students care for the Grade 4s as the Grade 4s cared for the Earth, our future is indeed a hopeful one.
“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” Dr. Seuss, The Lorax