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This year, students in our class decided use our class fund raising event, "Market Day," to try to raise enough money ($150.00) to sponsor a tree on the Highway of Heroes."

This website explains the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project:
https://hohtribute.ca/

This is how Market Day worked:

Students in our class were invited to donate gently used toys, games, books and videos that they no longer needed and were willing to sell to friends. After everything had been collected, students divided the items into four categories, or "stores," created storefront signs, and priced the items they would be selling. All items were priced between 25 cents and a dollar.

Then students were invited to bring up to $5.00 in change, to spend at Market Day. When Market Day arrived, students set up their stores and took turns selling, or browsing and purchasing goods. Then, they counted their profits and we tallied up how much we raised.

Here are some images of Market Day:

After our sale, it was time to tally up the money raised:

All of the money was donated to the Canadian charity tasked with planting trees along the Highway of Heroes, and our leftover sale items were donated to School Counsel's "Christmas Shopping Day" initiative.

Here is the letter we sent with our donation:

Thank you and congratulations to all the students and parents who supported our fund-raiser with donations of goods and money. We are proud that we could raise enough money to sponsor a tree on the Highway of Heroes!

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UPDATE:  February 9, 2018.
We just received a note and certificate from the Highway of Heroes Legacy Project, thanking our class for sponsoring a tree in memory of a Canadian veteran.

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is located near Montreal, Quebec. The Fauna Foundation is currently home to a dozen middle-aged to elderly chimpanzees. About half of the chimps were rescued from a medical research lab. in New York State. Several others spent decades on display in Canadian zoos. Two, who are fluent in American Sign Language, were part of a cross-species language study at a university in Washington State.

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Each year, the sanctuary invites the public to help brighten the lives of the chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Our Grade 4/5 class jumped at the opportunity to help out!  Students worked in pairs to decorate a beautiful stocking for each of the chimps and monkeys living at the sanctuary:

We also made stockings and a card for the sanctuary's founders and the chimps' main caregivers:

Mrs. Black researched the types of "enrichment items" the sanctuary's chimpanzees enjoy and then purchased some Christmas colouring books and DVD's, crayons, small stuffed animals, Santa hats, beads and musical instruments to send to the sanctuary, as stocking stuffers.

We packed everything in a photocopy paper box and mailed it to the sanctuary:

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UPDATE:  Monday, January 8, 2018

Today, the class received an amazing thank you package from The Fauna Foundation!

When Mrs. Black was in high school, she read about the groundbreaking American Sign Language (ASL) study in which Tatu was involved, at Central Washington University. Tatu and her friend Loulis are the two remaining chimps from that study (the other three have passed away).  Tatu learned sign language from humans and has an ASL vocabulary of about 350 signs. For Mrs. Black, the most amazing thing about our thank you gift was that Tatu used sign language to tell her caregivers she had drawn a bird for us!  That picture of Tatu's is most definitely "a keeper!"

This is a photo of Tatu, taken by The Fauna Foundation's official photographer:

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

For the sixth year in a row, my class is engaging in a number of outreach projects that meet Ontario curriculum expectations, while benefiting others in the school, community and beyond. This page will be updated throughout the year, as we complete new projects.

Here is a list of our outreach projects, to date:

  1.  Fifth annual food drive for orphaned wildlife
  2.  Explanatory writing in support of Habitat for Humanity
  3.  Art project to benefit rescued lab. and zoo chimps
  4.  Clothing drive for the less fortunate
  5.  "Market Day" for the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project

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Project Details:

1. FIFTH ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE FOR ORPHANED WILDLIFE

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During the past five autumns, our school has helped local wildlife rehabilitation centres stock up on natural foods, to sustain their overwintering orphaned patients throughout the winter months.

Our class organized and promoted this year's wildlife food drive, by inviting students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 to contribute acorns, pine cones, maple keys, black walnuts, apples and sumac. This year, we collected three carloads of food, which were delivered to: Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, in Rosseau, Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, in Pefferlaw, and Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden. This project met curriculum  expectations in math, science, literacy and character education.

 

2.  EXPLANATORY WRITING IN SUPPORT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Habitat-for-Canada-300x211-HunanityDuring the month of October, students in our class authored short explanatory writing pieces as a school project, and then entered them in a national writing contest.

The topic for this writing project was "What Home Means to Me."  For every entry received, builder Genworth Canada donated $10.00 to Habitat for Humanity. Our class raised $250. with their writing!

This is the contest website:  http://meaningofhome.ca/

 

3.  ART PROJECT TO BENEFIT RESCUED LAB. AND ZOO CHIMPANZEES

Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is The Fauna Foundation, located near Montreal, Quebec. The sanctuary invited the public to help enrich the lives of their rescued chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Students in our class worked decorated a stocking for each of the chimps and monkeys living at the sanctuary.

This blog post shows the wonderful work the students did for residents at The Fauna Foundation:

 

4.  CLOTHING DRIVE FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE

clothingdriveiconFor the third year in a row, our class offered to promote and organize our school's winter clothing drive for the less fortunate. We used media literacy skills to advertise the clothing drive and create a drop-off station in the school foyer. When the clothing drive was over, our class sorted and bagged all of the donations, for delivery to a charity in Orillia.

 

5.  "MARKET DAY" FOR THE HIGHWAY OF HEROES

Highway of Heroes Living TributeOur class' charity fund raiser for this school year, was a "Market Day" in support of the Highway of Heroes Living Tribute Project. Students in our class donated gently-used toys and games, created "stores" from which to sell their goods, and took turns purchasing and selling items from the stores. All monies raised were used to sponsor a tree on the Highway of Heroes. This project met curriculum expectations in media literacy, math and character education.

This is a blog post depicting "Market Day":

 

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

This year, students decided to support the Orillia SPCA with our annual class fund raising event, entitled "Market Day."

This is how Market Day worked:

Students in our class were invited to donate gently used toys, games, books and videos that they no longer needed and were willing to sell to friends. After everything had been collected, students divided the items into three categories, or "stores," created storefront signs, and priced the items they would be selling. All items were priced between 25 cents and a dollar.

Students were then invited to bring up to $5.00 in change, to spend at Market Day. When Market Day arrived, students set up their stores and took turns selling, or browsing and purchasing goods. Then, they counted their profits and we tallied up how much we raised.

In all, students raised $78.90, through their Market Day event.

At the outset, Mrs. Black had promised to match student donations, up to $110. ($5.00 per student), with a donation of her own.

With Mrs. Black's donation added, our total raised for the Orillia SPCA was $157.80!!

Items that were leftover after our sale were donated to Valu Village.

Thank you and congratulations to all the students and parents who supported our fund-raiser with donations of goods and money. We know the Orillia SPCA will put our funds to excellent use!

Mrs. Black also wants to thank her teaching colleague Lisa MacRae, for sharing the idea of Market Day.

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free to e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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For the second year in a row, the Grade 5 class at Rama Central P.S. organized a winter clothing drive for the less fortunate.  Our drive ran from mid-November until December 20th. Afterwards, we sorted and bagged all of the clothes, for delivery to a local shelter.

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img_6342img_6345img_6346img_6348After everything was sorted and bagged, the class loaded all 34 bags into Mrs. Black's and Ms. Lyons' cars.

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Then, Mrs. Black and Ms. Lyons drove the bags of clothes to "Green Again," the store operated by Greenhaven Women's Shelter, in Orillia. This is Green Again volunteer (and retired Rama Central french teacher!) Erin Price, with some of our donations.

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Thank you to the Rama Central P.S. community for their generosity, and congratulations to our Grade 5 class on a job well done!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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Canada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is located near Montreal, Quebec. The Fauna Foundation is currently home to fourteen middle-aged to elderly chimpanzees. About half of the chimps were rescued from a medical research lab. in New York State. Several others spent decades on display in Canadian zoos. Two, who are fluent in American Sign Language, were part of a cross-species language study at a university in Washington State.

fauna-chimps-collage

http://www.faunafoundation.org/chimps/chimps-resident/

This year, the sanctuary invited the public to help brighten the lives of the chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house."

rock-sock-logo

http://www.faunafoundation.org/2016/11/rock-the-sock-contest/

Our Grade 5 class jumped at the opportunity to help!  Almost every student in our class willingly gave up a recess period to begin work on the stockings.  When we started the project, there were twelve chimpanzees in residence at the sanctuary. Students worked individually or in pairs to decorate a beautiful stocking for each one of them.

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Mrs. Black researched the types of "enrichment items" the sanctuary's chimpanzees enjoy and then purchased some Christmas colouring books and DVD's, crayons, small stuffed animals, Santa hats, hair brushes, sunglasses, beads and paper streamers to send to the sanctuary, as stocking stuffers.

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After our first package had been shipped, the sanctuary announced that it had taken in the last two zoo chimpanzees in Canada, two very elderly females named Blackie and Dolly, who had lived at a Quebec Zoo for over 40 years.  Two students in our class created stockings for Blackie and Dolly, and we sent a second package to the sanctuary.

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The chimpanzee's caregivers were delighted with our contribution!

On December 16th, the sanctuary posted this picture on their Facebook page, depicting Loulis', Jethro's and Chance's stockings stuffed with goodies:

loulis-sock

On December 18th, the sanctuary posted a short video of Dolly helping herself to items from Jethro's stocking:

http://www.facebook.com/faunafoundation/videos/1179755042073159/

This is a screenshot from that video:

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On December 23rd, the Fauna Foundation announced the winner of their "Rock the Sock" contest. EXCITEMENT!  Our entire class won the contest!!!
(click on the image below to enlarge it)

We sent the sanctuary back a big "Thank You" for chosing our stockings!

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UPDATE:  Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Today, the class received a wonderful thank you package from The Fauna Foundation!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

For the fifth year in a row, my class is engaging in a number of outreach projects that meet Ontario curriculum expectations, while benefiting others in the school, community and beyond. This page will be updated throughout the year, as we complete new projects.

Here is a list of our outreach projects, to date:

  1.  Fourth annual food drive for orphaned wildlife
  2.  Expanatory writing in support of Habitat for Humanity
  3.  Art project to benefit rescued lab. and zoo chimpanzees
  4.  Clothing drive for the less fortunate
  5.  Pack-a-shoebox for First Nations youth
  6.  "Market Day" for the SPCA
  7.   Drive for the Sharing Place Food Bank
  8.   Crazy Hair & Pajama Day in support of March of Dimes Canada

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Project Details:

1. FOURTH ANNUAL FOOD DRIVE FOR ORPHANED WILDLIFE

fooddriveicon

During the past four autumns, our school has helped local wildlife rehabilitation centres stock up on natural foods, to sustain their overwintering orphaned patients throughout the winter months.

Our class organized and promoted this year's wildlife food drive, by inviting students from Kindergarten through Grade 8 to contribute acorns, pine cones, maple keys, black walnuts, apples and sumac. This year, we collected three carloads of food, which were delivered to: Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, in Rosseau, Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, in Pefferlaw, and Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden. This project met curriculum  expectations in math, science, literacy and character education.

Here is a link to a blog post about this project:

 

2.  EXPLANATORY WRITING IN SUPPORT OF HABITAT FOR HUMANITY

Habitat-for-Canada-300x211-HunanityDuring the month of October, students in our class authored short explanatory writing pieces as a school project, and then entered them in a national writing contest.

The topic for this writing project was "What Home Means to Me."  For every entry received, builder Genworth Canada donated $10.00 to Habitat for Humanity. Our class raised $190. with their writing!

This is the contest website:  http://meaningofhome.ca/

 

3.  ART PROJECT TO BENEFIT RESCUED LAB. AND ZOO CHIMPANZEES

stocking-iconCanada's only chimpanzee sanctuary is The Fauna Foundation, located near Montreal, Quebec. This year, the sanctuary invited the public to help enrich the lives of their fourteen rescued chimpanzees by decorating Christmas stockings to adorn "the chimp house." Students in our class worked individually or with a partner to decorate a stocking for each of the chimps. We mailed the stockings to the sanctuary, along with some stocking stuffers (enrichment items) appropriate for their chimpanzee recipients.

This blog post shows the amazing work the students did for the chimpanzees:

 

4.  CLOTHING DRIVE FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE

clothingdriveiconFor the second year in a row, our class agreed to promote and organize our school's winter clothing drive for the less fortunate. We used media literacy skills to advertise the clothing drive and create a drop-off station in the school foyer. When the clothing drive was over, our class sorted and bagged all of the donations, for shipment to the Greenhaven Women's Shelter and Lighthouse Men's Shelter.

More about this project is here:

 

5.  PACK-A-SHOEBOX FOR FIRST NATIONS YOUTH

pack-a-shoebox-element69In the new year, the Grade 5 and 6 classes at our school participated in an outreach project to benefit First Nations children and youth in remote northern communities of Canada.  The project entailed packing school supplies, toiletries, small clothing items such as socks and mittens, and small toys and games into shoeboxes. The shoeboxes were shipped to communities by a Canadian registered charity and will be distributed when children reach particular milestones at school and at the beginning of next school year.

This is the project website:  I Love First Peoples Pack-a-Shoebox

 

6.  "MARKET DAY" FOR THE SPCA

Our class' charity fund raiser for this school year, was a "Market Day" in support of the SPCA. Students in our class donated gently-used toys and games, created "stores" from which to sell their goods, and took turns purchasing and selling items from the stores. All monies raised were donated to the SPCA shelter in Orillia. This project met curriculum expectations in media literacy, math and character education.

This is a blog post depicting "Market Day":

 

7.  SHARING PLACE FOOD DRIVE

For the third year in a row, our class promoted and organized the school's drive in support of the local food bank. The Sharing Place Food Bank is the Orillia area's largest and busiest food bank. Over the past year they have provided needed, nutritious food to approximately 15,000 people of all ages, from infants and toddlers to disabled seniors.  Through our drive, we collected several boxes of non-perishable foods, for the food bank.

 

8.  CRAZY HAIR & PAJAMA DAY

Each year, our class organizes one school-wide fund raiser, in support of a charity. This year, students in our class chose March of Dimes Canada, where the aunt of one of our students works, as the beneficiary of this event.  March of Dimes Canada enhances the independence and community participation of people with physical disabilities through a wide range of programs and services across the country. Students and staff were invited to donate a toonie, in order to participate in our event.  Crazy Hair & Pajama Day raised $207.02 in donations!

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

This fall, our Grade 5 class took the lead in advertising and organizing our school's "food drive for orphaned wildlife." We used media literacy skills to encourage students from Kindergarten through Grade 8, as well as school staff, to collect and contribute items such as acorns, pine cones, maple keys, apples, sumac and black walnuts.

Orphaned baby animals that are overwintering at wildlife rehabilitation centres need to be provided with food from the natural environment, so they will know what to look for after they are released back into the wild. Our school's food contributions will go a long way toward sustaining and educating the babies at Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary (Rosseau), Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge (Pefferlaw) and Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary (Minden) throughout the winter months.

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Each Friday, the class weighed, measured and estimated the number of food items we were shipping out to a particular sanctuary.

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Then students packed the food and helped Mrs. Black load it into her car.

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Here are three of four carloads of food we shipped to local wildlife sanctuaries this fall:

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img_5595Staff and volunteers at the wildlife rehabilitation centres, such as these people at Aspen Valley Wildlife Centre, in Rosseau, were most grateful for our assistance!

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...as were the many orphaned animals who will benefit from the fruits of our labour all winter long!

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(Orphaned fawns enjoying our food at Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden.)

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After all of our deliveries were complete, we collected an additional box of food for the non-releasable squirrels that reside at Speaking of Wildlife (formerly the outreach arm of Muskoka Wildlife Centre).  Our friend Krystal, who now owns that company, brought one of her "ambassador squirrels" to class, when she picked up the food.  Squirt is a youngster who had been someone's illegal pet, briefly, and is too habituated to humans to live in the wild. The class loved meeting Squirt and learning about these clever and industrious little animals.

squirt1 squirt2 squirt3

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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You never know where an idea might lead...

This year, Brogan, in our Grade 5 class, decided to write an informative speech about white tigers. In the course of his research, he learned some disturbing facts about the decline of tiger populations in general, over the past century, due to habitat destruction and poaching. He responded by writing a speech about the desperate plight of the tiger, and how people in Canada and elsewhere can help.

Our class was moved by Brogan's appeal, and nominated his speech to represent our class in the school's Junior speech competition, along with Ben's speech about racism and Lily's speech about ten ways to make the world a better place. A panel of judges selected Brogan's and Lily's speeches to represent our school at the area competition, in Brechin. Brogan and Lily proved to be excellent choices. Lily's speech received honourable mention, and Brogan's speech won second place in the Grade 4-6 category!

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Our class was so inspired by Brogan's achievement that I adopted a tiger, through World Wildlife Fund Canada, in Brogan's honour. Then, Brogan's classmates voted, unanimously, to make our final fund raiser of the year in support of tiger conservation.

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We wrote to World Wildlife Fund Canada, and told them the story of Brogan's speech and how it had inspired further action. They sent him a hand-written thank you post card and some beautiful tiger posters to display around the school. Then, Brogan wrote a piece for the school newsletter, explaining our fund raiser to parents, and the class created announcements and posters, and distributed flyers reminding students of the date.

IMG_4253 IMG_4260 IMG_4259 IMG_4257 IMG_4256Emily, in our class, also desktop published some posters at home and posted them around the school!

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Today is the big day!  Staff and students brought toonies and their favourite hats to school.  Brogan and Aiden went from class to class, collecting donations, and then they counted all the contributions.

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We were pretty excited with the results!

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Here, Ben and Brogan are writing an announcement, to share the results of "Toonies for Tigers" with the school:

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Thank you, Brogan, for inspiring everyone at Rama Central P.S. with your passion for helping the tigers!  Kids can make a difference!!!

These students in our class participated.  Do you like our hats?

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For more information: http://www.wwf.ca/conservation/species/tigers/

NOTE:  For those outside Canada, "toonie" is a common nickname for Canada's two dollar coin!  🙂

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Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.caor to add a comment to this page.

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Today, Grade 5-8 students from Rama Central P.S. helped local residents protect their homes from spring flooding, by walking to the public works yard to fill sand bags. Our Grade 5 class worked alongside the Grade 8 class and filled over 150 sand bags in 100 minutes. In total, students from our school filled over 500 bags throughout the day.

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CTV Barrie dropped by to interview people at the public works yard, while covering the story of local flooding.

Students in our class:

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Mrs. Torrey, who organized our first sand-bagging day, four years ago:

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Ramara Mayor Basil Clarke:

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Our class, after completing their 100-minute sand-bagging shift:

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These pictures depict high water about a kilometre south of the school. The blue "lakes" are actually flooded farmer's fields:

Hwy169-near school1 Hwy169-nearschool2 Hwy169-nearschool3 Hwy169-nearschool4Spring flooding was the lead story in tonight's Barrie newscast:

carol-newshttp://barrie.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=839589&binId=1.1274844&playlistPageNum=1

Our school's efforts to help were also featured in the Orillia newspaper:

rama-sandbagging-2016http://www.orilliapacket.com/2016/04/05/rama-central-students-prepare-sandbags-for-residents-in-anticipation-of-flooding

Thank you for visiting our class BLOG.  If you have any questions or comments, feel free e-mail me (Margaret Black):  mblack@scdsb.on.ca or to add a comment to this page.

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