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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.

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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."

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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:

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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

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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.

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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.

This afternoon we celebrated Earth Hour and the beginning of the March Break with (flameless) candles, games, treats, and three special guests.

Our student teacher, Miss M., came by to meet the class. She will be starting a five week placement with us when we return from the holiday.

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Also in attendance was Laura Gallagher, from Speaking of Wildlife, and one of her non-releasable educational ambassadors. Laura was so impressed with our "Shelters for Orphaned Wildlife" project that she offered to bring Pip Squeak the squirrel to meet the class.

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Pip Squeak was one of last year's spring babies. He was found and kept as a pet, and then eventually taken to a wildlife rehabilitation centre. By that time, Pip Squeak was completely used to humans and intolerant of other squirrels. Therefore, he could not be released back into the wild.

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We gave Pip Squeak one of the squirrel boxes that students in our class assembled. It was lovingly decorated by several of the girls in our class.

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After Pip Squeak's appearance, we broke out our Earth Hour crafts...

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... board games, card games, and Twister.

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Finally, it was time to dig into a huge buffet of snacks that students brought for the party!

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Now that's an afternoon snack for a growing boy!  🙂

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Happy Earth Hour and March Break!

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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.

IMG_2685-cropped This project is a follow-up to Rama Central's "Food Drive for Orphaned Wildlife," which received second prize and a $2,000. grant in the 2015 Our Canada Project Award competition. This is an earlier blog post that describes the wildlife food drive and award:

In consultation with local wildlife rehabilitators, we decided to invest our $2,000. award in materials to construct wooden sleeping boxes for orphaned squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks and opossums, being raised for release back into the wild. We had Orillia Home Hardware supply us with the pre-cut plywood, hardware and glue to construct 96 squirrel boxes and 5 opossum boxes. IMG_2485 The Grade 7 and Grade 8 classes took the lead on this project. They helped organized the materials, learned how to construct boxes, and shared their knowledge and skill with students in Grades 3-6. IMG_2504IMG_2508 Tools, hardware, gloves, and a "practice box" under construction: IMG_2510 Grade 7 and 8 students learning how to make boxes, on gym workshop Day 1: IMG_2532 IMG_2546 IMG_2533 IMG_2545 IMG_2548Our class building boxes with the Grade 8's, on gym workshop Day 2: IMG_2634 IMG_2637IMG_2640 IMG_2642 IMG_2643 After they learned how to construct boxes from the Grade 8's, students in our Grade 5 class constructed some boxes on their own, back in the classroom: IMG_2664 IMG_2665
IMG_2667IMG_2669 IMG_2671 Students were invited to autograph the bottoms of boxes they had constructed: IMG_2563 IMG_2561 This photo depicts about 70 finished squirrel boxes, being stored temporarily in one of the change rooms attached to the gym:IMG_2686 Mrs. Black offered to deliver twelve sleeping boxes (the most the would fit in her car) to each of four local wildlife rehabilitation centres, over four weekends. The wildlife sanctuaries have been asked to send someone to the school to pick up the balance of their boxes. logos IMG_2623 Box Shipment #1 went to Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge, near Pefferlaw: IMG_2629 Our boxes will be used to protect orphaned squirrels, flying squirrels, chipmunks and opossums from the elements, until they are old enough to be released back into the wild. This is one of our squirrel boxes, mounted in a "pre-release enclosure" at Shades of Hope Wildlife Sanctuary: IMG_2632 Box Shipment #2 went to Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, near Minden: IMG_0307 This little Flying Squirrel, who is overwintering at Woodlands, gave our boxes her seal of approval! flyer-box IMG_0317 flyer

Box Shipment #3 went to Procyon Wildlife, near Beeton:

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Box Shipment #4 was delivered to Aspen Valley Wildlife Sanctuary, near Rosseau:

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This is a video of the Shelters project that our class made, for Learning for a Sustainable Future:

This is coverage of our Shelters project on CTV Barrie news:

ctv-barrie-screencaphttp://barrie.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=819830&binId=1.1272429&playlistPageNum=1

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We want to thank Learning for a Sustainable Future and the RBC Foundation, for making this project possible. We also want to give a HUGE shout-out to Wayne and Tom (pictured), and Bill, at Orillia Home Hardware. They did an absolutely stellar job pulling all the materials together for us. That included pre-cutting, packing and delivering the wood for 96 squirrel boxes and 5 opossum boxes! IMG_2661

The Orillia Home Hardware team also offered to host a display that Mrs. Black made in the store foyer, over the March Break:
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Last but not least, we couldn't have assembled 96 squirrel boxes so quickly and painlessly without the assistance of our amazing Grade 7 and 8 teachers, Mr. Westcott and Mrs. Ross, and their students!  Thank you all!!! IMG_2658 (T-shirts courtesy of Shades of Hope Wildlife Refuge)

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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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This morning, a number of special guests, and representatives from CTV Barrie, The Orillia Packet and Times and Orillia Today, descended on Rama Central P.S. to help us celebrate our second place finish in the LSF/RBC Our Canada Project competition.

Our award assembly was hosted by two Grade 8 students and our principal, Mrs. Lefuel.

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After our hosts provided some background information about the Food Drive for Orphaned Wildlife and greeted our guests, a pair of Grade 8 students presented a slide show depicting students engaged in wildlife food drive-related activities. 

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Next, Mr. Stan Kozak of Learning for a Sustainable Future (LSF) presented an award certificate to two students from Mrs. Black's Grade 5 class.

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Then Ms. Sandra Chevrier, representing the RBC Foundation, presented a $2,000. cheque to two Grade 5 students.

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School Superintendent, Mr. Paul Sloan, brought greetings and congratulations on behalf of himself, Trustee Ms. Jodi Lloyd and the Simcoe County District School Board.

IMG_0138Our final guest speaker was Ms. Monika Melichar, from Woodlands Wildlife Sanctuary, in Minden. She thanked our school for the help we have provided to local wildlife rehabilitation centres, through our wildlife food drive.

IMG_0144At the close of our assembly, four Grade 5 students presented Mr. Kozak and Ms. Chevrier with thank you banners, signed by staff and students throughout the school.

IMG_0148We want to thank LSF for selecting our project for this award, The RBC Foundation for providing funding, and all of our special guests for attending today's assembly.

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These are links to media coverage of today's award presentation:

packet-screengrabhttp://www.orilliapacket.com/2016/01/14/students-answer-the-call-of-the-wild

ctv-screengrab http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=788559

Orillia-Todayhttp://www.simcoe.com/news-story/6243804-ramara-students-honoured-for-helping-animal-sanctuaries/

More information about the wildlife food drive, this award, and the project that today's prize money will fund, is located here:

lsf_rbc_ourcanadaproject_awardlogo_2015_EN-231x300 (1)

Wildlife Food Drive Receives Second National Award!

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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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