Jara MacFarlane, senior teacher at L’Ecole Des Petits, said the funds raised will go toward the purchase of a new smartboard, iPads, other technological improvements and more to keep the cost for parents down.
“There are so many different technologies nowadays that you can use with children to enhance their learning capability (both) visually and interactively,” she said, noting that the school is currently looking for a smartboard.
“We’re already looking at one that would be 80 (inches) by 100 (inches). It would fit just our classroom,” MacFarlane said.
Upgrades to computers and speakers are also on the school’s agenda.
“A lot of it is done through earphones, but sometimes when we’re teaching, we need the whole classroom to be able to hear what’s happening,” MacFarlane said.
MacFarlane said the emphasis is on the quality of the equipment, rather than the quantity.
“I would be happy with one smartboard, one very good computer for the children (etcetera),” she said. “The children still like being involved in their free play, creative play, dramatic play, so we’re not going to be doing technology all the time.”
Various businesses set up booths for the tradeshow, while children’s activities ran concurrently in another section of the facility.
“We want every child to be able to attend preschool and make sure those costs are minimal, so these things help us to meet those costs. A tradeshow helps us to do that,” MacFarlane said.
While L’Ecole Des Petits is a French immersion school, MacFarlane said its aim is to dedicate equal attention to both French and English.
“We’re giving them both. We want them to be bilingual,” she said. “We want them to be creative thinkers, but we also want them to appreciate the benefit of learning a second language ... We don’t want to take away from one or the other.”
As a co-operative, children from all over and outside of the city attend the preschool.
“Because it’s a co-operative, it’s non-profit, so what we’re trying to do is still not recognized by the government,” MacFarlane said. “So, we want it to be cost-efficient for every parent.”