École Vickers gets involved with community garden

Jodi Schellenberg
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Although the Prince Albert Community Garden is already a place of wonder and beauty, the École Vickers students helped add a splash of colour to the landscape.

With the help of teacher Elise Hoey, students in Grade 4 to 8 worked on painting a new garden shed that was bought with a grant from the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Using paints donated by General Paint, the students quickly got to work on Tuesday afternoon, creating beautiful murals of the four seasons -- one season on each side.

Hoey said she was excited when Debbie Schutte of the Prince Albert Food Coalition gave her a call, asking if the students would be willing to participate in the garden shed project.

“I think when you have kids participating and getting involved with community programs that they start to take pride in it and they value it a lot more,” Hoey said. “It is not just these kids, but if their friends see that kids have joined together to do this they are seeing it as something to value and take care of instead of something to fight against.”

Hoey and Schutte gave the kids artistic licence, letting them decide what to put on the shed and only lending a hand when asked.

“They are going to have all kinds of opportunity to be artistic and share what they are doing,” Schutte said. “We are also going to have them paint a couple of signs for us for different plots in the garden. It is just really exciting.”

It also gives another part of the community a way to be involved in the garden, she said.

Not only did the painting get students involved, it also gave them a chance to socialize in a different setting and work on something that might not always be accessible for them.

The students were thrilled to become part of the project, jumping right in and throwing ideas back and forth.

The one side decided to paint a barren tree surrounded by snow in the winter, while another side showed blooming flowers in honour of spring.

“I think it will be really cool for the community to see it and see that kids have been painting it and not done professionally,” student Brooklyn Paché said. “I think it is way more interesting than having just a specific colour throughout it. It tells a story.”

Not all of the students are in Hoey’s art class -- some just chose to join in the project because they thought it would be fun.

“These are not all kids I teach so it is awesome to build that relationship and see them giving their own time to help out and get involved in the arts,” she said.

Although Paché chose to take band instead of art this year she still loves painting and was excited to have the chance to work on the shed.

“It is awesome that we can do this and that we can come back and look at it and say we painted it when we are older because it will be really cool,” Paché said. “I feel like when you do art you can tell your story through it and no one judges you by your art.”

Organizations: Stroke Foundation, Prince Albert Food Coalition

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