For the past six years, students who are now in Grade 12, have been partnering with some of the youngest students at Canora Junior Elementary School to create wonderful jack-o’-lanterns in time for Halloween.
Betty Tomilin, teacher for the Grade 1T class, said that in each of the past six years, the Grade 1 students have looked forward to this project with eager anticipation as Halloween approached.
The young students enjoy forging these special friendships with the senior students that they see around the community. Tomilin said.
“The Grade 1’s are always excited to carve with the high school students and look forward to seeing someone they recognize, whether he or she be: a swimming instructor, the older student from the back of the bus, an older brother or sister, or their teacher's daughter.”
Tomilin said the high school students enjoy the experience because it is an opportunity to reminisce about their years at CJES.
A comment often heard describes “how small everything seems now,” she said.
“They take the job seriously and do their best to carry out their young students' design plan. It’s a recipe designed to be fun for all ages.”
Tomilin said this little bit of interaction between the two Canora schools is a wonderful incentive to develop conversations with new people, and it provides lots of excellent opportunities to develop the relationship between the two schools.
The group of Grade 12 students taking part in this project over the past six years is essentially made-up of the same group. This year, the 10 high school students involved are from the Grade 12 biology class, Tomilin said.
Looking back over the first six years of this project, Tomilin noted that the project was initially created under the leadership of Shawna Leson and repeated the next year. Two years later, Curtis Baillie brought the class from CCS to the CJES. For the last two years (including this year), it has been Helen Forbes who has championed the program.
Two educational assistants, Shirley Kulcheski and Lori Fogg, assisted with designs, carving, scooping, roasting and cleaning up. The pumpkins were provided to every CJES student courtesy of the Chase Kraynick family.