Cheers were heard throughout the halls of Preeceville School on the morning of October 18 as Jeff Bisschop, CEO of Crossroads Credit Union, announced Preeceville School’s 21st Century Learning Centre project as the recipient of $15,000 from Crossroads Community Investment Fund, said a statement from Leslea Hanson, Preeceville School teacher.
Students and staff were following live streams on various media sources as the news was announced. The Community Investment Fund is being divided among many groups and organization, but Preeceville School was the only one to receive the full funding of $15,000 after attracting the most votes in voting open to Crossroads Credit Union members from September 24 to October 8.
Leslea Hanson, senior ELA teacher was responsible for writing the grant application and has served as a main push for literacy in the school for the last three years.
“As a school, we have been working to facilitate the literacy culture in our school, which has been primarily driven by classroom teachers as they improve their individual reading areas and classroom libraries. Applying for a library makeover was our next step in this process in order to provide the students with a central reading hub which is open and inviting, a place where they can share their reading lives and collaborate with each other," said Hanson.
She said Preeceville School staff and students are grateful for the support they received from the community through the two week voting process.
“We could not have achieved this without the generosity of the Crossroads Credit Union in giving back to the communities in which it serves. The community members of Preeceville and surrounding areas, and all the Crossroads members who voted, were vital to making this happen. Without them creating, and continuing the buzz for two weeks; taking the time to vote every day; reminding friends and family to vote; volunteering to create lists of names of Crossroads members who did not have online access; setting up computers in businesses on the weekends (thank you to Home Hardware and Shop Easy); and allowing us to permeate their social media, we would not have accomplished our goal. We live in an amazing community," she said.
Preeceville School will immediately begin planning the new library design which includes fire-retardant furniture, reading corners, flexible seating and display centres. Traditionally, libraries have been viewed as places where one works independently and silently. As a 21st century learning centre, the challenge will be to merge the traditional view with the digital world.
We want to show students and our Panther community that literacy in all its forms is valued, both as an independent and shared activity. We want to provide space for older students to research and collaborate, and space for younger students to discover the ‘magic’ that can happen through reading, stated Hanson.