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Energetic Learning Campus students full of ideas to improve city

Deklan Franklin messes around on his scooter beside the hockey rink in the Pomeroy Sport Centre. He jumps and flips the scooter around from side to side before landing on it, gliding away on the smooth concourse floor.
students
Nick Young, Deklan Franklin and Jackson Tegart want to see an indoor skate park built in Fort St. John so skaters, scooters, and bike riders have an all-weather place to ride. - Zoë Ducklow Photo

Deklan Franklin messes around on his scooter beside the hockey rink in the Pomeroy Sport Centre. He jumps and flips the scooter around from side to side before landing on it, gliding away on the smooth concourse floor.

Franklin is a Grade 10 student at the Energetic Learning Campus who  wants to see an indoor skate park built in Fort St. John. 

“There’s two small outdoor parks,” he said, “but you can’t use them most of the year because of the snow or rain.” Franklin envisions an indoor park that would charge somewhere around $5 for drop in, and maybe have a punch card-style membership.

He was one of dozens of students to take part in a trade show at the Energetic Learning Campus June 7 to share their ideas about how they want to make Fort St. John better. The ideas are diverse, ranging from humanitarian fundraisers to arts engagement to cleaning up cigarette butts.

This isn’t just a theoretical assignment; the main part of the project is to figure out how to make their ideas happen.

And so far it seems to be working. Some ideas are ambitious and some are simple enough they’ve already been implemented.

mural
Allison Ostle, Jesse Plamondon, Kodie Roste and Grace Giesbrecht will be painting the wall of Evangel Chapel this summer as soon as school’s out. They’re looking for volunteers to help paint. Contact Evangel Chapel if you’re interested in signing up. - Zoë Ducklow Photo

 

The large blank wall on Evangel Chapel caught the eye of another group. They reached out to the building owner and pastor, Tony Warriner, to ask if they could paint a mural on it.

“We were looking for a wall for a mural, and Tony was looking for someone to do a mural on his wall. It was perfect that we got connected,” Allison Ostle said. She and her teammates plan to start painting right when they’re finished school near the end of June. 

Their display at the trade show had iterations of the mural design, from its first stages to the near-final version. They’ve worked closely with Warriner on the concept. 

“I really hope he comes today,” Ostle said. “We invited him to come. He hasn’t seen this latest version yet. I can’t wait for him to see it.”

Paint and scaffolding have already been donated, the team just needs volunteers now, to help execute their design.

All of these projects started with a local field trip earlier this year. Six buses took the students on tours of Fort St. John, with six different guides who talked about issues going on in the city.

“One covered money management, one talked about how to get your ideas heard in council,” said teacher Phil Hiscock. 

“Then the students came back and generated hundreds of ideas about how to change the city. The project started with the idea, but the rest of it was really them making it go,” he said.

butts
Energetic Learning Campus students Jayden Piket, Reid Jacobs, and Rachelle Mackey have noticed a lot of cigarette butts on the ground. They’ve come up with a new disposal unit that polls smokers on fun questions—such as “Messi v. Ronaldo”—by having them drop butts into a container with a centre partition. A plexiglass front lets everyone see the results of the poll, and questions can be changed periodically. - Zoë Ducklow Photo

reporter@ahnfsj.ca

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