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Building Enthusiam:

Hands-on curriculum gives kids training, links them with career opportunities

By Meagan Leonard

The Chronicle Herald

Exerpts taken from the July 5, 2010 Bedford/Sackville Community Herald

 

It was surprisingly easy to get a group of Lower Sackville teens to come back to school during summer vacation.

It’s a feat that would have been close to impossible a year ago, says their teacher Patti Colford.

The eight Grade 10 students at Millwood High School who gathered in the newly constructed outdoor classroom last week are part of the province’s relatively new Options and Opportunities (O2) program. About 1,600 students in 46 high schools across the province are enrolled in the program.

Erin Spencer said that before entering O2, "we weren’t allowed to do anything, we were like, on lockdown all the time."

Now she actually looks forward to coming to school.

"We want to be here. We have something to wake up for every day."

The 30-foot by 34-foot classroom was the result of an $11,000 grant from Apprenticeship Training Nova Scotia. A local carpenter, welder and landscaper introduced their trades as they helped the class build the complex.

"I was trying to come up with something for a grant and we googled outdoor classroom, and got pictures and decided to go with it," said Colford. "When I first showed (the idea) to the kids, they were like, ‘yeah right!’, but I’ll tell you, they did it."

           

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