Kent Elementary’s “Kinder Garden” is proposed to have structural components like stepping logs and raised beds as well as organic elements such as a wild garden and willow arch. (Submitted)

Agassiz school could get new ‘Kinder Garden’

Parent council presented idea of learning and play garden to SD78

The Kent Parent Advisory Council (KPAC) presented the concept of a ‘natural play garden’ project for Kent Elementary School to School District 78 Fraser Cascade (SD78) at a board meeting Feb. 6 at Harrison Hot Springs Elementary School.

The “Kinder Garden,” as KPAC called it, is still just a vision. But with funding and a little momentum, the council hopes to have at least a solid start on the project this spring.

Kent Elementary already has an intermediate garden geared to Grade 4 and up. But the “Kinder Garden” would be tailored to the learning needs of younger students. The garden would include a variety of perennials, herbs, pollinator plants and trees as well as structures like stepping stones and wind chimes. A “mud kitchen” could act as a gathering or teaching space.

KPAC member and garden organizer Mark McLaughlin said the council consulted with teaching staff and parents about what they wanted to see kids gain from the garden. Advancing and supplementing traditional curriculums with the outdoor space was high on the priority list.

“Using the language that takes place in the classroom setting and bringing that outdoors,” McLaughlin said.

KPAC’s presentation illustrated a number of other benefits, including lessons in food and plant growth, seasons, planting, land planning and counting.

But aside from the direct educational components of a “Kinder Garden,” KPAC chair Kate Doucet said students can grow their balance and coordination using structures that aid spacial awareness and development.

“It’s going to have a lot of learning in it – stepping stones, counting and patterns. It’ll have a growing area [and] a meeting space so they can sit in a group and discuss [the garden],” she said. “The outdoors in general is good for the kids, but now they get the hand-eye-coordination, balancing on logs [and] learning how everything grows from start to finish.”

Kent Elementary principal Stan Watchorn is excited about the project too.

“I think it’s absolutely marvelous,” he said. “The PAC has done it all the right way; they’ve consulted with our teachers… [on] how do we make this space not only a fun place, but also a place where kids can learn and work on their ability to count, their ability to collaborate with each other, [work] on their fine motor and gross motor skills. It’s just an interactive area for kids to learn in.”

After the introductory presentation, SD78 asked KPAC to take it to the Operations and Facilities Committee before moving forward. KPAC said that it is in the process of putting together a budget and does have some of its own funds to put into the project.

Just Posted

Relationships, continuity top health-care concerns for Agassiz residents

Feedback during Fraser Health events showed access to health care needs to improve

Development on the horizon for Harrison Hot Springs Marina

The property has been the subject of a number development proposals over the years

Chilliwack Players Guild brings first ever radio play to stage

An Affair of Honour is based on a true story, written by the father of a Chilliwack man

‘Big hearts and even bigger feet’: Comedian sends Harrison humour to the silver screen

Jonny Harris will see the town highlighted on his small-town comedy series ‘Still Standing’

More staff being hired at Fraser Valley seniors homes

Number of care hours for residents lags behind provincial targets

Giant rotating ice disk forms in Maine river

Ice disk that is roughly 100 yards wide has formed in the Presumpscot River

Arrest made in 2017 Vancouver homicide

Maninder Singh Braich died after he was found at a home near Prince Albert and East 49th

First Nation supporters march to Horgan’s MLA office

Dozens marched across the Greater Victoria community of Langford to support the Wet’suwet’en people

Liberal candidate steps aside after singling out Jagmeet Singh’s race

Karen Wang says she made comments online that referenced Singh’s cultural background

SUV wedged on top of car in B.C. mall parking lot has customers confused

The accident occurred Tuesday, no injuries were reported

May government faces no-confidence vote after Brexit defeat

British Prime Minister Theresa May said she would stay put in her leadership role

Man, two children sent to hospital after Vancouver carbon monoxide leak

Nine people were evacuated from the home in south Vancouver

5 to start your day

Gabriel Klein fit to stand trial, Gillette ad stirs online uproar and more

Most Read