Brooklyn Elementary and Airport Elementary in the Comox Valley teamed up with Island Health on a Healthy Schools BC Regional Grant to create shared resource kits and sensory paths. The school teams used the funds to purchase books, equipment, games and printable activities. The resource kits were designed to fit three themes: Social Emotional Learning, Outdoor Education, and Place Based Learning. Through research and thoughtful purchasing of materials, the resource kits incorporated Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Being, and First Peoples Principles of Learning. For example, the First Peoples Principles of Learning was a guiding tool during the creation of the sensory path in that local Indigenous language was included on different components of the path.
The school teams were challenged during the pandemic to use the resources in new ways that differed from their original intention. However, they rose to the challenge to ensure that the kits supported student learning across multiple contexts. For example, staff used story books from the resource kits to create read loud videos that were then shared with the entire school population during at home learning. The flexibility and adaptability that was required during the pandemic has demonstrated that the resource kits are useful for supporting student learning in multiple ways. Overall, the goal to provide staff and students with tangible resources to support Outdoor Education, Place Based Learning and Social Emotional Learning was achieved. The resource kits have already been used many times by both schools and continue to offer endless new learning opportunities for students!