Partnerships at Work in Parkland School Division

Every Thursday, Spruce Grove Family and Community Support Services (FCSS), Jessie Smith, gets down on the floor of Greystone Middle School to engage in activities with students through the After the Bell program.  This FCSS-supported program is one of many community partnerships that exist at Greystone Middle School and reflects a growing trend between Parkland’s schools and community partners to support children and youth before, during, and after school with their social-emotional, physical, and academic needs.  On this particular day, over 15 students were in attendance working in small groups to design a parachute that would stay afloat longer than its competitors.

In addition to FCSS, both Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Edmonton and Parkland Area Young Life have been actively involved in creating positive culture at Greystone.  This year BBBS coordinator Angele Medeiros worked with Brookwood Elementary School Grade 4 students to create an in-school mentoring program with Grade 9 students at Greystone.  Both schools have identified that this mentoring program will help ease the transition between elementary school to middle school for students while strengthening the leadership skills of the older students.  Assistant Principal Tracy Lachman commented that, “this program has been such a great success for both schools.”  

Baking cookies in the Foods Lab at Greystone through the BBBS of Edmonton In-School Mentoring Program….

Parkland Area Young Life volunteers have been active at both Greystone and Parkland Village School this year.  Thanks to the work of area directors Chris Vanden Brink and Tracey Flynn, young volunteers began distributing hot chocolate to students weekly at Greystone on cold winter mornings.  This relationship with the school developed into support for both the breakfast program and lunchtime intramurals.  The volunteers have been helpful in shaping positive school culture during these unstructured times for students.   This isn’t the only school that Young Life has supported. The group has been facilitating a homework club for Parkland Village School with the support of the Evolve project.  Currently, Young Life is recruiting more volunteers to help meet the volunteer needs of other schools within Parkland School Division. If you are a young adult and would like to learn more about how to volunteer with Young LIfe, please contact Tracy Flynn at 780 910 3014.

Thank you to these and many, many other area partners who contribute in meaningful ways to our students and school communities.