Micro Village Citizenship Ceremony on 184 Days Blog

Day 54: MicroVillage Citizenship Ceremony (Parkland Village School)

Published in PSD 184 Project Blog, November 30, 2016

Students participate in our society through elected government, government services, private enterprise, or non-governmental organizations. All students apply for positions, interview, undergo performance assessments, collect wages, manage their own bank account, pay taxes and spend money – just as in the real world.  So far in 2016, students have completed elections and job fairs. This video recaps the Citizenship Ceremony on November 23, 2016 officiated by the Mayor of Parkland County, Rod Shaigec.

 

Congratulations PVS Micro Village!

Over the last school year, the PVS community went quietly about the business of working through our inaugural year as a MicroSociety school. It seems that our hard work has been recognized by the MicroIMG_5874SocIMG_5872iety  organization. Today, arriving inauspiciously by mail, was a nondescript envelope. Who would expect that the envelope would contain 2 certificates? The first awarded us the Rookie of the Year  and the second named us as a Three Star MicroSociety School; the second highest level of possible achievement (four stars is the maximum awarded)! This tells us we are off to an amazing start on our journey to becoming the best MicroSociety possible. We are looking forward to digger deeper this year and increasing the level of student and community engagement. Stay tuned as we continue to share our journey during the 2016-2017 school year.

Thank You, Thank You, and Thank You!

Micro Village Government says Thank You to all supporters

Micro Village Government says, “Thank You,” to all  our community partners.

Well, the end of the school year is fast approaching and so too, it is the end of PVS Micro Village’s activities for the year. We want to take the time to recognize and thank all the individuals and groups that went out of their way to support our Micro Village. Without the support of community members, such as those recognized here, our citizens would not have achieved the level of authentic and engaged learning they did, this year. Of course, we are not stopping here. This year was only the beginning of what will become a way of life in Parkland Village School. We anticipate infusing the principles of MicroSociety Ⓡ, and the authentic learning experiences into all areas of the curriculum in the year or years to come. As the students begin to truly live their Micro Village and take more ownership of the daily functioning of the MicroSociety, they will become increasingly empowered to engage in learning that is driven by student interest/choice, requires critical thinking, and promotes entrepreneurship, problem-solving, independence, personal responsibility, and social skills. 

With that said, we offer our appreciation and thanks to the following community partners:

  • Judge Burch for officiating our Citizenship Ceremony
  • Cpl. Kimberley Mueller for acting as an escort to Judge Burch during our Citizenship Ceremony
  • FortisAlberta for their very generous grant
  • Aspen Foundation for Labour Education for their generous grant
  • Shelley Opryshko of LifeTouch Photography, for her knowledgeable and financial assistance with our venture/agency signage
  • Value Village, Mayfield Common, for hosting Helping Hands
  • The Parkland Food Bank for hosting Helping Hands
  • ATB Financial, Spruce Grove for hosting the employees of our Micro Village Bank
  • Mrs. Holly Armishaw, for her unfailing, ongoing expert support of The Italian Bistro
  • The Italian Centre, Edmonton for generous donation of cookies to the Italian Bistro for our Micro Village Community Fair
  • Infinite Woofs Animal Rescue for their support of Furever Pawrtners
  • Bone & Biscuit Pet Store, Century Crossing, for their generous donations to Furever Pawrtners
  • Petsmart, Spruce Grove, for their support of  Furever Pawrtners
  • Rob Svarin, TriLeisure Centre, for providing expert knowledge to both ProSports Life and Furever Pawrtners
  • Parkland Village School and community members for their kind donations of items for Helping Hands to sell in their Thrift Store
  • Home Depot, Spruce Grove, for their wonderful support of a Helping Hands initiative by donating a beautiful Buddy Bench and paint to decorate the bench
  • Constable Shelley Nasheim for providing guidance to the Parkland Patrol officers
  • Cindy VanBeers, Roxy Wolff and Laurisa Bartley, for their kind donations of materials to Picture It Nail & Tattoo Salon
  • Jennifer Reimer, Investors Group Financial Services, for providing “Financial Smarts Training” to members of the Micro Village Bank
  • Ms. Brandy Caron for sharing her knowledge and expertise with Micro Media
  • Naedene Jeanes for her work with Supply Management, Bugs & Berries Gift Shoppe, Helping Hands and TechCheck
  • All our Market Day visitors, of which there were many, who supported the work the citizens of Micro Village are doing

Once more, thank you to all our community partners for all they  have done, big or small, to support our Micro Village MicroSociety. Their support and generosity enriched the experiences our students throughout the year. We hope to connect with each and every partner again next year!

 

 

 

Value Village Gives Helping Hands A Hand

On, Tuesday, May 24, 2016 PVS Micro Village’s Helping Hands NGO traveled to Edmonton to visit Value Village.This visit came about because the Helping Hands staff wanted to get a first hand look at how a thrift store operates. The following is an account of the visit by Carter Davidson, Manager and Mason Murray, Assistant Manager:

Bernadette, the Value Village Store Manager, meet us at the front of the store. She asked us to put the items we brought for donation into a donation box, then we rolled it into the loading bay. We learned in the loading bay that everything needs to be accepted by the gentleman that works in that area. He put it into bags and then into containers. The loading bay was stacked with clothing, toys, books, and stuffies. From the loading bay the donations went to a sorting room. Altogether, there are 70 staff members working in the store. Many work in the sorting room where they check donations to see if the condition is good enough to keep and sell. If the condition isn’t good, they recycle it. Clothing  goes to Africa or is used for bags of rags. Electronic cords, all metal, and paper are recycled. Donations that are are good enough to sell are priced and then put into the store so people can buy them.

We learned some business strategies such as how it all works, how they price, how they know which items haven’t sold and that while the business is for profit, it also helps people with disabilities because they buy their products from Inclusion Alberta. Inclusion Alberta gets donations from the public and sells it to Value Village. So, every time a person gives donations to organizations such as the Canadian Diabetes Association, people with disabilities are given the opportunity to have a job and make money. We learned  new ways to price and display donations in Helping Hands so that we can sell more, make more money and help more people. 

Helping Hands wishes to thank Bernadette and all the staff at Value Village for welcoming us into the store and for sharing ideas on how we can improve our  Micro Village Helping Hands store. They would also like to thank the Aspen Foundation for Labour Education for their grant, which provided for transportation. 

PVS Micro Village’s Helping Hands Lend a Hand

Dateline:  March 28, 2016                                                                                                                

Subject: Helping Hands Lend a HandLots to Learn

On March 28, 2016 the employees of  Helping Hands, a non-profit organization within the PVS Micro Village Society, traveled to the City of Spruce Grove to lend a hand at The Parkland Food Bank. This opportunity allowed employees to give back to the community.

Employees, under the direction of Carter Davidson, Manager and Mason Murray, Asst. Manager, decided they wanted to embark on a project that would help the greater community of Parkland County. Through their awareness of the amount of food collected at the school each year for Christmas Hampers, the staff identified The Parkland Food Bank  as a worthy cause. They felt this initiative would have a widespread positive influence, and that there is a need for a reliable source of nutrition withing the Parkland County community.

In order to collect food items, employees spent time creating and posting flyers around the school. They also ensured each Micro Village citizen took a flyer home to their families and advertised on Micro Media’s  biweekly newscast. Helping Hands offered a free bag of popcorn in exchange for a suitable food item donation. After the collection period, they had amassed 58 kg of food! It was noted by one employee, this was the equivalent weight of 2 employees, Mason and Jackson.

With a grant from The Aspen Foundation for Labour Educationthe non-profit group was able to charter a bus for the trip to The Parkland Food Bank. All 9 employees, managers, and 3 adult facilitators made the trek to deliver their 58 kg package. While there, they were able to learn more about the service the food bank offers, gain an understanding of the need, and do a little work. Members sorted their donations and shelved bread. Interesting facts they shared about Parkland Food Bank include:

  • The cost of milk & meat each month equals $6000. Clients only receive 1 L of milk and 1 lb of meat at a visit.
  • Sorting FoodClients are able to pick up a “full hamper” once each month.
  • Clients are able to access bread and produce once each week.
  • The Parkland Food Bank is supported by local stores which donate all left over bread products.
  • Bread products that cannot be used are traded as feed to a local rancher for meat.
  • A local company donated a cube truck to pick up supplies.

When asked what was the biggest insight they gained from their visit, Helping Hands employees overwhelming expressed dismay at the high level of need. They knew this service was in the community, but the visual image of the amount of food on the shelves, It Takes Teamworkand the dollars spent each week painted a picture of the enormity of the service the food bank provides. If you wish to find out more information on The Parkland Food Bank, you can click on this linkHelping Hands would like to thank The Parkland Food Bank for welcoming them to the facility. They would also like to thank The Aspen Foundation for Labour Education, for their generous grant. Finally, without the support of PVS Micro Village, there would not have been any food to donate, so thanks go out to all citizens of Micro Village.

 

 

 

 

Building Resilience In Our Kids

As a dad, anytime my children are faced with a difficult circumstance, challenging situation, hear a “no” when they were hoping for a “yes”, feeling a sense of disappointment, loss or failure, my first reaction is a strong desire to “fix it”. I think most parents can relate. It breaks our hearts to see our children struggle with the various challenges that life throws their way so the immediate and natural response is that we want to protect our kids and just make everything better. If we do that though, we are missing amazing teaching moments with our kids. Each of these challenging moments are opportunities to build resiliency in our children. They are opportunities to teach our kids to persevere and not give up. They are opportunities to teach problem solving, communication, and foster a growth mindset. They are are opportunities for our students to learn how to process emotion and build the skills they need to succeed for their future.

So how do we seize these moments? Probably the most important thing is to make the time to make the connection. It is important that our kids know we are there for them and that their performance, behaviour, and choices are not tied to our love… it is unconditional. But, what do we say in those moments? Here are some potential conversation starters to have with your children the next time they are facing something difficult.

  1. How are you feeling? It is important to acknowledge and validate our children’s feelings. Although, sometimes it can seem trivial to an adult it can mean the whole world to the child. If we dismiss it as trivial our children will learn that their feelings cannot be trusted with us.
  2. Never say can’t – The words we say gives insight into our thinking and can be a predictor of our future actions. The word “can’t” can stop our children from trying. Check out this inspirational video about Jennifer Bricker – Never Say Can’t.
  3. If your friend was going through this, what advice would you give?  We can’t always choose the circumstances that life throws our way, but we can always choose our response. Help your child focus on the things they can control and have influence over, not the things out of their control.
  4. What can you learn from this? What did you do well? What can you improve? Did you try your best? Talking through and reflecting upon the lessons that can be learned from the experience will not only help with their disappointment, it encourages them to try again. Help them identify what they would do differently next time. It builds confidence that prepares them for the future.
  5. What’s next? What now? Help your child look for other opportunities and to find the positives in the experience. We need to teach our children to be solution oriented not problem fixated.
  6. What can you be thankful for? Whatever we focus on gets magnified in our lives. Magnify the good not the bad. Perspective matters. A healthy life perspective remembers all of the positives around us in the midst of a challenging circumstance.
  7. What are your strengths? Reminding our children of their successes and strengths will continue to build their confidence and self-worth. It is important for them to understand that one experience does not define their identity. For example, just because I failed does not mean I am a failure. Just because I made a bad choice does not make me a bad person.
  8. You are good at hard things. Every child has trouble when they face a challenge or find something difficult. Our children need to learn to embrace hard work and challenging activities. “Hard” isn’t something to be afraid of or shy away from. As your child to talk about hard things that they have overcome in the past.
  9. You are a problem solver. Giving our children the opportunity and support to solve their own problems, not only teaches them this essential skill for their future, it also builds their self confidence. Model the patience and perseverance required to finish difficult tasks and support them by brainstorming potential solutions. The challenge is to give the support they need while still empowering them to be problem solvers.
  10. Share your story. If you can’t think of a personal story to share that relates to what your child is facing, share someone else’s story. It is important for our children to realize they are not alone. They are not the first to deal with this and won’t be the last. Inspiration and comfort can be found in hearing other’s stories.

What are other conversation starters and ideas can you share that help build resilience in children? We would love to hear your ideas and experiences by commenting below on this post.

Welcome Back!

Remember what the first day of school was like when you went to school? Today we asked our staff and students what they liked best about their first day of school this year and would like to share with you a few things that we are excited about this year. We hope you enjoy our welcome back video we created.

June 2015 Newsletter

June is already here! It is a busy month with lots going on. Click the link to view the June 2015 Newsletter in your browser or check it out below.

May 2015 Newsletter

We have some exciting things happening here at Parkland Village School. Check it out in the May 2015 Newsletter.

MicroSociety Community Information Sessions

We are excited to be hosting two MicroSociety community information sessions on May 5 at 6:30 pm and May 6 at 4:00 pm. These sessions will provide an opportunity to share our vision, to have conversation, answer questions and to get feedback/input from parents and community members. We are hoping that all parents with students at our school will be able to attend one of these two dates.

To help us with our preparation for these two nights, please RSVP by visiting bit.ly/pvsmicrosociety or completing the form below.

MicroSociety Overview

Continuing our work with Alberta Education’s Cross-Curricular Competencies, Inspiring Education and authentic learning, Parkland Village School is exploring providing students with learning opportunities through MicroSociety.

MicroSociety replicates Canadian Society. Every student actively participates in MicroSociety in authentic, meaningful ways. This is accomplished as each student takes a role in our society through elected government, government services (police, postal, employment office, etc.), private enterprise or non-governmental organizations.

The purpose of providing students with MicroSociety learning experiences is to ensure student driven, engaging, and authentic, personalized learning opportunities for all students. This approach to learning will continue to build an entrepreneurial spirit, ethical citizenship, leadership skills and engaged thinking in our students. Ultimately, MicroSociety will expose our students to greater opportunities for their future while building resiliency, a confidence in themselves to pursue their dreams and to become positive contributing members of society.

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MicroSociety Community Information Sessions RSVP