Another recent episode of Micro Media News. Enjoy.
Dateline: March 28, 2016
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 Education, the 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.
- Clients 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, and 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 link. Helping 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.
In case you missed it, this post was recently published on the Parkland School Division 184 Days of Learning Blog. We are proud of all of our students!
A delegation of students from Parkland Village School recently attended a Parkland School Division Board of Trustees Regular Board meeting to highlight recent activity and learning from the Micro Village Micro Society. Principal Travis McNaughton was joined by Grade 4 Teacher Paige Couros as well as a number of students who shared with the Board and even brought the ‘market’ to the division’s Centre for Education. Check it out!
Great job to:
Owen Zachary – Prime Minister
Ryan Loftstrom – Deputy Prime Minister
Aidan Moore – Police Sargent
Paige Eastwood – Wild Science
Alexandra Fayant – Sweet Treats
Avery Eigenseher – Furever Pawrtners
Carter Davidson – Helping Hands
— FortisAlberta (@FortisAlberta) February 25, 2016
What an exciting day it was at Parkland Village School today! We received a $2500 Safety Star grant from FortisAlberta to help support our wonderful school! This partnership was created thanks to Parker Harris, a grade 2 student at PVS, and his family’s work to connect with local businesses for our Micro Village MicroSociety. Parker entered a written contest for our school and we were luckily chosen as one of ten recipients! Parkland Village School is now a FortisAlberta Safety Star School. We look forward to building more connections with our community.
Parkland Village School would like to thank FortisAlberta for their commitment to our school and community.
written by Steven Schumacher, Grade 2 Teacher, Parkland Village School
This week has been very exciting. After a decidedly unexpected 2 weeks of interviews, every Micro Village Citizen has a job with a venture or agency and our production meetings have begun! Venture and Agency Management Teams, and their staff, are moving forward with the process of preparing for our Market Day “soft” opening on March 8. As exciting as this is, we are moving forward with an eye towards excellence, so that may mean some ventures are ready to open and others may need a bit more time. We are learning that flexibility and patience are key to ensuring we do the best we can, in the most timely fashion. Sometimes, “timely” means “more time”.
If one was to sum up the greatest challenge of our journey it would be that our learning is a process. Although we want to make everything perfect the first go around, it is not always so. Our goal is to engage in reflection, ask for and accept feedback from all stakeholders, then use this information to modify our current and future planning. We are driven to provide an educational experience that engages all our students in a meaningful way through choice and authentic real-life connections. This is evident as we walk around the school during these first production meetings. Despite a few hiccups, we can hear and see the excitement of all Micro Village citizens. Venture and Agency teams are engaged in their planning activities, stretching their thinking, and taking on responsibilities they wouldn’t have dreamed of before. We say bring on Market Day!
Just imagine, that in a few weeks our community will be shopping at the Bugs & Berries Gift Shoppe, Sweet Treats Bakery, The Italian Bistro, or browsing through the Helping Hands Thrift Store. Perhaps one might want to take advantage of the services offered by The Recreation Centre, Animal Rescue & Wellness Centre or at the TechCheck Design Studio. If you are looking for some entertainment, you might stop and visit the Performing/Fine Arts Studio and challenge your brain at the Wild Science Museum. Finally, one may tour the Government Offices, the Warehouse or exchange your Canadian money for Micro Village Micro Bucks at the Micro Village Bank. Don’t forget to watch out for our PeaceKeepers. You just might be issued a “doing good” ticket for following the laws and being kind OR you could find yourself on the wrong end of a “not so good” ticket for being unsafe or unkind; the choice is yours!
Check out this video to get a taste of our Production Days…more to come in the future.
Our Micro Village job fair was a huge success! We are so proud of all of our of students and the ownership they are showing in making our Micro Village community great.
All of our students who are Managers and Assistant Managers of all of the different ventures were very earnest in their preparation for the job fair. To prepare they attended the Leadership and Management 101 Micro University class. Here they explored the differences between leadership and management and the importance of both. Out of this they began generating vision for the type of leaders they want to be and the kind of culture they want to create in their ventures alongside their future employees. Here are some of the ideas they identified as important that they generated in their own words:
- Working as a team
- Doing the right thing
- Helping employees and other people
- A good role model
- Being kind
- Include everybody
- Work together
- Do the right things.
- All ideas are included
- Kind and nice
- Letting everybody have say
- Helping people improve
- People improve as you do
Our Managers and Assistant Managers began this work in creating this culture within their ventures at the job fair this week. Students arrived at the job fair with their applications and resumes in hand. They visited the different ventures and had great conversations with the management teams of each venture. After visiting with the different Management teams of Micro Village, each student applied to three ventures of their choosing.
The job fair generated awesome conversations between our students, and was part of the process for our students to identify their personal strengths and reflect on how they can contribute to our Micro Village community. It is also another step of empowering students to make choices that align their learning with their interests. All of our ventures will provide opportunities for our students to grow in Alberta Education’s Cross-Curricular competencies; however, the freedom for each student to choose the venture in which they apply to will increase their engagement and motivation.
Check out this short video to gain a sense of what the job fair was like for our students.
The next step… interviews are underway!
Today, our Micro Village government members moved the Constitution from an idea to reality! After taking both an Affirmation of Citizenship and Affirmation of Office, all members of government, including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Members of Parliament, each representing their grade level (grades 1-4) constituency, signed the final draft of our society’s Constitution.
The Micro Village Constitution was developed through an arduous process which represented democracy in action. All grade 4 students were members of the committee tasked with developing and ratifying a document that reflects our culture, expectations, rights, responsibilities and freedoms. Meetings were facilitated by both Mrs. Cheryl Eidick and Mrs. Paige Couros (Parkland Village School’s grade 4 teachers). You may access the Parkland Village School’s Micro Village Constitution here.
The group began by reviewing existing constitutions from other MicroSociety’s within Alberta and the U.S.A. After highlighting the ideas and statements that resonated with them, the students looked at the Canadian Charter of Rights to ensure the selections were aligned with a Constitutional Monarchy form of government, such as ours.
Perhaps the most meaningful portion of Micro Village’s Constitution was the thoughtful discussion held by the students in developing the preamble. This statement lays out the ideals for the culture of Micro Village. It is through this statement that the grade 4 students expressed the ideals to which all citizens should aspire. In reading this statement, you will note that respect, fairness, equality, and a healthy community top the list of the values for this “more perfect school”. It is important to note that our community extends beyond the students and the staff. It does in fact extend to “all future students, families and teachers” with the goal to ensure “Parkland Village School’s Micro Village [citizens will] enjoy the same freedoms we enjoy today”.
Finally, the grade 4 students were tasked during their Micro University Constitutional Course, to review the remainder of the document. This work resulted in the finished document signed today and outlines Micro Village Citizens’ Rights and Freedoms, Equalization, and sections pertaining to the operation of our government. With the document in place, our government will be able to sit in Parliamentary sessions to do work which includes creating laws, establishing taxes, and setting Micro Village’s minimum wage. This document guides, supports, and governs all citizens of Micro Village and is the core of our society whereby “kids are in charge”, are responsible for their learning, and engaged in developing an ideal culture and society.
Every student who campaigned and ran for a government positioned can be very proud of themselves. They took a risk, tried something new and that is an incredibly powerful step in their learning. Students from kindergarten to grade 4 all voted for Micro Village’s Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister. In each class, students voted for a Member of Parliament (how many was based on grade level and class size). Below are the election results:
- Owen Z.
Deputy Prime Minister
- Ryan L.
Members of Parliament
- Brookelyn M.
- Shaylyn C.
- Ryan K.
- Rayna B.
- Drayden E.
- Sawyer K.
- Owen B.
- Kaitlin W.
- Savannah V.
- Olivia C.
- Kortney J.
- Morgan N.
There will be many more leadership opportunities for students to apply for as the year progresses. I look forward to seeing all the initiatives the government will create.
If you were to walk through the halls of Micro Village (the name that was created and voted on by citizens at our school) right now you would see colourful signs plastering the walls (like the ones above). We just finished campaign week and students who are vying for position of Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister have been shaking hands, putting up posters and talking with students on the playground. This year we will have a Prime Minister from grade 4 and a Deputy Prime Minister from grade 3. During our first round of Micro University, students learned how to campaign and how to make an informed vote with professor Dhaliwal.
On November 8th, 2015 we will have an assembly from 2-2:30 p.m. where Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister candidates will have an opportunity to give a short speech explaining why they will make a great leader. Parents are welcome to watch the candidates explain their platforms. On November 9th, 2015 students will vote and the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will be announced before fall break. In each classroom, students will also vote for a Member of Parliament who will represent their class in Micro Village’s government.
Being a member of government is just one of many leadership opportunities that will be open to students this year. Coming up next for Micro Village, we will be announcing the ventures (businesses) we will have this year. We will be hiring managers and assistant managers for each venture. Ventures will be announced the week following fall break!
Thank you to all the citizens who participated in the elections! You can be very proud of yourselves for trying something new and taking a risk. In the words of basketball legend Michael Jordan “I can accept failure. Everybody fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying. Fear is an illusion.”