RCI, QEPS combine to provide learning opportunities for students in both schools

Posted on Wednesday November 12, 2014
RCI Senior Parenting class
RCI Senior Parenting class

Renfrew Collegiate Institute and Queen Elizabeth Public School have teamed up to provide a new experience for student from both schools.

Every second week RCI’s Senior Parenting Class, with teacher Charlene Edwards-Budden takes the short trip to Queen Elizabeth Public School to work with that school’s senior and junior Kindergarten class and teachers Heather Raudssus and Dora VanderWoude.

The RCI students assist with literacy and math problems and get some hands-on experience working with three, four and five-year-olds.

“These kids love it,” QEPS Kindergarten teacher Raudssus said. “And the RCI students do too, I think.”

The RCI Senior Parenting Class is a unique program within the RCDSB and it provides young secondary students with knowledge and skills that could prepare them for when they become parents themselves.

The class visited QEPS a couple times last year, and the parenting class students found the trips to be helpful and enjoyable.

“They really enjoyed it, so that’s why we expanded it this year,” Edwards-Budden said.

“This year the class will come every two weeks for the entire first semester. Each visit the Grade 11 or 12 students work on building math and reading skills with the Kindergarten students.”

Each Grade 11 or 12 student is grouped with three or four Kindergarten students. They work in small study groups while Edwards-Budden and the Kindergarten teachers oversee the entire group.

On Monday, Nov. 4 the parenting class students worked on sorting, patterns and colours with Kindergarten students. Each group had a box of Fruit Loops cereal to work with and use the aforementioned skills to divide the cereal into recognizable groups.

Not only were the Grade 11 and 12 students involved in teaching, they had to use positive discipline techniques to ensure the task tools didn’t all get eaten.

All the teachers agree, this joint production is a valuable learning tool for high school and Kindergarten students alike.

“Although the Senior class is focused on the curriculum expectations of communicating with young children and applying child rearing knowledge skills, both groups are excited when they get together at Queen Elizabeth - the smiling faces on both age groups is very satisfying.”   Edwards-Budden said.