Ways You Can Help Develop the Outdoor Space

The current school year is coming to a close, but our work is beginning to grow as we prepare for the long waited opening of the Whole Child School. The three year long development and approval process has now come down to a few short months of preparing for the actual opening.

There’s lots to do, much needed in terms of items, time, skill and knowledge … some of the areas where your involvement would be appreciated are listed below. Please let us know how you can assist.

  • Sourcing/building/making items such as shelving, cushions, outdoor play items for the kindergarten space
  • Liasing with community gardens
  • Developing the neighbourhood garden network
  • Sharing contacts that support the mandate of the committee 
  • Neighbourhood Gardens

We want to provide our children with as many opportunities to be connected with the community and with the earth. What better way to do that then to create a network of community and neighbourhood gardens around the school. If you have a small patch of grass willing to be turned into a small oasis, a large vegetable patch, gardening knowledge but no space, know a neighbour who would enjoy gardening company, then we need to hear from you.

Join our network and help engage the children with what life should be about… digging dirt, enjoying the earth’s bounty and sharing in each other’s company. Email exterior at wholechildschool.ca with your name, contact information and what you’re willing to share.

Kindergarten Space

One of the focuses of the WCS – Exterior Space committee is to create an inspiring Kindegarten area which will be located on the Ashdale side of the School. The cage area that leads into the library will be a storage/staging area that may also be used as a weather dependant gathering spot for activities.

Like the Interior Space committee we kindly ask you to look around your home, or ask family and friends, and see if you might have some of these items that you could donate to Whole Child School. As yet, each of the committees is working with a VERY limited budget, so anything that we can access from within the WCS community of parents and guardians is greatly appreciated!

If you do have items to donate, please choose one of the following two options:

  1. Post the item on the TEACHERS FORUM http://forum.wholechildschool.ca/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=34&p=49#p49 (with a photo, if possible) OR
  2. Send an email to junyee at yorku.ca regarding the item you would like to donate.

Items Needed

  • Outdoor carpeting made from natural material, interlocking foam, recycled plastic (mad mat 6×9) etc.
  • Low storage shelves (we’ll put castors on) up to height of 31 inches
  • Galvanized storage boxes with lids (http://www.ikea.com/ca/en/catalog/products/70105975)
  • Toboggans
  • Snow shovels and brooms for little ones
  • Bird feeders
  • Dramatic play costumes/items
  • Tree stumps:
     – 20 for stools (approx. 12 inches high x 10 – 12 inches diameter)
     – 5 for table bases (approx. 20 inches high x 10 – 12 inches diameter)
     - 5 for table tops (approx. 2 inches x 3 ft. diameter)
  • Branches/poles/saplings (relatively straight) that are between 5 to 6 feet long and 1-2 inch diameter (for teepee building)
  • Individual seat cushions (real oil cloth):
      – Large cotton canvas (painter’s drop cloth)
      – Linseed oil
      – Fabric/arcylic paint
      – Paint brushes
  • Emergency clothing: Boots, Socks, Rain/snow jackets/pants, Shirts, Pants, Mittens, Hats/toques

Thank you for all your support and help as we build the environment that surrounds our children into one that creatively inspires them to love the outdoors and nature.

Not Far from the Tree

Additionally, we would like everyone in our community to consider registering their fruit trees with Not Far From the Tree. The core of our programming is our residential fruit-picking program, where we pick fruit from trees that would otherwise go to waste. We help fruit tree owners make use of the abundance of fruit that their trees offer by dispatching teams of volunteers to harvest it for them.

One third goes to the fruit tree owners, another third goes to the volunteers for their labour, and the final third is distributed (by bicycle or cart) to community organizations in the neighbourhood who can make good use of the fresh fruit. There are discussions to have our school involved with the harvesting of these fruit trees in the fall. If you have a fruit free or know a neighbour who is surrounded by rotting apples, please register or have them register at http://www.notfarfromthetree.org/contact-us/share-your-fruit.