The Optimist Club has teamed with School District 43, The Tri-Cities Early Childhood Development Committee, the Tri-Cities Middle Childhood Matters Committee, The City of Port Coquitlam, YMCA Tri-Cities Child Care Resource and Referral, Westcoast Families Centres Society and the Evergreen Foundation to provide this contest as a part of Screen Smart Week. The objective is to build awareness of the opportunities afforded students to learn and “play” outdoors and away from screens.
Whole classes are invited to design an outdoor “classroom” using natural materials and/or indigenous plants. The class project will be student driven but facilitated by the teacher. Entries can take many forms including, but not limited to, dioramas, drawings, models, videos, etc.
We encourage students to discuss what the outdoor space might look like; why they would want it; what they would do in it, and how they might share their ideas with others. Selection criteria are listed below.
Evergreen (www.evergreen.ca) is available for an Initial site consultation to help classes strengthen their proposals. Winning schools may choose to receive additional Evergreen support to further refine their design towards implementation.
Each participating class must present their concept to the entire school during Screen Smart Week (the first week of May). Only one entry per school will be accepted for the contest, so the student body will need to decide which entry will represent their school. The school's winning entry must include the actual design as well as photos of the project presentation at the school assembly.
All submissions are to be sent to Jackie c/o The Coquitlam Optimists Club (firstname.lastname@example.org ). The deadline for submissions is May 16. Please contact Jackie if your school submission needs to be picked up.
The prizes will be awarded in June.
Criteria used for prize selection:
1. Use of natural materials and/or indigenous plants in the design
2. Evidence that all students in the participating classes were involved in the design process (e.g. photos of group work, documentation of class processes, etc.)
3. Explanation of how the space encourages and enhances more interesting and creative play
4. Indication of ways that parents and/or the community might support the implementation of the project