Cloverdale students make puzzles for care home residents

Sunrise Ridge Elementary School students Yurim Lee (left), Ava Demuynck, and Shia Sumra hold up puzzles they delivered to the residents at Zion Park Manor in June. All 22 kids in the girls’ Grade 5 class took photos that were made into puzzles for the residents at Zion Park. (Photo: Stephanie Norris)
Student-teacher Maria Fawcett delivers puzzles to Zion Park Manor residents on behalf of the Grade 5 class at Sunrise Ridge Elementary School. (Photo: Stephanie Norris)
Yurim Lee (left), Stephanie Norris, Ava Demuynck, Maria Fawcett, and Shia Sumra bike around Cloverdale on a school field trip June 18. (Photo submitted)
Ava Demuynck (left), Shia Sumra, and Yurim Lee hold up thank you notes they were delivering to the firefighters at Hall 15. (Photo: Stephanie Norris)
Yurim Lee (left), Shia Sumra, and student-teacher Maria Fawcett stand with firefighters from Cloverdale’s Hall No. 15 in June. The students delivered thank you notes from their class to the first responders. (Photo: Stephanie Norris)

Students from Sunrise Ridge Elementary School went bike riding with a cause in June.

On their first ever biking field trip, Grade 5 students students Yurim Lee, Ava Demuynck, and Shia Sumra rode around with teacher Stephanie Norris and student-teacher Maria Fawcett to deliver gifts to residents of Zion Park Manor and firefighters at Hall No. 15. Those deliveries included puzzles for the residents of Zion Park and thank you notes for the firefighters.

The brainchild of Fawcett, the field trip started at Zion Park and ended at the fire hall. Norris said because they only had a few in-class students, a biking field trip was easy to organize.

“The Grade 5’s were glad they waited until (June 18),” said Norris. “They wanted good weather if they were going to make the deliveries by bike.”

When brainstorming about what kind of projects they could get the students to do, both Norris and Fawcett had originally thought, “What could be done that would encourage student participation and yet keep everything at a social distance? What could 22 students do that could make a difference?”

So they asked all the students, the four in-class kids and the 18 online-only kids, to become photographers.

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“Each student chose their top two photos and then submitted these online,” explained Norris. “The kids were really proud of their photos and Maria (Fawcett) was so incredible, she taught them all the basics of photography.”

Norris said Fawcett recently won UBC’s Emily Longworth scholarship. The purpose of the scholarship is to promote positive change in a community. So Fawcett decided to use the money from that scholarship to make a difference in Cloverdale.

“The funds from the Emily Longworth scholarship were used to turn the photos into puzzles,” explained Norris. “ It has been proven that puzzles are good for improving short-term memory and they also improve mental speed and thought processes.”

Norris said her students felt puzzles would be a great gift for the residents of Zion Park because, along with the health benefits, it was something they could continue to use over and over.

“On the last leg of our journey, we biked to Fire Hall No. 15 to drop off letters of appreciation to the firefighters,” added Norris. “The students worked diligently on these letters and they understand the role firefighters have in their community.”

Norris said the kids were greeted with a warm welcome when they finally made it to the fire hall.

“Perhaps, looking back, these students won’t remember the unsettling school days during Covid-19, but rather the time in history when they made a difference.”

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