East Kensington Elementary started the school year with its lowest enrolment in at least five years.

Nature-based program to take root at South Surrey school

A community forum to discuss the future of East Kensington Elementary is set for Wednesday evening at the South Surrey school

A community forum to discuss future plans for East Kensington Elementary is set for Wednesday evening at the South Surrey school.

Anyone interested is welcome to attend the 6:30 p.m. event, where a new outdoor-education program is to be introduced.

The EKOLogy (East Kensington Outdoor Learning) program was announced Thursday afternoon.

According to the announcement from the Surrey School District, students in the program “will learn about environmental stewardship and indigenous history, engage in place-based inquiry activity and have experiences that nurture social-emotional learning, self-regulation and positive relationships.

“Students will spend a significant amount of time outdoors – rain or shine – embracing with the natural area.”

East Kensington Elementary, located at 2795 184 St., sits on a large rural property with a natural ravine and creek, and is a few kilometres from Redwood Park, A Rocha, Semiahmoo Fish & Game Club and Hazelmere. Students will learn and explore on the traditional territories of the Katzie, Kwantlen, Semiahmoo and Qayqayt First Nations.

While a first-of-its-kind program for Surrey, similar nature-based programs are running in Abbotsford and North Vancouver school districts, the announcement states.

The program is scheduled to start next September; registration is to get underway in January.

Admission is first-come, first-served basis, and the program is open to students both in and out of catchment.

For more information on the Nov. 9 forum, call the school at 604-541-1257, or visit www.surreyschools.ca/schools/eastkensington

Surrey North Delta Leader

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