Valley View expands school into community-based hub

by Sabine Gibbins

Valley View School in Beauval is all about helping the community.

Just ask principal Arlene Hansen, who recently commented on the school’s most recent expansion project – a day care centre.

“It used to be a classroom, but we are renovating it and getting all the plumbing done before the start of next year,” she said.

The expansion of the day care centre is in partnership with the Northern Lights School Division, and was completed through a grant obtained earlier this year, which provided nearly $100,000 for the day care and other improvements at the school.

“Everything we have done here, we have been planning to do for quite some time now,” she said.

The school division provided the manpower and equipment to complete the additions, Hansen explained.

Currently there are 24 children slated to enjoy the day care centre’s activities and resources, Hansen added.

“We’ll have everything from infants to toddlers in here,” she noted. “We’ve been planning this for the last two years. It’s been an ongoing project as we have had to ensure every code is being met.”

Sharon Jimmons, whose daughter will be heading to the day care centre next fall, believes it is good news for both the school and community to have a facility such as this for children and their parents.

“It provides them with some peace of mind,” she said. “We are lucky to have Valley View School as our community supporter and I think it is pretty nice of them to open up our school for us.”

Childcare has been one of the major issues in the community, she noted.

“It’s something that is totally needed in our community,” Jimmons added. “Our kids need a safe place to have fun and in a setting where they can make friends and learn to play together.”

The community school expansion includes 780 square feet of space residents and groups will be able to use for their own purposes, Hansen added.

“We want to be able to have a place for the community to come to,” she said.

A new community kitchen has also been installed, outfitted with freezers and ample room for storage. The kitchen will be available to community groups and to students who wish to participate in cooking classes.

Other projects at the school include a partnership project between the elders and the students in the creation of a greenhouse.

“We want the elders and the youth to be involved together in this type of project, so they can learn from each other,” Hansen remarked.

It’s all about providing the best in education to their students, Hansen added, especially when it comes to a variety of classes like science, health, art, and music.

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