In 2013, the Nanaimo Ladysmith Public School District, using Yes2It funds, created a mobile trades discovery program and used Principal Derek Beeston’s truck to deliver it to elementary schools in the district. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and inspired the district to commit funds for a part time position and to purchase a Tool Box Trailer to deliver Skills and Trades programs to 27 elementary schools in Nanaimo Ladysmith.
In the first year students were introduced to carpentry through several hands-on projects including; building birdhouses, planter boxes and bat houses. The focus has now expanded to include electrical, plumbing and other trades. Each visit in the Toolbox Trailer includes a pre and post lesson for the classroom teacher, including connections to learning outcomes pertaining to the grade level in math, science and environmental concerns.
Two of the key components to the program are mentorship and ownership. With every visit two to four “bigs” – senior students from the district’s Intro to Trades program – attend to mentor and teach the “littles” – grade 4 to 7 students. And, every student takes their finished project home allowing them to show off their accomplishments and have a conversation about what they did at school today. Best of all – students “big” and “little” find success in this program!
Check out more photos and information here.