Sandowne Elementary students give the thumbs up as teacher Rob Hatfield receives a $5

Innovative literacy program pays off for Sandowne School

Campbell River elementary school receives $5,000 from the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation

That wasn’t a student picket line in front of Sandowne Elementary School on Thursday afternoon.

The students were holding a large sign, but it wasn’t about the teachers’ strike. Rather, they were happy celebrating with a big $5,000 cheque.

“I’ve never seen so much money before,” said a wide-eyed boy.

Sandowne students and Rob Hatfield, a vice-principal and teacher at the school, were one of 16 winners across the country of of the Inspired Minds Learning Project sponsored by the Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation.

“This is great for the kids,” said Hatfield who accepted the cheque on behalf of the school.

The national competition challenged communities and organizations to submit new and innovative ideas that help advance the growth and development of children up to age 10.

Hatfield’s idea was to take literacy to the next level by teaching students how to publish their stories digitally. Using a green screen along with a couple of iPads, the students film themselves reading or acting out stories in front of the screens.

With the $5,000 prize money, Hatfield will be able to purchase iPads, additional green screens and other equipment to help the students to express themselves creatively and continue fuelling their development.

“Your Green Screen for Learning submission had 1,757 votes in the final voting round and it was clear that whole community was involved in building awareness for the project,” said Heather Zapotoczny, who presented the cheque on behalf of the Canadian Scholarship Trust Plan. “We were extremely impressed by your idea and can’t wait to see how these funds enhance the literacy program at Sandowne.”

The Canadian Scholarship Trust Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been helping families save for post-secondary education for more than 50 years.