Mentoring took on a whole new meaning when high school students, enrolled in carpentry at Ponoka Secondary Campus (PSC), showed younger kids how to build a longboard.
Jeff Bone, PSC woods teacher, collaborated with the Ponoka Youth Centre on this project. Young kids in the Torch Club, a leadership program for pre-teens, aged 10 to 13, came to the high school for up to three hours per week and got some hands on longboard building experience.
There were two parts to this project: have older PSC students mentor and teach younger children how to build a longboard, and using a $5,000 Tools for Education Skills Canada grant from Lowes Canada to enhance the wood shop program at PSC.
The best part for Bone? Seeing the interaction and training between both groups. “It’s just great for them (PSC students) to give something back.”
“They were doing the teaching. They were doing the guidance,” added Bone.
One student enjoyed working in a trade he loves and helping someone younger. Sheldon Rabbit, Grade 12, jumped at the opportunity when asked to help. “I was like, sure, as long as I get to do carpentry.”
His protégé, Tyrell Griffiths, worked together on the project and became “instant friends.” Rabbit said Griffiths was a quick learner.
“He had me do most of the work,” said Griffiths proudly.
“It’s the only way he’s going to learn,” added Rabbit.
There were nine young trainees who took part in this program with a mix of boys and girls. Bone was pleased to see older girls working with their younger counterparts on the project. Zhané Johnson and Jordan Feldberg, both PSC students, helped Calista Saddleback with her longboard.
Johnson said the project was fun to work on. For her, seeing Saddleback happy with the end result was a positive experience. Johnson also feels the project took her out of her comfort zone as she is somewhat shy but despite her quiet nature, Johnson said she would like to do it again.
Saddleback enjoyed it too. “Because I’m crafty I guess. I like to build stuff.”
This initiative gave her an opportunity to do something with her time after school and kept her busy. Feldberg was proud of their collaboration with Saddleback and “being able to share my knowledge.”
The project was completed over a four-week period.