By Sheldon Spackman
Red Deerians once again showed their heart-warming generosity on Saturday, June 24th when they came out in support of an Access for All, barrier-free playground at Mattie McCullough Elementary School in the Lancaster neighbourhood.
The Make A Move with Jagger fundraising initiative saw it’s latest efforts raise just over $6,200 towards the construction of a new playground at the school that anyone and everyone can enjoy. Hundreds came out and enjoyed Bouncy Castles, Carnival Games, Balloon Animals, a Hillside Slip-n-Slide, Dunk Tank, Sumo Wrestling Suits, Disney Princesses, Face Painting, Live Entertainment, A Pie Eating Contest, Kissing Booth, Prizes and a variety of carnival-type foods!
The new playground initiative was inspired by 9 year old Jagger Anderson, a Grade 3 student at Mattie McCullough Elementary School. Born out of the wish for Jagger and his friends to have a more accessible playground in which to enjoy their time together. It’s a three-year project that began in 2016, with plans to have Phase One of construction get underway on August 11th of this year and be totally finished and ready for use by the fall of 2018. However, it comes with a $500,000 price tag, which the Rotary Clubs of Red Deer and City of Red Deer are also getting behind to make this dream a reality. Not only for Jagger but for all people in our community with disabilities.
The City of Red Deer has also agreed to donate the land and will provide on-going maintenance. Officials say “Access for All” at Mattie McCullough Elementary School will be the largest barrier-free playground in Central Alberta.
Other upcoming fundraising initiatives for the new playground also include a Bernard Callebaut Chocolate Chase planned in August, a Wing-Fest and a Black-Tie Bingo. Details on those events are still to be released.
Support the Make A Move With Jagger Foundation
Find out more about Barrier-Free playscapes at Access For All.
Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign continues to Sunday
Inspiring kids to read, write and succeed through Smile Cookies!
Who doesn’t love a delicious chocolate chip cookie? They taste even sweeter when you are making a difference in a child’s life!
Helping struggling students become readers of potential is exactly what local Tim Hortons stores want as proceeds for this week’s Smile Cookie campaign will be directed to Reading College, a project of the Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools.
“We set up this amazing and fun summer program for kids in Grade 2 where they learn to love reading, and gain the skills to continue their growth as learners. Reading is the foundation for success in school and life. If we can help further develop their skills and instil a love for reading, it creates a lifetime of difference for that child. It will make a difference for them, make a difference for their families and make a difference in their life experiences. That’s the beauty of
Reading College,” said Superintendent of Schools, Chad Erickson. “This year, we had 64 graduates of the Reading College program who were incredibly engaged and able to excel and improve their reading abilities over the month of July, setting them up for further success.”
“The Smile Cookie Campaign is a great opportunity to raise awareness on the importance of literacy, it really does create life chances for students. Reading College is made possible through great support from our community and Tim Hortons – we could not operate it without this support,” said Kristine Plastow, Foundation Board Chair. “I encourage the community to get out there and buy their cookies next week!”
From September 19-25, Tim Hortons restaurant owners in Red Deer will generously donate all proceeds from sales of a special smiling chocolate chunk cookie to support the Reading College program through The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools. The $1 treat helps community programs across Canada in the cities where they are sold.
“On behalf of all Tim Hortons’ restaurant owners and team members in Red Deer, I would like to thank our fantastic guests for their loyalty, generosity and support of the Smile Cookie campaign,” said Tanya Doucette, Tim Hortons Restaurant Owner in Red Deer. “We are thrilled to support The Foundation for Red Deer Public Schools and their Reading College program. With funds raised we are helping students learn to read, which will ultimately help set them up for a lifetime of success. During Smile Cookie Week, we welcome all Red Deerians to buy a delicious freshly-baked Smile Cookie in support of a great cause, which helps benefit children in our community.”
Help us promote the campaign by ‘liking’ Red Deer Public Schools on Facebook and ‘following’ us on Twitter, both under @rdpschools. You can also find us on Instagram @reddeerpublicschools.
Red Deer Polytechnic alum expresses creativity through downtown mural
Art on Welikoklad Event Centre’s exterior wall celebrates institution’s brand and history
An exterior wall of Red Deer Polytechnic’s Welikoklad Event Centre is undergoing a creative refresh with a mural painted by talented alum Kat Simmers.
“The blank canvas of the long, exposed wall of the Welikoklad Event Centre is a fantastic medium for communicating what Red Deer Polytechnic is all about,” says Dr. Jonathon Penny, Dean of Arts and Culture. “Dr. Alison Jeppesen and others, who imagined this use and garnered support for it, determined to hire an alum in order to capture the spirit of RDP, and we are fortunate to have Kat work on the project. Their vision represents RDP’s history and its spectrum of program offerings beautifully.”
Simmers, a former Red Deer Polytechnic Visual Art student, began painting the mural in early September, highlighting a variety of programs and learners at the Polytechnic.
“With Flying Colours depicts a diverse body of students engaged in their respective crafts. It was an interesting challenge to create a work representing the experiences of so many people – students past, present and future,” says Simmers. “I wanted to pay respect to the value of athletics as well as the diverse mix of creative arts learning and trades programming that students experience at the Polytechnic.”
The mural features students, a health care professional, several skilled trades workers, a member of the Indigenous community, and athletes playing hockey and volleyball.
“I thought of the welder as an artist crafting a sculpture as much as a tradesperson earning a wage. I made my way through six years of art school by working various labour jobs,” adds Simmers. “It was the creativity and passion for learning I developed at RDP that led to success in those environments as well. I wanted to capture the spark of innovation and joyful work environment that I experienced at the Polytechnic.”
The education and training Simmers received at Red Deer Polytechnic helped with the creation of the mural and set the groundwork for future artistic endeavors.
“At the Polytechnic, I spent a lot of time working with colour and figurative painting. As my education continued into design, that sense of light and life stayed a core part of the worlds I like to create. RDP’s Visual Art program is incredibly inspiring and supportive,” says Simmers. “Having 24-hour access to gorgeous studios created a wonderful sense of community and fostered some amazing friendships I still cherish to this day. The years I spent at the institution also laid the foundation for future learning.”
As Simmers plans to complete the mural in late September, their brother Derek, who is also an alum of Red Deer Polytechnic, will assist with the finishing touches during the final week.
“Red Deer Polytechnic’s alumni are incredibly talented and are leaders in their communities and professions, as demonstrated by Kat and Derek,” says Richard Longtin, Vice President, External Relations. “With over 80,000 alumni, we are extremely proud of their impact and contributions to the intellectual, economic, cultural and social development of the region, province, and beyond.”
As the mural creatively represents the Red Deer Polytechnic brand, including the many benefits of a polytechnic model, it will also connect the institution to the community.
“The artwork complements the city of Red Deer’s commitment to revitalize the downtown core with murals, creating welcoming spaces and signaling Red Deer Polytechnic’s connection to the community in vibrant and creative ways,” says Stuart Cullum, President of Red Deer Polytechnic. “I am extremely proud of the Polytechnic’s presence in the heart of Red Deer, which increases the ability to collaborate with community members and business partners in the area.”
Simmers hopes the mural will provide inspiration.
“This work is to remind people to take joy in their craft, to care for their community and to share the fruits of their labour,” says Simmers. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to build on my experience at RDP and it’s exciting to be able to return those gifts in some way.”
More information about Red Deer Polytechnic’s Creative Arts programming is available online.
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