Gala benefits school project

Monterey middle school PAC sets sights on outdoor classroom

Students and staff at Monterey mimic three levels of an amphitheatre proposed at the middle school to provide outdoor classroom space and a place for the youth to socialize.

Students and staff at Monterey mimic three levels of an amphitheatre proposed at the middle school to provide outdoor classroom space and a place for the youth to socialize.

A gala affair with local firefighters aims to build an amphitheatre in Oak Bay.

Oak Bay Fire Department reinstated its gala to raise funds to replace play equipment destroyed by a falling branch at Monterey middle school.

In fall 2013 a tree branch destroyed playground equipment, sparking a Parent Advisory Committee survey of students and staff.

The survey showed no appetite for an elementary school playground as had existed. Teachers want to take learning outdoors, while students seek a place to socialize.

PAC came up with an amphitheatre.

“It’s our first step in an outdoor classroom project that will likely take several years,” said PAC chair Doug Tolson, calling it a “foundational piece”.

“It’s something that I feel fits with the vision of what Monterey wants to do.”

Monterey holds an overarching goal of connecting kids with outdoors. It’s a designated Wild School through a partnership with WildBC that allows for environmental and outdoor programming. For example, the school currently offers a pilot ocean sciences course.

“This is one more thing that will complement that,” said Monterey principal Ken Andrews. “Whether it’s just a regular class, but you’re outside, it could also be an outdoor concert.”

With an idea, and some preliminary plans, it was time to start fundraising.

“It was serendipity that we got involved with the firefighters foundation,” said Tolson. “Sometimes you get ideas as a PAC which you’re pushing a stone uphill. Immediately the teachers and students and parents thought this was great and got behind it.”

Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s inaugural gala was in June 2013. They raised $30,000 for Oak Bay High to purchase a new bus. This year they hope to raise as much for the outdoor project at Monterey school.

“We’re just trying to show that we’re there for the community and we’re open to partnerships,” said Greg Swan, president of Oak Bay Fire Charitable.

“You can have your greatest impact with kids, the firetruck goes by and they all go crazy. Anytime we can help them directly or indirectly is good.”

The PAC holds an ambitious goal of building next school year. They hope to raise roughly $50,000 for the project.

“Whatever we come out with, that will be our project. How much money we have will dictate the scope and features of the structure,” Tolson said. “We’re hoping it’s not seen as only a Monterey project, but as an Oak Bay project. The more the community gets behind it, beyond the Monterey parents, the more we’ll create something that will be of use to the community.”

Oak Bay Firefighters Charitable Foundation’s gala dinner to support Monterey Middle School is Friday, May 29 at Victoria Golf Club, 1110 Beach Dr.

“Monterey school’s really appreciative of the firefighters charitable foundation for supporting this vision of Monterey’s student staff and community,” said Andrews, adding the PAC is planning other fundraisers including a school spell-a-thon and building gift baskets for the auction. “The kids will be involved in those ways.”

 

The function will feature a formal sit-down buffet dinner with live music, keynote speakers, the Oak Bay Fire Department honour guard and a silent auction. Purchase tickets online at oakbayfirefighters.com.

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria police are asking for help locating Izabel Villeneuve, 14, who was last seen Jan. 19. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Victoria police seek help locating missing 14-year-old

Izabel Villeneuve was last seen in the morning of Jan. 19

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Environment Canada is forecasting snow for the east Vancouver Island region the weekend of Jan. 23. (Black Press file)
Up to 15 cm of snow forecast for Vancouver Island this weekend

Snow on Malahat to begin Saturday night, according to Environment Canada

The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Victoria says sale of the planned subdivision will increase the club’s ability to provide services and support. (Courtesy of Association for the Protection of Rural Metchosin)
Victoria Boys and Girls Club says youth would benefit from Metchosin land sale

Club says sale will guarantee supports and programs at time when demand high

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 19

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Most Read