RAIN or shine @ Garden City Park

Hello everyone,

As some of you may already know, at Sr. OSC we try and provide one optional afternoon out-trip a month to a local playground or facility in Richmond. This month we were joined by the Jr. OSC program and together we visited Garden City Park.

Posted on our sign-up forms we try and make it clear  that these out-trips are 'rain or shine', and we definitely mean RAIN or shine. 

So we bundled ourselves up, grabbed our buckets & shovels and away we went! We even fashioned some handy dandy ponchos out of garbage bags.

These out-trips are certainly a blast for the kids, but even our leaders enjoy getting out there and playing!

If you're wondering how you can make sure your child makes it out with us on the next afternoon out-trip, look for the sign-up sheets that get posted beside our sign-in binder one week before the trip!

That's all for now!


Matt (the bat)


Exploring Our Environment

In the educational world, there is a model of learning based around three educators: parents, teachers and the environment.  This Fall, before the rain truly hits, we've been trying to take advantage of that third educator, the environment, as much as possible.  This has revolved around a couple activities that have occupied and captivated the imaginations of the kids at OSC.  
At Gilmore there is a large hill with a long metal slide that shoots down it's side.  Much to our curious delight, our attention has been captured by a family of young rabbits that have made their home safely under the slide.  When the kids first found out about the rabbits there was a lot of excitement and eagerness to get close to them.  As we've watched them grow over the weeks, we've also had a chance to learn more about them and how we interact with nature.  One of the lessons that the kids have taken to heart is that although we may have good intentions, having the rabbits get use to humans may actually put them in danger.  It's been really cool to watch the kids take this lesson and to hear them live it and repeat it to their peers. We are still captivated by the rabbits, but now we know to give them some distance, for our safety and their own.
Early in the school year, I got to prepare an activity that brought nature up close to our students.  Collecting pond water from Terra Nova Park, our students were able to explore the tiny creature that inhabit our waterways, all from the dry safety of our space.  We found that the water was full of tadpoles, tiny snails and clams, and aquatic insects that would dart around with great speed.  It was a lot of fun watching the kids get close and exploring these creatures that would otherwise remain hidden in plain sight.
While the water bugs were great, sometimes it doesn't take a lot of planning to engage our kids with their surroundings.  Sometimes all it takes is a rope and a tree, perfect for climbing.  This fall, the kids have also had a great time exploring their school grounds from different vantages, challenging themselves to climb higher and to problem solve where the next handhold will be. 
While the days are getting shorter, and the weather may be turning a little wetter, we are still happy to explore our surroundings, and to appreciate the third teacher we have around us.


Smash Day!

Have you ever wondered what smashing a watermelon in slow motion would look like? What about a Kinder Surprise Egg? What about milk, lego, or even a real egg? This list grew longer and longer as Emma, Nathan and other children started brainstorming these hypothetical questions.  I love sitting and chatting with the children about crazy and wonderful ideas, however, this time we were so inspired we vowed to make it happen.  It was here, at a typical OSC table, that we created the idea of Smash Day.

In order for Smash Day to work we first needed a list of items.  Even though we had some initial ideas we wanted to talk more about why we were picking each items and what were the pros and cons of the items we wanted.  Our main goal was to find a balance between science, fun and minimal waste.  We quickly revived our list to include the following:
  • Watermelon (mini)
  • Kinder egg
  • Egg (expired) 
  • Water balloon
  • Lego
  • Pie (crust + whipped cream)
  • Apple
  • Milk (small container) 
  • Mentose and coke (mini can)
  • Cup of coffee ( Carolyn's) 

Our next step was to organize a safe, easy way to clean up our proposed mess.  Luckily, we had an old tarp on the way out that would take care of the mess for us.  Soon we were hyping up Smash Day to everyone, from kids to leaders.  Wednesday couldn't get here soon enough.

On Wednesday afternoon everyone jumped into action and helped set up the final phase of our project.  Sarah organized the items into a smashtastic order.  Brianna set up the ladder and found us an optimal smashing space.  Kevin set up the tri pod and slow mo camera and I set up our observation board.  I checked in with our planning crew and we agreed we wanted 3 questions answered.

  1. How high did it bounce?
  2. What did the item look like after it was smashed? Was it close to the original shape or not?
  3. How close did it land on the target?
As everything was being organized we split everyone into groups and handed out observation sheets.  Before anything was smashed we all took a moment to predict the outcomes.  I noticed that the phrase "a thousand pieces" was used quite a lot for question 2. 

Soon the excitement bubbled over as I announced it was time to drop the first item, a banana.  The silence after the banana landed was strange.  There was a sudden feel of disappointment.  The banana drop was a flop.  However, soon water balloons, mini pies and even my cup of coffee were splashing onto the tarp (and Kevin, Sorry!)  which filled the group with excitement once again. 

For me the highlight of our experiment was the mini watermelon.  The slow motion video was by far my favorite, and unfortunately the last because my phone ran out of storage. 

After the last bit of chocolate milk was cleaned, the observations recorded, and the videos compiled and am left feeling very satisfied.  I look forward to the next time we take a wonderful, creative, and crazy idea and smash it, figuratively and maybe literally.  Tune in to find out!


Back in the Swing of Things

Welcome back to Sr. OSC!  Though the weather is sticking around, summer has indeed ended.  We are back into the full swing of things at Senior as we enter into the second full week of school.  Our staff are all looking forward to a wonderful school year and have many amazing things to bring to the program. We are looking forward to seeing all the familiar faces and we welcome those who are new to Sr. OSC.  If you have not had a chance to meet all of the staff, please do not hesitate to say "Hello!" and introduce yourself.

Getting back into the routine can sometimes be challenging, but here are a few friendly reminders of the important things that take place in our program:
  •  Breakfast is served daily from 7:00am-8:00am: 
    • Hot breakfast is served Monday, Wednesday and Fridays, with regular breakfast being offered throughout the week as well. 
    • What we serve for breakfast may change throughout the week. However, there will always be cereal, bread, english muffins, oatmeal, and juice.

  • Bus pickup times are as follows and we ask that your child be dropped off by the designated times if they require transportation by us.
    • If your child goes to Quilchena or Dixon, please arrive at Gilmore Sr. OSC no later than 8:00am. Bus pickup is 8:15am from Gilmore.
    • If you miss the designated time, please drop off your child directly at school, as the bus does only one pick up in the morning.

    • If your child is looking for something to do during the afternoons, feel free to encourage them to check out our daily activities. Each day a leader brings something new and exciting to try, and all your child needs to do is sign up on our magnet board and go into it with a good attitude! There will also be monthly options to explore Richmond during our optional afternoon out trips. Keep an eye out for a sign up sheet at the sign out table for these out trips.

    • If your child will NOT be coming to Gilmore Sr. OSC after school, please remember to give us a call at: 604.272.3661. This is the direct line for our program and during off hours we have a voicemail available. Please leave us a clear and detailed message, otherwise there is a good chance we will be hassling you until we know your child's whereabouts!

        • Please check your parent folders regularly and keep an eye out for any Pro D sign up sheets that may be posted throughout the year.

          These are just some of the reminders from Sr. OSC. In the meantime, we hope that you will join us in ushering in another awesome school year. We look forward to getting to know and/or catching up with everyone. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask any one of us.


          Summer Weather

          Hey Sr OSC families,

          Mr.Blue sky is back again! 

          While the sun showers us with gifts of light, warmth, and energy, it also brings us sunburns. This is the beginning of sunscreen season, please remember to equip your little sunbeams with sunscreen, hats, sunglasses, bug spray, and LOTS of water! We've already begun our transition back into the great outdoors with water fights, so packing an extra change of clothes would be a great idea! We are all so pumped for the coming summer program, and we hope you are too!

          Have a wonderful sunny weekend!

          Mackenzie H
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