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Gumboot Nation: (Roberts Creek) Elementary, my dear Watson

Kelly's first instalment of his 'Meet the Gumboot Nation' series
Roberts Creek Elementary
Kelly introduces readers to Roberts Creek Elementary's principal, Duncan Knight.

Even if my child hadn’t spent eight years there, I would still be proud to pay my tax dollars to this outstanding institution and hub of our community. We shouldn’t live in a world that doesn’t cherish education.

My collection of local art has a good portion that was created inside the walls of this school. (I get to make the artist dinner every night too!)

The elementary school is headed up by principal Duncan Knight, (principal for five years at Langdale Elementary) who told me his impressions of the welcoming, supportive community, the caring and dedicated staff, and the friendly, confident and actively engaged students. His mission is to continue to support staff’s passions for outdoor education, Indigenous education and to provide students with opportunities to explore and develop their athletic, creative, critical and communication competencies.

The property at the corner of Timberland and Roberts Creek road is more than just an elementary school, more than a well-used basketball court, a new playground or a large play field. (FYI, it’s designated a 30kph zone dusk to dawn, 365. Remember that, there will be a test later.)
What sets our school apart from others is it’s a community school. (Gibson’s Cedar Grove is another one.) What is a community school you ask? From their office tucked beneath the gym, the community school co-coordinators facilitate programs that reach out to our community beyond the K-7 crowd.

Executive director Sheila Wilson had this to say: “We are really proud of the work that we do to support the learning and well-being of Roberts Creek and Cedar Grove Elementary School students and are pleased to oversee and deliver several district-wide initiatives (Roots of Empathy, Schools Out, etc.) The Roberts Creek Legacy Garden continues to be a central focus for our community school and our committee of local experts is currently developing a long-term planting plan. We are working closely with Farm to School BC (F2SBC) to better integrate our garden into the school culture and are excited to have Naomi Fleschhut as our F2SBC Animator.”

Programs delivered include; Sunshine Coast Youth Outreach, Mind Up Training for Educators, Nights Alive, Kinderspark, Reading Mentor, Breakfast for Kids, Red Cross Certified Babysitting and Garden Club.

Let’s not forget the Parents Advisory Committee, an opportunity for parents to get things done. So, when your child comes home with an order sheet for stainless steel lunch kits or that IGA card (pro tip, get into the habit of using it!), or your workmate wants you to buy that poinsettia, remember some of that cash helps these vital opportunities for our young citizens to grow.  

Although not part of the school system, Roberts Creek Childcare Society (a steep walk up behind the school) is another important parent resource. Their Rainbow Preschool and Treehouse After School Care saved my sanity for eight years.

It takes a village to raise a child and I am grateful for the undeniable influence this village has had on me and the child I am raising.

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