Kiara Hart's Grade 9 class are planning the Benefit of the Bands.

Kiara Hart's Grade 9 class are planning the Benefit of the Bands.

Prince Rupert students learn the joy of giving back

A fresh and hands-on teaching method will help benefit a community volunteer group as part of their final class project.

A fresh and hands-on teaching method has not only allowed students to learn the necessary curriculum for their course in a new way, but will help benefit a community volunteer group as part of their final class project.

Charles Hays Secondary School students from Kiara Hart’s Grade 9 Humanities are currently organizing their year-end community project Benefit of the Bands, a concert with a line up of local musicians that will raise money for the Prince Rupert Wildlife Rehab Shelter.

“I would really like the Benefit to be successful, not just for the contribution it makes toward the community but also to empower the students, give them ownership of their project and provide them with the realization that they can make a difference today and tomorrow,” Hart said.

Approximately 20 students from the class were split into groups to work on different aspects of organizing the event, and as of one week ago students had lined up a few performers, a venue, equipment for the show, and help moving that equipment.

Set to perform at the show as of last week were Corey Wesley, the Ben Taylor Band, River Carwoods, Nancy Griffith-Zahner, Assault with a Plastic Weapon and Odin Beats.

The students collectively decided on the idea of holding a Benefit of the Bands, and the group benefiting from the show.

“We decided on the wildlife shelter because animal life is very important in Prince Rupert. The wildlife shelter does what they do out of their own kindness and their bank account. It’s a really good thing for people of the community to come [to Benefit of the Bands] and give some money so we can help them out,” Crystal Vallee, a student in Hart’s Humanities class, said.

“It’s helping our community and the wildlife in it,” Kaylee Bonnescher, another student, added.

Vallee and Bonnescher said working on this project has been interesting.

“I like it because we actually get to go out and do stuff, whereas the other projects we just have to sit in class and try to research stuff. This one has put us out there,” said Vallee.

Hart agrees.

“It gives the students an opportunity to be part of something and to take ownership of it,” she said.

“A lot of the times when we have assignments or activities we’re doing with students, they can’t see how it’s relevant. So this puts a whole new perspective into things because what they’re working on is extremely relevant and moving toward something.”

The community project idea also fit in with the class’ music appreciation program, a different approach to covering the Grade 9 Humanities curriculum.

The course still covers the social studies and English components of the class, but is music-based, incorporating aspects of info-teach and art into project-based learning.

Hart said it fit in perfectly because as part of the music appreciation program, students have been learning about many ways music has effected history, including social movements. Hart said this was her class’ way of starting its own social movement with music, by using music as a method to help a crucial Prince Rupert group.

Jasper Nolos, CED projects coordinator at Community Futures Pacific Northwest, said he wasn’t surprised with the class’ decision to support the wildlife shelter.

Community Futures held a Junior World Cafe in the class in March, to help students understand community development topics, help them get a better understanding of where their priorities lay and to use the discussions as a way to decide on a class community project.

Nolos said the topic of nature and animals came up at nearly every table topic at the Junior World Cafe.

Benefit of the Bands will take place on Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at the Lester Centre of the Arts.

Admission will be by donation.