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Sudbury Secondary students build gaga ball pit at Princess Anne Public School
Students in the Grade 11/12 Construction Technology class at Sudbury Secondary School had a unique opportunity to put their practical skills to the test while learning about teamwork and the value of giving back.
On Friday, October 15, 2021, they packed their tools and travelled to Princess Anne Public School where they rolled up their sleeves and built a gaga ball pit in the school yard.
The project was initiated by Sudbury Secondary School Vice-Principal Carrie Wilson who leads the Rainbow District School Board CODE Summer Learning Program. Recognizing the merits across both panels – a healthy, active lifestyle for the elementary students and hands-on experience in the trades for the secondary students – she got the ball rolling. With funding from the CODE Summer Learning Program, the project was launched.
Gaga ball is played in a low-walled wooden octagonal structure some 25 feet in diameter. A fast-moving game, players are in constant motion as they dodge, run and jump to avoid a softer ball touching them below the knees. Gaga ball helps children develop skills for sports such as soccer, football and basketball. Above all, it’s a game everyone can enjoy in the great outdoors.
“On behalf of the entire Princess Anne Public School community, I would like to thank the staff and students from Sudbury Secondary School for providing our students with a fun place to play,” said Principal Jodie Pakkala. “The gaga ball pit will also be enjoyed beyond the school year when we host the Summer Learning Program that combines literacy, numeracy and recreation.”
Groundwork and planning for the pit began in the Sudbury Secondary School Construction Technology class, where students watched videos and practised using the tools and equipment needed to complete the job.
Staff purchased a gaga ball pit kit with plans, brackets, fasteners and rail guards. Students also cut and pre-drilled holes in the wood sourced locally to prepare for assembly day. Following directions reinforced the importance of reading and comprehension.
“Students truly welcomed the opportunity to work collaboratively at one of our feeder schools,” said David Bertrim, Principal of Sudbury Secondary School. “The project left them with a tangible sense of pride as well as a special connection to the younger students and the greater community.”
He added: “When students take what they learn in the classroom and apply those skills to a meaningful project, it not only builds confidence, it also gives students a chance to explore construction technology as a possible career path with rewarding results. I would like to thank Carrie Wilson for moving the concept from vision to fruition. It’s been a win-win that will have a positive impact all year long.”
Nicole Charette, Senior Advisor
Corporate Communications and Strategic Planning
Rainbow District School Board, 705-674-3171 ext. 7217