PH26583 - A look at Bradford, then and now

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A look at Bradford, then and now


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Media Type : Newspaper Article
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Community : Bradford
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Description : Last year, Fred C. Cook Public School took an innovative approach to welcoming the kids back to school. Instead of the usual temporary homerooms, followed by classroom shuffles, tears and disappointment - moving some students to a new setting, just as they began to feel comfortable - the school embraced a week-long "Whole School" entry. All during week one, students were divided into teams, not classrooms, and participated in a unit that combined team spirit and fun with course material, in math, history, sports, arts, crafts, language and geography. Last year's theme was "The Olympics", coinciding with the Summer Olympics in Atlanta, Georgia. The unit was such a success, promoting "a positive school environment", that this year the school has done it again, with a unit titled, "Bradford, Then and Now." A look at the history, geography, crafts and cultures of Bradford West Gwillimbury, the unit drew upon the expertise of local volunteers to give students a multi-dimensional introduction to their own community. The students were divided into "Guilds" - merchants and blacksmiths, tailors, weavers, saddlers, stonemasons and millwrights, eighteen in all. As "Guilds", they traced the origins of the settlers, the agriculture of the area, participated in mathematical activities, played traditional sports, and listened to presentations on topics like "Building Bradford" and "Hurricane Hazel", from special guests who included local historians Barb Verney and George Jackson. Friday was the "grand finale." Gordon Marriott piped in the Guilds for an outdoor assembly, followed by a speech by Mayor Frank Jonkman, and performances by a choir and Irish dancers. Then each Guild made the rounds of the special displays, games and demonstrations. Scotch Settlement Apple Orchard brought bushels of crisp apples, and made cider in an old fashioned cider press. Hank Vanderpost of Vanhaven Farms demonstrated the art of preparing a calf to be shown at a Fair. The students asked questions, and experienced history, hands-on. And only at the end of the week did each child receive a letter, designating their classroom for the year.

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