Students in the 3S and 3P classes at Harry Balfour School have been inspired by Monique Sullivan, a track cyclist and Olympic athlete-mentor with Classroom Champions, to give back to the community. During the first half of December, the Grade 3 classes will host a school-wide collection of new hats, mittens and socks to donate to the homeless this holiday season. Donations may be dropped in boxes located throughout the school. The boxes are labelled by Grade division and students would like to see which division can make their box overflow with love for others. Collected items will be distributed at Grande Prairie's Dinner for the Homeless event on December 18th.
On November 25th, Kasia Pfefferle's Grade 3P class participated in a live chat with Ms. Sullivan who is currently training in New Zealand for upcoming Olympic-qualifying races. Through the Classroom Champions program, Ms. Sullivan shares lessons on goal setting, perseverance and leadership. The program is made possible by Encana Corporation. During the video chat session, students asked Ms. Sullivan what it takes to become an Olympic athlete, where in the world she has traveled, and how she found her passion. Following the question-and-answer session, the students performed a song and posed for group photos with Ms. Sullivan, including one that showcased their "stronger" pose which reflects their goal to become better, stronger people through the Classroom Champions program.
When asked how she discovered her passion to become an Olympic track cyclist, Ms. Sullivan offered words of encouragement to the young students. "All of you will find something that you love…Always keep trying new things so you find that thing you love. Don't be afraid to work hard at it."
After signing off from the video chat, the class erupted in cheering, with high-fives all around. One student noted that the thing that stood out to them was how Ms. Sullivan seems to love spending time with Classroom Champions kids all over the world. The class hopes to see Ms. Sullivan compete in the upcoming 2016 Summer Olympics in Brazil.
For more photos from this event, visit PWSD's Facebook page.