Gabrielle Lefebvre (teacher and eco-school leader), Mélanie Tessier (parent council president), Marc Bertrand (superintendent of CECCE), Lisa Samrai (principal), Mylène Bigras (teacher and eco-school leader), Doug Struthers (mayor), Sylvie Gosselin (educator), Lori McIntosh-Bélanger (after-school program coordinator and educator), Jake Phillips (student) and Julie Terpstra (teacher).

École catholique Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys celebrated the opening of their new outdoor learning centre at their start of school barbeque and concert last Thursday. Conseil des Écoles Catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE) Superintendent of Facilities and Education, Marc Bertrand, and Mayor Doug Struthers were on hand for the ribbon cutting and inauguration of the new Sentier Jacob, located at the back of the Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys school yard.

Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys Principal, Lisa Samrai, says developing an outdoor learning centre for the students was made possible by the CECCE, which gave them a $10,000 grant to create the space. Marc says the grant is one of five $10,000 and two $50,000 grants that are given to schools for green and eco-friendly projects. “We are trying to bring eco citizenship into play and outdoor learning,” he says.

Sentier Jacob was developed with the help of students, who expressed what they would like to see in an outdoor learning centre. It is a woodland oasis with a covered area, as well as wooden stools and tables where students can sit, participate in outdoor activities, and learn. The centre was completed in August, just in time for the new school year. Lisa says the kids love it, and at least one or two classes are using it every day.

The centre is named after a former Sainte-Marguerite-Bourgeoys student who passed away over the summer in the 1990s. Jacob’s parents have donated a bench at the front of the school and supplied the sign for Sentier Jacob in his memory.


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