The trail behind c̓əsqənelə Elementary is lined with painted rocks that form a lengthy snake.
“It looks like a real snake… that’s made out of rocks,” explained Abigail, a Grade 3 student.
The 157-metre path the snake is being built on connects the school and the neighbouring Albion Community Centre.
“Our goal was to activate the trail and we wanted to do it with the students and introduce it through a kindness project,” said Jen Baillie, the recreation coordinator at Albion Community Centre. “With the community centre and the school being on the same site, it’s important for this to be one larger community.”
With the addition of the rock snake, that community connection is even clearer.
“It was like you were putting like a rock collection down,” said Julia, who is in Grade 2. “It was really pretty, I really like what everybody else did.”
The students were able to paint their own rocks, with the theme of ‘kindness’ in mind, and place them on the trail to be part of the snake.
“We thought it would be a great way of bringing the kids together and encouraging them to access all of the great programs that are at the Albion Community Centre,” said Janet Smith, c̓əsqənelə’s teacher-librarian.
The community centre offers after-school programming, child care, and sport and fitness programs.
Some of these programs, Smith added, are even hosted at the school, including pickleball and basketball.
The ‘kindness’ theme points to the growing relationship and collaboration between the two facilities.
“We feel kindness is at the heart of our community,” Smith said. “Definitely the heart of our school.”
Grade 2 student Oliver says kindness is important.
“So you don’t hurt other people’s feelings,” he explained.
Preston, who is also in Grade 2, agreed.
“I think it was a good idea because if you’re kind and you ask people, ‘do you want to be [my] friend?’ they might say yes,” she said.