The Coppard Glen Public School (JK to 8) in Markam, Ontario has recently committed to launching a brand new Ponnivala initiative. This will be a school-wide undertaking where students at all levels will be exposed to the telling and related study topics that feature the Legend of Ponnivala story. A series of planning meetings to this end have already been held. The latest get-together took place on April 16th in a temporarily vacant classroom. Two earlier meetings were held in the school library. To “kick” things off the Coppard Glen school plans to set up a large display in their front entrance hall that will announce this new project plan to all. The display will take interested parents into account, as well as students. There will be banners hung and tables set out with key resource materials laid out for viewing. The emphasis will be on story telling and on the fact that wonderful legends exist in many languages. Two separate monitors will be playing episodes from the Legend of Ponnivala Series, one with a sound track in English and the other with a sound track in Tamil. The books on display will also feature both languages. It is hoped that parents as well as students will take an interest in this new plan to introduce a colourful curriculum supplement.
There will be a school wide assembly to launch the programme officially, this May. The planning of content for that assembly was a key part of yesterday’s meeting. After the assembly there will be about six weeks for students to work on art and game projects related to the story. Each grade level will have its own project and activity plan. Art and images of characters featured in the story will put on display around the school in an effort to stimulate student interest. When the student artwork is done that, too, will be put on display.
After the summer break, the Legend of Ponnivala curriculum programme will get underway in earnest at the Coppard Glen School. Starting in September the full story will be used in multiple classrooms and various teachers will approach the telling and study of the story from multiple points of view. This is a unique and laudable initiative that hopes to lead the way in developing a new multicultural educational thrust throughout the York Region School Board system. The importance of learning to appreciate the cultural contributions of languages other than English will be one of its key goals. A large number of Coppard Glen teachers are excited about this new plan to enrich their students’ school environment. We will keep you posted as this very interesting and cutting-edge project progresses over the next fifteen months!