Bridging the generations - Visitors to Kipling School’s Passion Project Gala had the opportunity to view displays set up by K-Grade 6 students – who each chose a topic that they are passionate about and designed a display that enabled them share that passion.

Last Thursday, proud family members and friends along with many other members of the community toured through both the gym and library at Kipling School – enjoying the colourful and diverse displays that were part of the ‘Passion Project Gala’.
Vanessa Kish (grade one teacher at Kipling School) was one of the organizers of this year’s event. Kish explains that (as is so often the case with our favorite school memories and traditions) the annual Passion Project Gala began with the kindergarten class. However, she notes that the celebration has grown to include the rest of the elementary grades.
“I began doing these projects with my Kindergarten students about seven years ago. We called these ‘Passion Projects’ because they were based entirely on whatever the kids were truly passionate about.
“We would start out by talking about what a ‘passion’ is. Then the students would write down a list of the things that they were passionate about in a big heart and take that home. Then, they would decide which of their passions they would like to do a project on. Then, we would have a day when parents and others could come in and see those projects.
“Other grades got involved with this, so that now the Passion Project Gala includes students from kindergarten up to grade 6. This year, we have approximately 200 students who have created projects and displays so that they can share their passion through this event!”
She adds that the tremendous response that the Passion Project Gala receives from the community only encourages the students to become more passionate about their project.
“When we had people coming into the classrooms to see the projects – it was becoming a bit crowded because we always have a great turnout for this event. So, this year, we decided to have the students set up their displays in both the gym and the library. That way, people would be better able to move around and spend some time really looking at the displays.
“We’re certainly glad that we decided to do that – because we had an amazing number of people come to Passion Project Gala this year! The flow was much better than it would have been if the displays had been set up in the classrooms. But both the gym and the library were very busy places on Thursday!
“For the parents, the gala provides then with an opportunity to not only see their child’s project – but also see all the rest of the projects too. So, it’s a lot of fun for them.
“The students also love being able to present their displays for their parents. But having the chance to present their projects to other people – who are there to see their displays and who are interested in hearing them talk about their passions – really makes this an incredibly exciting experience for the kids!”
Kish also points out that because the students are given the opportunity to choose what kind of project to do for the gala – visitors to the event are able to see a wide variety of different displays.
“The students are free to decide how they want to showcase their passion! They can make a poster or a diorama. Some students bring different things from home or use various materials to create items that they display. (We had one student who used Lego to create a big display!) There have even been some students who have made a video presentation for their project.
“Having that freedom to really do what they want to do, means that the students aren’t upset or nervous about sharing their presentations with others. And it also means that we see incredible, unique displays every year!”

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