Parent volunteers desperately needed

Dear parents,
The Cameron Parent Advisory Council (PAC) represents all parents and guardians of Cameron students. This year we are struggling to find enough parent volunteers to run our events.
 
We need you to get involved, or we may not be able to offer events like the Welcome Back BBQ and Multicultural Dinner next year, or make purchases for the school like iPads and projectors, science kits, library books, and buses for field trips. Come to the next PAC meeting to find out about all the ways the PAC contributes to the school, and how you can help.
 
If you are unable to attend the meeting but would like to get involved, please contact us here or email the Chair, Jen Zerkee at chair@cameronpac.ca.

Welcome to the 2017-2018 year at Cameron!

The Cameron Parent Advisory Council (PAC) welcomes all new and returning students, families, teachers, and staff to the new school year at Cameron.

The PAC represents parents and guardians and provides input to the school and the district about any aspect of education. The PAC encourages parent involvement in the school and provides a forum for discussion of issues related to education. See About the PAC for more info.

什么是PAC? | 什麽是PAC? |  학부모 자문위원회란? (Translated info here.)

What does the PAC do?

Last year, we raised funds and contributed at least $9000 to the school by purchasing classroom resources, science kits, Cameron Cubs jerseys, portable projectors, library book, and music equipment, as well as transportation and snacks for school field trips and events. We also host a number of school community events during the year, such as the Welcome Back coffees and BBQ, Multicultural Dinner, Pancake Breakfast, and Staff Appreciation.

We need parent support to continue doing these things!

Without your help, we won’t be able to continue to contribute these things to the school community. The PAC welcomes all volunteers–we have one-time and ongoing opportunities, and roles that can accommodate any schedule. Visit the Get Involved page and watch for notices for current opportunities, and email cameronvolunteers@hotmail.com to be added to our volunteer email list.

Books to honour leaving teachers and staff

Every year, the PAC honours departing longer-term teachers and staff with a book dedication. In collaboration with Ms. Kirzner, a book is purchased that reflects and highlights each individual and their contribution to the Cameron community. A label is put in the book with their name and the date, and the book then becomes part of the school library’s collection. In September your kids will be able to borrow these books from the library!

This morning, the following books were presented to leaving staff at the assembly:

“From the jungle to the mountains or your own backyard, all you need to do is listen. You might hear the animals all around.” Listen to Our World, by Bill Martin Jr. and Michael Sampson, was presented to Mr. Ma.

“In a child’s life, nothing takes the place of splashing in a puddle or jumping in autumn leaves.” Bringing the Outside In, by Mary Mckenna Siddals and Patrice Barton, was presented to Ms. Gibson.

“Turn the page to see how plants are designed to lure their pollinators right in your own back yard.” Flowers are Calling, by Rita Gray and Kenard Pak, was presented to Ms. Zilcosky.

“What will your beautiful hands do today? Will they plant… ideas? Or touch… hearts? Will they lift… spirits? Or stretch… imaginations?” Beautiful Hands, by Kathryn Otoshi and Bret Baumgarten, was presented to Ms. Fallis.

“Are we there yet? Oh, for goodness sake, just buckle up and enjoy the ride!” Are We There Yet?, by Nina Laden and Adam McCauley, was presented to Ms. Gee.

“Andrew is one busy chickadee. But will Andrew’s busy schedule leave any time for fun?” Over-Scheduled Andrew, by Ashley Spires, was presented to Ms. Green.

“A boy, a colony of penguins, a smack of jellyfish, a crash of rhinos, a trail of shells, a tribe of kids. A journey home.” There is a Tribe of Kids, by Lane Smith, was presented to Ms. Pastora-Gomez.

“A book with no pictures? What good is a book with no pictures?” This is Not a Picture Book!, by Sergio Ruzzier, was presented to Ms. Roffel.

“In the middle of a little forest, there lives a little tree who loves his life and the splendid leaves that keep him cool in the heat of the summer days.” Little Tree, by Loren Long, was presented to Ms. Jacome.

“I have to write a story today… But today I don’t have any ideas. This is my dog Wednesday. She doesn’t like me to write stories. It’s sunny out and Wednesday wants to go for a walk.” Ideas are All Around, by Philip C. Stead, was presented to Ms. Perez.

“Meet Little Panda. He’s awake and ready for adventure. But where do his feet go?” Where My Feet Go, by Birgitta Sif, was presented to Ms. Verlaan.

“Woof! I’m a service dog. Dogs like me help people with disabilities or illnesses.” We were also happy to present Service Dogs, by Jessica Rudolph, to our outgoing PAC Chair Jane Ann Mintenko.

Cameron PAC 2015-16 fundraising and spending summary

Each year the Cameron Parent Advisory Council raises funds through a variety of events and initiatives (in addition to receiving grant funds from a variety of sources). The money raised is used to provide equipment, events, and materials to the school community.

This year our major fundraising activities included:

  • Chocolate sales: $2972.50 raised
  • Photo nights: $670.50 raised
  • Magic show: $414.40 raised

Major purchases the PAC made for the school included:

  • Projectors for intermediate classrooms: approx. $2300.00
  • Teacher resources: $1850.00
  • Class set of drums: $1147.73
  • Library books: $958.73

The PAC Executive is always interested in our members’ (i.e. all parents!) input. All parents are welcome to attend monthly PAC meetings, or to contact any executive member with any concerns or questions. Please consider getting involved in September so that you can help us plan PAC spending priorities. Watch this site for fall meeting dates.

Cameron Learning Ground and Greening Project

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The PAC has received a grant from the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation to develop an outdoor learning ground area at the school! Here is Shatha Al Qasem, PAC Special Projects Coordinator, describing the project plans:

Cameron Elementary School’s Learning Ground and Greening project will bring children and the community closer to nature by enhancing the grounds of our school with plants and outdoor green space. Currently, Cameron’s school grounds are nothing but hard surface and pounded grass and the community surrounding Cameron is mostly high rises with little access to community gardens.

Cameron School PAC, the garden committee and greening team will bring parents and the community together, through the collaboration and support from different initiatives and Cameron’s community, the school will build a sustainable garden and school learning ground (outdoor classroom) with green shaded area.

The objective of this project is to change the children’s living and learning environment to a place where they can begin to reconnect with the beauty of the natural world through a community garden and outdoor classroom. Students are more likely to invent their own games in green play space. Teachers can create outdoor classroom activities in which students can learn in healthy green open air settings.

The outdoor classroom and community garden features include:

  • Three raised garden beds — donated by School District 41 (Burnaby)
  • 20 basalt boulders for seating stone area — provided by PAC and the TD grant
  • Native trees, shrubs, mulch, soil — provided by PAC and the TD grant

The schedule of the project is as follows:

  • Approval from the School Board — completed
  • Design outdoor classroom and community garden – completed
  • Garden bed installation — spring 2016
  • Plant trees and shrubs, and install seating stones and mulch — summer 2016

Transition to school and community use:

  • Once the garden beds are completed, planting will begin.
  • Once the seating stones are installed, the outdoor classroom may be used by Cameron School and Community.

If you have questions about the Learning Ground and Greening Project, or would like to get involved, please contact Shatha.

We still need volunteers for the Greening Committee!

Are you passionate about the outdoors? Have a green thumb? Curious about the planters recently installed in front of the school, and want to get involved in other outdoor initiatives at Cameron?

giardinaggio-2400pxPlease consider lending your time and experience to the Parent Advisory Council’s Greening Committee! This committee will set its own schedule and can work with your availability and time commitment.

If you are interested, or have questions about the Greening Committee and its work, please see the Get Involved page for more information.

We need you! Ongoing volunteer opportunities

Cameron PAC is establishing two new committees: the Greening Committee and the Events Committee. Please consider lending your time and expertise to one of these committees.

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Intrigued by the new planters recently installed in front of the school? The Greening Committee will work with teachers and staff to add an outdoor classroom space and other green features.

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Have you or your kids had a great time at events like the Multicultural Dinner or Pancake Breakfast? The Events Committee will plan and oversee PAC-hosted events throughout the school year.

Both committees will set their own schedules based on members’ availability; you do not need to be able to attend monthly evening PAC meetings to join. Please see the Get Involved page for more information.

Results – Parent Input on 2015 Budget

The Cameron PAC would like to thank everyone who took the time to complete the recent survey on the 2015 School District Budget. Overall, it is clear that Cameron parents are very concerned about the current level of funding for public education.

A summary of Cameron parents’ responses can be found here: Cameron Elementary PAC – 2015 Budget Input.

The report was provided to the School Board for discussion at their April, 14, 2015 meeting and the Burnaby DPAC, who will present feedback from parents across Burnaby at the District’s Partner Group Meeting on April 21, 2015.

Further information on the preliminary District budget, which will be finalized and submitted to the Ministry of Education on April 30, can be found here.

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