Commitment, passion and community support bring Manning students $100,000 closer to seeing their vision come to life

Commitment, passion and community support bring Manning students $100,000 closer to seeing their vision come to life

March 5, 2014 - Ten students from Manning Elementary School and Paul Rowe High School known as the “Manning Bike and Skate Park Committee” are proof that vision, commitment and passion go a long way in seeing dreams come true.  Following their presentation to the County of Northern Lights and the Town of Manning last week, they are $100,000 closer to seeing their vision come to life – the construction of a bike and skate park in Manning by August 2014.

“This all started because we wanted a safe and appropriate place to bike and skate so that we are off the streets” says Aaron Johnson, grade 9 student and committee member. “We asked fellow students if they were interested in forming a group and met every day in our enrichment class and afterschool.”

With the guidance and support of parent Darla Robinson and educator Jackie Ristesund, the Manning Skate and Bike Committee was formed and members researched bike and skate park designs, costs, health benefits, fundraising opportunities, possible locations, ways to integrate the history of Manning into the design and developed marketing, grant writing and presentation skills.

The committee created an in-depth proposal and presented it to schools in the community to determine interest. With overwhelming support in favor of building a bike and skate park in the community, the students presented to the county and the town.

“Their hard work and commitment to the project was evident in their presentations” says Paul Rowe High School Principal Matt Taylor. “Both the County of Northern Lights and the Town of Manning unanimously passed a vote in support for the skate park and each committed $50,000 to its construction.”

The knowledge, background work, professionalism and dedication of the committee was clearly demonstrated in the presentations. A council member commented that “it was the best presentation we’ve seen in ten years.”

“We are very impressed with the efforts of the group and incredibly proud of their accomplishments” says Taylor. “A big thank you goes Darla Robinson and Jackie Ristesund who are instrumental in leading the students through this exciting venture and of course, to our amazing community partners who play a large role in seeing this community project come to life.”

Taylor adds that this project highlights the purpose of the enrichment class and the principles of Inspiring Education (Alberta Government initiative designed to align the needs of students with the changes in the world today and for years to come).

“The enrichment class is a flexible period that allows students to explore areas of interest, apply basic skills such as research, math and writing while having access to the guidance of adult leaders. It is a time and space for students to explore their talents, passions and interest which in turn increases student engagement, provides citizenship opportunities and allows their entrepreneurial spirit to shine.”

Manning Skate and Bike Park Committee:
Erik Johnson (grade 8), chairperson, Aaron Johnson (grade 9), vice-chairperson, Clay Pharis (grade 8), secretary, and board members (listed alphabetically), Kialer Henitiuk (grade 9), Jason Lambert (grade 9), Calin Lariviere (grade 9), Carter Lawrence (grade 9), Jarod Lorencz (grade 9), Jesse Peterson (grade 9), and Levi Pharis (grade 5 at MES).

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