Historic Hamilton Public School Gains a Head-Start in 21st Century Skills

This summer, The Learning Partnership is celebrating the success and achievements that were made by thousands of students across the country who participated in our programs and initiatives throughout the school year. Each week, we will be spotlighting a student, class or school that have been positively impacted by our programs.

Check out this week’s spotlight story!

Even though it holds the title of second oldest school in Ontario, Dundas Central Public School near Hamilton has gained a head-start in 21st century skills in Mr. Jamie Bennett’s Grade 5 class.

Bringing the world of business into his classroom through The Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program, teacher Jamie Bennett enlisted help from Melissa Height – local entrepreneur and owner of creative web development company, Serious Monkey – to guide his Grade 5 students in developing and executing their very own business venture that donated all of its profits to charity.


Grade 5 student participants of The Learning Partnership’s Entrepreneurial Adventure program, at Dundas Central Public School, celebrate raising over $1500 for local charity from their Dundas Central Fun Fair business venture in May 2014.

After several months of brainstorming ideas, researching feasible options and seeking help from a few Grade 6 and 7 student alumni, who experienced the Entrepreneurial Adventureprogram last year, the Grade 5 students decided to bring family fun to their community and use their historic school grounds to hold the Dundas Central Fun Fair.

Held in May 2014, the students gave their community a day to remember, packed with traditional fun fair games, food and activities for families to enjoy. The event was a huge success, raising over $1,500 for Routes Youth Centre, a Dundas-based organization that provides a safe, supportive environment for local youth.

“I am just so impressed with how resilient these students were through this experience,” says Mr. Bennett. “The kids had to deal with real-life challenges during their business planning, but they stayed focused, jumped into creative problem-solving and took initiative and ownership of the whole venture as a cohesive team. These are all essential skills in life and in the workplace that they can take and develop even further for the future.  I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

For business mentor Melissa Height, providing kids the opportunity to explore and take risks in a supportive environment, while also connecting to her formal education roots in early childhood education, was enough reason for her to get involved.

“Thinking back to my own school journey, I wish I had learned then the life lessons that these students are being taught now,” says Melissa Height. “Learning about how to approach people, working through unexpected problems and even handling failure makes me wonder how much further I could have gone had I gained these skills earlier.”

For the Grade 5 class at Dundas Central Public School, their enterprising spirit continues as the students already have aspirations to explore more fundraising ventures for the Dundas community, including an outdoor movie night and public dance event for next year.

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