Nootka Elementary sends messages of encouragement to students affected by wildfires

Schools & Students

Wildfire-affected students at a school in 100 Mile House were given a message of positivity at a fundraiser hosted by Nootka Elementary in Vancouver.

Nootka Parent Advisory Council (PAC) threw a bake sale and school principal Richard Zerbe premiered a short video intended for the students at Horse Lake Elementary. Zerbe then asked parents and kids involved to finish the film with a resounding, “we’re thinking of you Horse Lake Elementary,” captured in the gymnasium.

The students at Horse Lake were affected by the wildfires this past summer. For the vast majority of students their summer consisted of either being on evacuation alert, being evacuated, or having friends and family stay at their homes because of evacuations in the area. There were several days that going outside was not an option because of the poor air quality caused by the heavy smoke.

The fires also had an economic toll on Horse Lake families as many depend on the tourism industry and summer is traditionally their busy season.

Staff and PAC members decided to come together to put on a fundraiser for the students whose summer was cut short.

“We wanted to do something for the community at Horse Lake Elementary, so we decided to do a ‘fun-draiser’ so they can do something fun at their own school,” says Bonnie Jarvis, chairperson of Nootka PAC (pictured, above).

Horse Lake Elementary students will also receive a banner with thoughtful messages handwritten by Nootka students.

“Our goal is not to end there, but to build a relationship with the community, like the old pen pal style,” says vice principal, Rajneil Deo. “It will help the students realize that there are children just like them in another part of the province, so it helps them learn to be empathetic.”

Nootka 'fun-draiser'