More than 4,000 students expected to attend the 2012 Halton Children’s Water Festival

Conservation Halton and Halton Region will be co-hosting the seventh annual Halton Children’s Water Festival (HCWF) from September 25 to 28, 2012 for students in grades two to five. The festival educates children about water, one of the world’s most precious resources, and is once again being held outdoors at the picturesque Kelso Conservation Area in Milton.

The Festival has grown every year since it began in 2006.  Grade two students were added in 2007, and the Festival expanded from three to four days in 2008. Attendance has also risen from 3,000 students in 2006 to more than 4,000 students expected in 2012.  After this year’s Festival, approximately 25,000 elementary school students will have had the opportunity to become environmental stewards while learning about water and the value of protecting and preserving it.

The Festival is co-hosted by Conservation Halton and Halton Region in partnership with the Halton District School Board, the Halton Catholic District School Board, The City of Burlington, The Town of Halton Hills, The Town of Milton and The Town of Oakville. This year, I once again have the pleasure of serving as one of the Festival’s Honorary Co-Chairs along with Conservation Halton Chairman John Vice.

Students will have a unique opportunity to learn about water in a fun and interactive way while covering Ontario curriculum requirements. New this year, French language activity centres will be piloted with grade five French Immersion students on Thursday, September 27.  The festival features nearly 60 curriculum-based, hands-on activity centres that incorporate four central water related themes including:

  • Water Science and Technology
  • Water Conservation and Protection
  • Water Health and Safety
  • Water and Society

The Festival is a community partnership that depends on over 150 volunteers each day to assist with various activities. Each year, Halton high school students, staff from partner organizations and community volunteers all generously offer their time, while gaining experience with community outreach, public speaking, teaching, and time management. The Festival also relies on in-kind and monetary support from organizations in the Halton community in order to make the festival easily accessible for Halton’s students. For more information on this year’s supporters visit www.hcwf.ca/supporterslist.htm.

The Festival is offered to Halton schools at a cost of $5 per child, which includes a full day at the Festival as well as transportation to and from the event. To learn more about the Halton Children’s Water Festival, please visit www.hcwf.ca.

As always, if you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. You can also find me on Twitter @garycarrhalton or on Facebook. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

The Third Annual Student Equity Leadership Summit

On May 8, I had the opportunity to attend the Halton District School Board’s Student Equity Leadership Summit. This Summit brought together local business and community leaders, young people and government officials and offered them an opportunity to come and work together to better our communities.

Each year, the Student Equity Leadership Summit focuses on an important theme and this year was no different as the importance of social justice and financial literacy were highlighted. Inspiring youth to pursue business and ethics will benefit our community for years to come.

Witnessing our current business and community leaders coming together with our future leaders, I was reminded of the important role Regional government plays in providing our young people an opportunity to fulfill their potential. Civic engagement not only plays an important role in shaping our Region but also provides the youth of Halton a chance to help influence changes happening around them.

The Student Equity Leadership Summit reminds us all that one of the duties of the present generation is to help build a foundation from which the next generation will learn about their responsibility as Canadians to think globally and act locally. I’m happy to say that as I met Halton’s young people, I know our future is in good hands.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

For the Love of Literacy

On Saturday, April 9, I joined more than 335 educators, librarians, parents and community leaders from across Halton at the 16th annual For the Love of Literacy Conference External Linkat Notre Dame Secondary School in Burlington. The annual conference provides an opportunity for Halton’s literacy community to come together to meet, learn and share ideas. 

Organized by the Halton District School Board External Link, the Halton Catholic District School Board External Link, The Ontario Early Years Centres External Link, Halton Region, Halton Public Libraries, Sheridan College External Link, and Charles Sturt University External Link, the Conference supports the belief that children’s language and literacy development is best met through shared enjoyment, informed modelling, and developmentally appropriate instruction.

Throughout the day, guest speakers and a variety of workshops stressed the importance of literacy as a key building block for a child’s success in school and in creating opportunities for children to learn and read. Halton Region works closely with early years and school board partners and others in the education community on a number of initiatives that support the importance of literacy and early learning for children.

During the day-long conference, attendees were treated to a keynote address from Kevin Sylvester External Link, renowned author, illustrator, and broadcaster. His best selling children’s books include, Sports Hall of Weird External Link; Shadrin Has Scored for Russia; and Gold Medal for Weird External Link which was awarded a Silver Birch External Link for non-fiction in 2007.

Further information regarding the Conference can be found at www.fortheloveofliteracy.ca External Link.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New High School for Oakville

On November 9, I had the pleasure of attending the official groundbreaking ceremony for a future high school in Oakville External Link. This is one of three new schools External Link in Halton Region that are scheduled to open by September 2012.

Education is one of the most important tools we can give our youth and the ability of a community to provide access to quality education is fundamental to its continued success. As Halton Region continues to grow, it is important that we work together to provide the necessary social infrastructure to meet the needs of the many families who call Halton home.

Participating in this event was especially rewarding because we were taking the first step toward building a school where many of our children will grow up, discover their interests and become leaders. In this positive space, every student can take full advantage of their learning opportunity and work with their teachers to expand their knowledge of the world.

In many ways, a school is more than a building or a collection of classrooms. It is a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to meet new people and make new friends. It is an office for teachers to practice their vocation, and a forum for parents to get involved with their children’s education. It is a venue for student performances, and a gathering place for community events. 

I look forward to the ongoing development of this new school. This exciting project truly demonstrates that as Halton Region grows, it continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”

New High School for Milton

On October 14, I had the pleasure of attending the official groundbreaking ceremony for a future high school in Milton.

In a community growing as fast as Milton, it is important that the necessary infrastructure is developed to meet the needs of the many growing families in the community.

This ceremony was especially significant because we were celebrating both the construction of a new school as well as the continued successful development of Milton and Halton Region.

In many ways, a school is more than a building or a collection of classrooms. It is a place to inspire and be inspired; a place to meet new people and make new friends. It is an office for teachers to practice their vocation, and a forum for parents to get involved with their children’s education. It is a venue for student performances, and a gathering place for community events.

This high school will provide our youth with a safe, comfortable, and supportive learning environment. In this positive space, every student can take full advantage of their learning opportunity and work with their teachers to expand their knowledge of the world.

As mentors, instructors, and role models our teachers make up the foundation of our schools, new and old. Their diligence and hard work encourages students to believe in themselves. They provide the learning and caring that will help students be successful in life.

I look forward to the ongoing development of this new school. This exciting project truly demonstrates that as Halton Region grows, it continues to be a great place to live, work, raise a family and retire.

If you have any Regional concerns or comments you would like to share, please feel free to email me at gary.carr@halton.ca. To receive further updates on Regional issues, please subscribe to my quarterly e-newsletter, “The Carr Report.”