This year, Humboldt Collegiate Institute’s Literacy Blast was a departure from previous years’ events with a new and energizing focus. The day is designed to connect high school students with elementary students in a mentorship program that benefits the coaches and their charges.  

Over the past few years, the event was largely focused on strands of learning in English Language Arts studies – activities that fostered reading, listening, writing and oral story telling. This year the gates were opened for students to experience an array of disciplines in an exciting and interactive environment.  

“We stepped away from the traditional reading and writing literacies and are showcasing all of the different literacies we offer here at HCI,” said vice-principal and key organizer Heidi Phillips. “We’ve got sessions on robotics and coding, science where they’re busy making slime, physical literacy where they’re being active in the gym, health science sessions where the students can learn all about the body.” 

Traditional language literacy was still on the agenda as students were busy creating and playing word games. Numeracy was a big part of the day with math games, along with a host of other sessions, music and visual art among them. 

St. Dominic, St. Augustine and Humboldt Public elementary schools all participated during the day with different grade levels attending at different times. HCI students from Grades 11 and 12 tutored the Grade 1 and 2 classes for part of the day, while Grade 9 and 10 high school students teamed up with Grade 3 and 4 students for their adventures. It was fun for all, but there were rewards for all. 

“It’s a leadership opportunity for high school students. It’s a community building activity for all. They get to work with their little buddies and make a new friend – someone they’ll see in the community.” 

Heidi passed along thanks to the eleven teachers leading the sessions as experts in their respective fields coming up with games and prizes, as well as working with their students in preparing for the school wide event. 

The fun, excitement and learning are best captured in the Literacy Blast photo gallery below.