Grads getting some street smarts at Seven Summits
Rossland’s Seven Summits Centre for Learning is developing a reputation for academic excellence. In addition to that – for the past couple of years, the school has done a whole other great thing for their graduating class. It’s a day spent focusing on life skills that the students themselves have identified as gaps in their knowledge. It’s how to do things – street smarts.
The students each make a list of things they think they need to know before going out into the world on their own – off to higher education, or travels, or jobs. The lists often have a lot in common, says Administrator Sue McBride. The school arranges to have knowledgeable people come in to provide the grad class with the information they need.
Examples of life skills lessons requested by students and provided this year included personal safety issues (especially for women), landlord and tenant issues, financial management, some household matters and basic car maintenance.
Matt Hope, an RCMP officer, came and talked about safety: drinking, driving and parties; and some self-defence.
Realtor Jody Ouimet went over property rental issues, including landlord and tenant rules, deposits and credit checks, among other helpful tips.
Theresa Stewart of ICBC talked to the students about student loans and other loans, credit cards, credit ratings and how to build a good one, and on-line banking.
Louis McBride gave the students helpful advice about basic household matters such as finding the electrical panel and the water shut-off in case of need; and about cars – how to check fluid levels, how to change a tire, and how to jump-start a vehicle without wrecking the battery.
These are all things that some students may know already while others have never learned them – things that people tend to learn from experience, and if the experience has never presented itself, the knowledge may be still lacking when it’s needed unexpectedly. Usually in inconvenient circumstances. Imagine having a flat tire on a deserted road, with no one around, at night, in the pouring rain, with a dead phone . . . and not knowing where to start. Like how to find the jack, or remove the lug nuts.
The volunteers who shared their knowledge with these grads can all take a bow; you’ve all helped keep students safer and more secure as they go out in the world. We thank you. May this event continue in future years to help all new grads get on with their lives with more confidence and fewer disasters.
There will still be ample opportunity for them to learn other things the hard way.
Anyone who achieves it can take pride in academic excellence – book smarts – but everyone still needs street smarts.