To most people, they’re chairs. But to Rev. Keven Fletcher, they’re an important piece of the character education puzzle at SMUS.
If you’ve stepped foot in the school Chapel at any point in the last year, you’ll notice that it looks different than it did for the 50-plus years previous. Gone are the long rows of wooden benches, replaced by comfortable chairs and new carpet that allow the space to be more flexible.
“When we talk about character education at the school, the four pillars – service, respect, courage and honesty – are the center points. In chapel, the pillars are always part of the conversation,” Keven says. Since it was built in the 1962, character education has been woven into the Chapel; a space where the school community can gather to reflect upon our sense of purpose.
“It’s important for students to have opportunities like chapel where they can share with the community how something has impacted who they are,” Keven adds.
And the layout of the Chapel plays a very big part in setting students up for successful character education.
“This might sound silly, but every student can now see the person who’s speaking. In the old set-up, there were several rows of people in the chapel who wouldn’t be able to see the speaker.” he says. “The core of chapel is about creating connections. When everybody can look the speaker in the eyes, where the student who’s sitting anywhere in the space can integrate those thoughts with their own, hold them, weigh them and help them find their place, that is a wonderful moment of character education.”
With the space reworked and more flexible, the school community is also able to meet in the Chapel for gatherings that would have previously been held in informal settings like the gym or the band room. Movable chairs and stages make the warm and inviting atmosphere of the Chapel ideal for concerts, lectures, conferences and presentations.
“The Dream Big Fund supports creating the best possible setting for learning to happen.”
The physical changes in the Chapel were supported by donations to the annual Dream Big Fund.
The Dream Big Fund helps support students, families and programs at SMUS. It’s an important financial component of every independent school, as it generates funds that help support financial aid, in-class programs, extra-curricular opportunities for students, infrastructure and more. The Dream Big Fund is the key to making a significant difference to our whole school community.
“Without the funding that came from the Dream Big Fund, the physical changes in the Chapel wouldn’t have been possible. It’s made a tremendous difference to our students,” Keven says. “The Dream Big Fund supports creating the best possible setting for learning to happen. By supporting the Dream Big Fund, what you’re saying is, ‘This is extremely important to us.’ When we participate in something like that, we’re sharing in this worthwhile endeavour for students.”
A Dream Takes A Team
Behind each SMUS student with a big dream is a team of people committed to helping make that dream a reality. That team includes teachers, counsellors, coaches and donors – all working together to give each student the support needed to make their dream real.
Please join us in supporting the Dream Big Fund.