Stories of Caledon

Signs of a Caring Community

Written by Dan O’Reilly

Photos: Dan O’Reilly. Pictured above: Ward Two Caledon Councillor Dave Sheen (left), teacher Melissa Tamming (right), and the SouthFields Village Public School kindergarten students display the new signs.

Under the direction of their teacher Melissa Tamming and early childhood educator Jodie Anderson, and with assistance of the Town of Caledon, the kindergarten students of SouthFields Village Public School have taken direct action against litter bugs.

Just before school closed for the summer holidays, they helped their teacher, Principal Brett Harris, and Caledon Ward 2 Councillor Dave Sheen install metal “Do Not Litter” signs on the fences around the perimeter of the school property.

Fabricated by the Town of Caledon’s sign shop, the signs were faithful reproductions of the students’ original handmade drawings.

Principal Brett Harris receives some help from five-year-old Ananyaa

As part of the daily curriculum, Tamming takes the students on walks through the school property and the surrounding neighbourhood.

But they were becoming increasingly dismayed about the amount of litter, especially water bottles and dog poop, they were coming across on those excursions, she says.

The public is allowed to access the school property along a trail which leads to Dennison Park, she points out.

A few months ago the students began posting their own home-made don’t litter signs on the school fences. But they were eventually destroyed by wind and rain.

Principal Brett Harris and Councillor Dave Sheen erect one of the signs

Rather than going through the process of remaking the paper signs—which would only be destroyed again—Tamming reached out to Councillor Sheen, who, in turn, asked the town’s sign shop for assistance.

“I thought, we make our own signs. We should be able to make the signs,” says Sheen.

Although the metal signs were professionally made, it was important that the design and lettering had to carefully duplicate the students’ creations, he says.

It’s also important to recognize the efforts of Tamming and her students in keeping the SouthFields community beautiful, says Sheen.

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About the author

Dan O’Reilly

Dan O’Reilly is a freelance writer specializing in design and construction, the environment, and historical preservation. He is also a regular contributor to the Daily Commercial News and Ontario Home Builder, the official magazine of the Ontario Home Builders Association.

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