General News

King City SS receives $5,000 grant from Flato Developments

June 23, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Robert Belardi

The Head of the Visual Arts Department at King City Secondary School, Tiffany Folmeg, is all about experiential learning.
“My structure of teaching is all about getting kids to experience things to see what they like to do as they grow through their high school tenure,” Folmeg said.
“Also, to understand their place in society is and the community is important. They need to feel that.”
She was notified that the Experiential Learning division at YRDSB were providing grants to experiential learning programs Folmeg dived deep into this and made a formal effort to be able to receive a grant. She inquired if art can be involved in any way in this. She filled out the application and received the “ok” from the King City SS admin and the YRDSB.
What she discovered was Alternative-Education wanted to build a garden as a course for entrepreneurs. With this creative idea, Folmeg approached Alt-Ed and they joined forces to plan and develop a sculpture garden at the school. King City SS has two courtyards on the premises.
To catapult what would be called the “Pilot Project,” Folmeg reached out to the Arts Society King to see if they had an interest to be involved. Then came along Flato Developments. The company, with a volition to indulge in community affairs, were going to offer $5,000 if Mayor Steve Pelligrini would show up to the photo-op along with a Councillor to confirm the donation, in a light-hearted challenge. And they did just that.
Last Friday in front of Wellesley Park, Mayor Steve Pelligrini, Councillor Debbie Schaefer, Folmeg, President and Founder of Flato Developments Shakir Rehmatullah and his son Usman Shakir were present for the donation of $5,000 to King City SS.
“Getting young people involved in gardening and art will bring them life-long pleasure and happiness. We are honoured to support the students of King Township in this way,” said Rehmatullah, in a press release written directly to the King Sentinel.
“We are committed to not just building homes but more importantly in building and supporting communities we build in,” said representative Joe Medeiros.
The program, that is set to begin in September at the school, will teach students the value of a garden and how to begin to prepare it. Students will learn how to choose areas with proper lighting, structure the area for plotting and how to build planter boxes.
They will learn garden literacy while vastly rejuvenating the pond area at the school that is home to fish and turtles on site.
“You’ll get to look at flowers and plants. It will also be a vegetable garden. But currently we are in the planning stage. The goal is for people to be involved in a different way. And also, to showcase how does creativity is important in this type of space. It adds another element.”
Folmeg will be teaching students also how to mold and carve through clay, wood, stone, and plaster since welding products are not available.
This opportunity is multi-faceted and integrational learning. In the first semester, they will learn these areas of gardening and preparations will be made. By the time second semester comes around, learning how to work with soil and planting flowers will follow suit.
The idea is to build two main gardens. One, which will be for aesthetic purposes and growing daffodils for Mother’s Day, and the other will be used for growing food. Students will learn how to be independent in growing their own food along with a food and nutrition component to the course.
Folmeg plans to involve local garden centre representatives and local farmers for the second phase. If students wish to complete their community hours or pursue co-op opportunities, she hopes they will be able to do so through those channels.
In the future, the hope is to build a greenhouse at the school to grow all-year-round. Some flowers and plants for the time being, will be grown indoors until the weather becomes suitable enough to transport the plant outdoors.
With the help of Flato Developments this grant will allow King City SS to gather the resources needed to begin educating students.



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