Liz Gillis

Everyone is welcome to help build the Burton Community Learning Centre

The Burton Community Learning Centre (BCLC) now has a board, as of August 2012, Isabelle Bergeron announced at a community meeting.

The Burton Community Learning Centre (BCLC) now has a board, as of August 2012, Isabelle Bergeron announced at the community meeting held at the Burton School.

“Just because there are six of us on paper, everyone is welcome to the meetings,” she made clear, inviting the community to be part of the changes taking place at the school.

In a quick presentation, Bergeron outlined the board’s vision, values and principles and partnerships, the foundation of what would keep the school open to the community.

Learning and wellness, fitness, arts and culture, knowledge and skills, and food security were the values of the board, and their values focus on community ownership and responsibility of the centre, an eye to maintaining sustainable and affordable access to creative programming while being environmentally responsible.

School District 10 and the BCLC are developing a shared use agreement for the building, and programs like NSS’s Outdoor Education are already making use of the Burton School. The school district is responsible for all school-based programs, and according to the agreement will have priority access to the building. Having SD10 as a partner means there will be no alcohol or smoking in or around the learning centre.

The community also has a variety of programs that use the building, including volleyball, basketball, movie nights (next one is on Hallowe’en and looks appropriately spooky), Parenting Teens and the Burton Reading Centre (Tuesdays and Thursdays 6:30-8 p.m. and Saturdays 1-3 p.m.). More community events – coordinated by the BCLC – are coming up, in the form of art classes, and “Just for the Health of it” classes. Tim Talbot is responsible for booking the space, so anyone in the community who is interested in a booking can contact him at tim.woodever@gmail.com or 250-265-9080.

The BCLC is also looking into partnerships with CBAL, WorkBC and Selkirk College.

Funding has already begun, with BCLC raising funds by catering SD10 events held at the Burton School.

Denise Perry Superintendent-Secretary for SD10 told the group that schools are the heart and soul of a community, and that the district is keen to keep the Burton school open as a learning centre. In that vein, Perry said the district would look into courses that could be held in the school and contribute towards credits for graduation. At the moment, there are plans in the works to hold an 80-hour Level 1 Search and Rescue course for students 16 and older at the learning centre. More courses are to come.