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Learning Outside the Box

Valcartier Elementary School sits comfortably in a vast natural schoolyard in the town of Saint-Gabriel-de-Valcartier, just outside the limits of Quebec City, Canada. Surrounded by grain fields, a small forest, and an equally small mountain, the location for this elementary school is beyond idyllic.
With a grand total of 92 students, Valcartier Elementary School is the smallest school in the Central Quebec School Board; the smallest English school in the Quebec City area. This year, with the implementation of a 4-year-old Kindergarten bringing additional students into the building, our school is bursting at the seams. We have, quite simply, run out of space. We will soon celebrate the school’s 75th anniversary, and we want to make this celebration meaningful for everyone involved with the school.
Enter the Yurt Project. With the rise in popularity of outdoor education and the unquestionable benefits to our children of being outside, we at Valcartier Elementary want to innovate on behalf of our students and give them as many opportunities to take their learning outside as possible. Hence the idea to build a yurt on our school property, which would provide extra space as well as a better connection to the outdoors for our students and staff, was born.
Being the smallest school in the board, the funds allocated to our school are minimal; not nearly enough to afford building a yurt nor the wooden platform to support it. Our pool of parents and families is proportionally small, and there is only so much more families can give. This is a big project, and we are constantly striving to cultivate community involvement. Our ultimate goal is to make Valcartier Elementary School a dream school: for children, their families, our staff, and our community. The yurt would be used year-round: by our students and staff during the school year as well as during the summer holidays by the local summer camp.
This fundraiser is our outreach initiative. By donating, you will be helping young children connect to the outdoors and have a better-quality education – both of which will contribute to healthier, happier teens and adults.
We are planning to erect a 28-foot, four-season yurt, provided by Imago Structures, a Québéc-based company specializing in yurts and tents.
The funds raised would go towards building;
- The 4-season yurt (28 ft diameter)
- The wooden platform on which the yurt would be erected. The platform will be built by parents and other school volunteers
We will eventually add a compost toilet and potentially some solar heating to increase environmental awareness among our students and staff.
Each dollar donated is an investment in the future of these children. On behalf of our students and staff, we thank you for your interest in our small but mighty school!



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