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Tuesday, January 29, 2013 Seniors rejoiced this weekend with the opening of new centre in Pitt Meadows. Page A3 • LOCAL NEWS, SPORTS, WEATHER AND ENTERTAINMENT • • 604-463-2281 • 20 PAGES Outreach Abduction spawns kindness The community rallies behind a teenage girl, while her alleged attacker is in jail. by Sylver McLaren Maria Rantanen/TIMES The Godfrey family, mom Eira, baby Evan, Tyler, three, Brady, four, and dad David pitched a tent at the Albion Fairgrounds on Friday in anticipation of Monday’s environmental school registration. Education School lures devoted families Only 88 spots in a local outdoor school prompted some to camp out in Albion this weekend, to ensure their spot for sign up. by Maria Rantanen Families were camping in January all in an effort to get their children into a local environmental school. Parents who want their kids to attend the school district’s relatively new environmental school were camped out at Albion Fairgrounds this weekend to ensure they were at the front of the line when registration opened at 8:30 a.m. on Monday. One family had pitched a tent on Tuesday, and by Friday afternoon, they had been joined by four other families, ready to spend a cold and rainy weekend at the fairgrounds by Planet Ice. The Godfrey family was second in line, and they are hoping to get their son, Brady, into the program, and then hopefully their two younger sons would get priority to get in. “I feel this is the right choice for Brady,” said the boy’s mother Eira Godfrey, adding that he is a child who 2012 MODEEL CLEARANC NOW ON! CALL 604.465.8931 Maria Rantanen/TIMES Rebecca Kozol, Li Fryling, Jennifer Fitzpatrick, and Stacy Mulcahy, whose children and grandchildren attend the school, signed up families Monday. likes to be outdoors and is “very interested” in the environment. Because the Godfrey family is an “outdoorsy” family, having the father David Godfrey camping out all weekend isn’t a big hardship. But it’s “frustrating” that the program isn’t available to everyone who wants it, Eira said. “The outdoor environment... has a lot to teach us that you can’t learn in a conventional classroom,” David said. The environmental school, which is part of the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school district is in its second year, and there are spaces for 88 students from kindergarten to Grade 8. Learning takes place in various PRICES TOO LOW TO ADVERTISE LIMITED STOCKS HURRY, HURRY! environments, much of it outdoors and there is no set classroom, something that appealed to Sarah-Jane Pepper who wants her daughter to attend the environmental school. “I think there’s so much more to learn in nature than from a textbook,” she said on Friday afternoon from her place in line. Clayton Maitland, who heads up the environmental school, said the new school concept is “exciting” but it has been challenging as well. The next step will be to see if the environmental school can be done at the high school level, and whether pieces of it can be integrated into more conventional schools. “It’s not for everyone – some families want a conventional system, some want Montessori, and others want [the environmental school],” Maitland said. Parents who already have kids in the environmental school came out over the weekend to bring food and refreshments to those waiting in the line. “It’s stressful – we’ve all been there,” said Stacy Mulcahy whose two sons attend the program. They wanted to encourage those in line, answer questions they might have about the school and offer some support. Friends and family of a Grade 12 Westview Secondary student are holding a get-together early next month aimed at showing the teen there are decent people in this community, and saying thanks to some who came to her aid during her recent kidnapping and beating. “What a brave little girl,” said Jennifer Strain, a family friend of the 17-year-old girl who was abducted outside Fox’s Reach Pub on Jan. 19. She was approached by a man carrying jumper cables, who – she was led to believe – needed help getting his car started. Instead, she found herself staring down the end of a gun barrel being forced to drive her own car to a secluded area of town, where she was physically assaulted and beaten. She eventually managed to escape her abductor and run David Fleugel to a nearby home where a RCMP inspector couple let her in and called police. “We are so grateful to the couple who opened the door. The family wants to thank them,” Strain said, noting presentations of gratitude will be made at the upcoming “celebration of sorts.” In addition to the semi-private event being held Feb. 10, Strain said other friends and family are in the process of organizing a fundraiser in this girl’s honour. The money is expected to go towards a new car, since her vehicle was ruined during the abduction. “We want her to focus on graduating and knowing that there are good people in the world,” Strain said. In the meantime, a 25-year-old Surrey man was charged last week with seven criminal counts, including kidnapping and assault, in connection with the violent attack. Ian James William Campbell has been remanded in custody until he appears in Port Coquitlam court Thursday. Online, all the time... • More online at Stop chasing receivables. Connect With Your City @citypittmeadows

Maple Ridge pitt Meadows Times January 29 2013

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