Pleasant Corners Public School (PCPS) kindergarten students learned about Rosa Parks for Black History Month in February and used the opportunity to write, illustrate and narrate a digital storybook as a class project. 

The students at the school just north of Vankleek Hill worked in collaboration with Craig Cardiff, Canadian singer and songwriter, and his company Song Collab Studio, to animate and voice their book, The Story of Rosa Parks.  

The writing portion of the book was student-led, based on questions and discussions during planning sessions with the students, PCPS Teacher Stacy Schwendemann, Early Childhood Educator Anna Martin and Cardiff. Song Collab Studio used hand-drawn student artwork, along with digitally-drawn illustrations and student narration to complete the digital storybook. 

The class had their final day of voice recording on Wednesday, February 22, taking part in a sing-along with Cardiff, and having important discussions of kindness, treatment of others, and taking action on what we can control versus what we can’t. 

The class was joined by UCDSB Vice-Chair Corina Parisien and Ottawa Centre MPP Joel Harden (who grew up in Vankleek Hill) for the final day of voice recording and these discussions. 

“This class has been working very hard and it makes me so happy to get the privilege of sharing their hard work,” said Schwendemann. 

“This real-world learning opportunity is a unique and special project,” said PCPS Principal Laura Kirby. “Valuable life lessons were discussed, and they have a digital version of a story as a reminder.” 

“I am very proud of this group of young learners,” added Parisien. “They are touching on many of the UCDSB Character Always traits – Responsibility, Fairness, Respect, Caring, Honesty, Generosity, Empathy, Courage, Perseverance, and Resiliency.” 

The Story of Rosa Parks can be viewed on the UCDSB YouTube channel