BR’s Cave Quest summer program helps students find God in daily adventures
A new summer program at Bishop Ryan Catholic Secondary School is helping students recognize God’s presence in unexpected places.
Created by teacher Kathy Zadvorny, the program is modeled after the Cave Quest Catholic Vacation Bible School kit to reinforce Catholic values and the Ontario Catholic School Graduate Expectations to students with special needs.
“Students rotated through stations each day that met the needs of all kinds of learners,” said Zadvorny. “Biblical lessons were reinforced daily through stories, songs, games, and hands-on activities that helped students know more about following Jesus.”
For those with sensory needs, the school’s Snoezelen Room was available where students were able to explore the equipment daily.
Other sensory activities included using textured wallpaper in replacement for construction paper for craft purposes, making slime with cornstarch and water and exploring water absorption with Orbeez Water Beads.
A highlight of the program involved learning the difference between moths and butterflies as students witnessed the metamorphosis of butterflies first-hand. Zadvorny brought in eggs from Monarch and Black Swallowtail butterflies and students watched them hatch, change and grow as caterpillars and eventually turn into chrysalides and emerge as butterflies.
“Moths are nocturnal, which means they aren’t afraid of the dark,” said Zadvorny. “I want students to know that they don’t have to be afraid during dark times because Jesus gives us courage.”
The program also included examining geode rocks and breaking them open with a hammer to discover crystals inside.
“This activity taught us that Jesus gives us hope.”
“Students discovered that they really can see evidence of God all around them in everyday life.”
While each activity helped peak curiosity, they also benefited students’ academic needs by building on their language and literacy skills through daily reading, storytelling, board game strategies, and cooperative play.