Parade sleigh ready for take off

Aethne Hinchliffe
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When Santa Claus appears this Friday evening, Nov. 30, Liverpool Regional High School Students taking the Options and Opportunities (O2) program will know exactly what went into building the sleigh.


About 25 students began to work on the project Sept. 20, and last Thursday the finished sleigh and three reindeer sat in front of the high school. Some glitter was just added that morning, says Beth Collins, a teacher in the program.

“It is career exploration, and it’s learning how to network,” says Collins.

“This is a service-learning opportunity, so I think that the students recognize that they get a lot from their community, and it’s an opportunity to explore networking opportunities while giving back to the community.”

Much of the program involves hands-on learning, and a lot of the students learn that way, adds Collins.

Andrew Corkum and Natasha Warner are Grade 10 students taking the program and were involved with building Santa’s sleigh.

The first step, says Corkum, was to cut the plywood. After, they sanded the wood. Once everything was put together and in the wood lab, students began to paint.

During a service-learning day, O2 students worked on multiple projects, including helping to build the community garden, doing some of the interlocking bricks at the high school and working on the sleigh, says Collins.

“We just all did what we like to do best,” says Warner about how the work was divided.

Warner and Corkum agree building the sleigh was fun and both say they are planning to go to the parade.

“It’ll be cool,” say the students about the idea of seeing their work in the event.



Students interested in taking the O2 program have to go through an application process, which they started in Grade 9.

There are three academic (classroom) credits in grades 10 and 11, and then there are three coop placements in the community, explains Collins.

“It’s (the program’s) built on partnerships, and that’s why these projects are so important for us because it’s giving back to the partnerships that give us so much with our coop placements,” she says.

Brady’s Home Building Centre in Brooklyn is one of those partners, and owners Cheryl and Stu Horton take coop students. The Hortons also donated all the material to build the sleigh.

Collins says students did a great job.

Engineer Rick Gilbert worked with students to help design the sleigh.

“The whole idea … of community coming into the classroom is important,” says Collins.

In 2011 and 2012, the program had more than 2,000 students in 48 high schools. The program was established in 27 schools in 2006 and 2007.

To learn more about O2 visit



The fourth annual Santa Claus parade is slated to take place at 6 p.m. Nov. 30. If there’s rain or heavy snow, the parade will be on the “next fine evening.” The tree-lighting ceremony, which takes place in front of the Sherman Hines Museum of Photography after the parade will happen rain or shine.  

This year people can donate new un-wrapped toys (to go to the Salvation Army). Collection will happen at Lane’s Privateer Inn, the Salvation Army and in front of The Astor Theatre the night of the parade.



Traffic will be disrupted on parade night, says Chad Whynot, volunteer firefighter.

Bristol Street from the Irving to Henry Hensey Drive will be closed beginning at 5:30 p.m.

Henry Hensey Drive and Main Street will be closed from Summer Street to The Astor Theatre starting at 5:45 p.m.

Market and Bristol Streets will reopen at about 6:30 p.m. and Main Street at about 8 p.m.

For information about the parade, contact Chad Whynot at

Organizations: Salvation Army, The Astor Theatre, Home Building Centre Hortons Sherman Hines Museum of Photography Privateer Inn

Geographic location: Bristol Street, Brooklyn

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