Lined-up on a wooden bench at the side of the staff parking lot are more than a dozen brightly-coloured paper helmets. The mock hockey helmets are a favourite activity of Holly Elementary students as part of their annual hockey celebration.
For the sixth year in a row, Hockey Day at Holly was held Friday, Feb. 10 to celebrate Canada's sport.
The event happens in relation to Scotiabank Hockey Day in Canada, which is a nation-wide recognition of the sport and its ability to bring communities together. The same community focus is brought to the event at the East Ladner elementary.
"It's a way to bring our school together," says Toshi Carleton-Gaines, teacher and organizer of Hockey Day at Holly.
The emphasis is on sportsmanship, fair play, friendship and inclusiveness, she explains.
The entire school embraces the event. Classes make the paper helmets, take part in hockey trivia, and add hockey themes to writing, reading and other educational activities.
Each student is also given the chance to play hockey. On Hockey Day, rinks are set-up throughout the school grounds. The squeaks of sneakers echo from the gym, the clan of plastic hockey sticks against pavement can be heard coming from the parking lot and outdoor basketball court.
"It's good to be outside and having fun with your classmates and celebrating Canada's game," says Will, a Grade 5 student.
"We're all having fun," he adds before hurrying back to continue playing.
According to Carleton-Gaines, that's what it is all about - having fun.