Since an early age, Grade 12 student Jamie Bentley has been passionate about animals and the environment. “I’ve always loved animals and even when I was little I raised money for things like the SPCA and Earth Rangers,” she comments.
This love led to rescuing animals and bringing them home. Fortunately, Jamie, who lives in Celista, had the support of her family and over the years the family farm has morphed into a private animal rescue. “It’s a lot,” Jamie said with a laugh. “But my parents are supportive.”
Days went by. Often, I bravely sat next to the busy highway hoping that someone would stop and help me . . .The Long Ranger Rooster
“My family farm has gradually evolved into a private rescue as I have encountered vulnerable animals in need of homes. I have provided farm sanctuary to goats, cats, horses, birds, llamas, pigs, dogs, roosters, chickens, cows, guinea pigs, rabbits, and even mice.” Bentley’s Forever Farm is home to 150 animals.
When it came time to start working on her Grade 12 Capstone Project, Jamie decided to write a story chronicling the rescued animals’ life after they come to Forever Farm (which is also the name of the book), from the perspective of the animal. She hoped the book could also be sold to raise money to support giving these animals a forever home.
“Over the years I have discovered animals are compassionate, loyal and sensitive,” she says in the introduction to her children’s book, which is written from the perspective of the animal that has been rescued.
She adds she will be selling her book with any funds raised going towards funding for needy animals. “Expenses for vet care, feed, fencing, and shelters are costly and continuous.”
She has already sold a number of books, including to relatives in Ontario who have bought some and are selling them for her.
Locally, she is planning on going to craft fairs or you can email her at email@example.com and she will make arrangements to get the book to you.
She is also planning, in the future, to offer story readings and tours, and perhaps farm vacations to help raise funds for the Forever Farm Critters.
The book is part of Jamie’s capstone graduation project (which replaced grad transitions when B.C.’s graduation program was updated several years ago).
Jamie is planning on being an occupational therapist, and incorporating animals into the practice to create a more relaxed environment for the clients.
For those unfamiliar, a capstone project is a multidisciplinary project that serves as a culminating experience for graduating students. Capstone projects can take on many forms, but most are in-depth inquiries that conclude in a final project, presentation, or performance. Students will be asked to select a topic that interests them, a potential profession, or a social problem that interests them, research that subject, journal findings or experiences, develop a portfolio, create a final product representing their learning (a paper, short film, or multimedia presentation, for example), and present their project to a panel of teachers, experts, and community members.
Capstone projects are designed to have students think critically and creatively, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-efficacy, self-regulation, and goal setting —i.e. skills that will help prepare them for post secondary school, modern careers, and adult life. The projects will be mostly interdisciplinary, in the sense that they require students to apply skills or investigate issues across many different subject areas.
The capstone components are an opportunity for students to further develop and showcase their strengths, passions, and learning journey. As a celebration of their learning journey, the capstone is a place where students are encouraged to share successes both in school and out of school, including their reflections on core competency development, their contributions and aspirations, and their plans for post-graduation. Each student’s capstone project is unique and can take many different forms, depending on student needs and interests and the opportunities available in local school communities.