Three ways to help the community
Teachers get students to give back with acts of kindness
Sitting in a Tim Hortons by the window with a clear view of the drive-thru, Leona Exelby and Tracy Kosack admire their handiwork.
While the pair is known throughout their community for their skilled approach to caring for rambunctious twoyear-olds, Village Square Leisure Centre playschool is now being recognized by parents, and their surrounding community, for a whole new reason.
As a customer pulls up to the pickup window to grab their coffee and treats, they realize that someone has already paid — and that’s the moment both Exelby and Kosack get giddy about.
Paying it forward at the community watering hole is only one of the three things this pair has done so far this year: They’ve put a spin on Mayor Naheed Nenshi’s three things for Canada and called the initiative Three Things for the Properties.
“I live in the community, I see everybody and I felt like I wanted to give back,” Exelby says.
The properties are four communities that surround Village Square: Pineridge, Rundle, Temple and Whitehorn.
Kosack said it started with a speech the mayor gave in September and kicked off from there. Their first act was having their classes hand out flowers to the special needs population in and around Village Square.
“It’s beautiful,” said Snanna Virk, who has a daughter in the preschool class. She explained that her daughter helped with the Valentine’s day flowers. “The kids loved it...as adults we say that someone has special needs but (my daughter) the week after was walking up the stairs and she said ‘momma look, that’s my friend’ and it was the guy she gave flowers to.”
She said it brought tears to her eyes that her daughter learned to treat someone she simply gave a flower to one day as a friend, and not someone who is different.
Next, they gave books to kids in the community, to promote literacy before setting up a surprise for coffee lovers at the local Tim’s on Friday. All of their efforts were made possible through community grant applications they completed funded through the City of Calgary and now United Way for the Pineridge, Rundle, Temple and Whitehorn areas.
Although they’ve done their three things, there’s no telling if the pair will stop giving back and showing others how to.
“We want to encourage these children to do things that maybe they don’t know they can do,” Kosack said.
left, and Leona Exelby hold up Tim Hortons cups with a sticker that reads 3 Things for the Properties, Pay it forward.