Centennial School has experienced much success with the Community Schools Initiative because of our large number of committed volunteers as well as the full support and help of the staff. There are many programs and events that are and have taken place at Centennial School as a result of the Community Schools/PALS Initiative.  Below is a list of the different programs and a brief description of each.

After School Cooking Club 
This program began in November 2009 and was started by the Community Schools Coordinator.  The After School Cooking Club was implemented as a way for students to contribute to the Breakfast Program as well as to help them work on their literacy and math skills.  Each Monday a group of students prepared muffins, pancakes, or French toast to be eaten at the Breakfast program later that week.  This program provided 30 students with an after school activity that was educational, fun, and that gave them an opportunity to help the school and their peers. 
Big Bunch 
Big Bunch is a Big Brothers Big Sisters program that places children from the school, who are waiting for an In-School Mentor or Big Brother/Sister, in a group mentoring program.  This program allows Big Brothers Big Sisters staff to get to know the students so they are then able to better match them in the  one-to-one relationships they offer.  Big Bunch meets every two weeks and the students get to spend time with two adult volunteers doing fun activities in either the school or out in the community.  This year we had 5 students begin the Big Bunch program and within a few weeks 1 student was matched with an In School Mentor.
In School Mentoring Program
The In School Mentoring program is a Big Brothers Big Sisters program that provides students with a one-on-one relationship with an adult.  Students who are picked for this program are children who need the added attention, friendship, and guidance from a caring adult.  Pairing students with adults from different backgrounds and who have different goals and skills sets helps the students discover the endless possibilities for their future.  Students are referred to the program by their teacher and then paired with a volunteer by the Big Brothers Big Sisters staff.  Students meet once a week for 1 hr each week and do fun activities with the Mentor like playing games and making crafts.  This year we had 16 students participate in the In School Mentoring Program.  Many of our In School Mentoring volunteers are people from our PALS partners. 
Breakfast Program 
This program runs 5 days a week and does not discriminate; any and all students of the school are welcome to participate.  The Breakfast Program begins 20 minutes before class starts and provides the students with a substantial and healthy breakfast. The program serves items such as cereal, toast, fruit, pancakes, French toast, muffins, quesadillas, yogurt, egg sandwiches, and apple juice.  The program is supported by our community and PALS partners through sponsorship and volunteer hours.  The program is run by the Community Schools Coordinator out of our newly renovated Community Kitchen.  Approximately 30 students participated in the program from September-December and then it increased to approximately 60 students for the remainder of the year.  We were fortunate enough to have 3 volunteers come in each week to help prepare and serve the food as well as our Methods and Resource teacher. 
Lunch Connection 
This program is provided for the students by the Saint John Inner City Youth Ministry in partnership with Portland United Church, Centrebeam, and Xerox.  The Lunch Connection provides Centennial students with lunch every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the school year.  Staff members walk the students across the street to Portland United Church where volunteers serve the lunch they prepared for the students.  The Lunch Connection serves lunch to approximately 450 of Saint John's youth at 3 locations!
Christmas Bazaar 
The Christmas Bazaar is a flea market type event where students can peruse tables of items and buy for their families for Christmas.  The items the students can purchase are donated by staff, school volunteers, and PALS partners.  The students may purchase 1 gift per family member for $0.25.  This event gives students the opportunity to purchase gifts for their family when typically they wouldn’t be able to due to cost and transportation.  The Christmas Bazaar also helps develop decision making skills and teaches the students a little about money and budgeting.  Every student participates in this event - we make sure they do!
Clothing Room ​

Clothes are collected for the clothing room that can be distributed to our students as needed.  The clothing, which has been donated to us, is given to students for many reasons; they had an accident, they were wet, they needed warmer clothes, or their clothes were ripped or ruined.  The Clothing Room also has coats, snow pants, splash pants, winter/rain boots, and sneakers to hand out to students who are in need.  This room is open to all students in the building and was also opened to parents in December so they could purchase clothing for their children at a very reasonable price; 3 shirts for $1, 2 pairs of pants for $1, etc.  The clothing sale was a huge success and all the money raised went to purchasing socks and sweat pants for the room.

Community Clean-up 

In participation of Global Youth Services Day and Earth Day all the staff and students participated in a community clean-up.  Students collected garbage in different areas throughout the North End as a way to give back to their community, take some ownership in their community, and see how important it is not to litter.
Go Girls! 
Go Girls! is another Big Brothers Big Sisters program that is new to our school.  This is a program for girls in grades 3-5 that focuses on active living, healthy eating, and feeling good about themselves.  Go Girls! provides the students with skills they will need to grow into healthy, active, and confident women.  This year 16 girls participated in this program that ran 2 hours a week for 7 weeks out of the school.  This program was run by the Community Schools Coordinator who has been trained as a Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer. 
Healthy Snacks 
Healthy snacks are provided by the women of the IODE Katie Hazen McKay Chapter.  16 students are provided with snacks each day through the IODE’s generosity.  The students selected for this program have been identified by their teachers; these students are always without a snack for their morning break.  This program helps the school provide for the needs of the students and their families. 

Holiday Hampers 

Our PALS Partner, NB Southern, provides the school with 6 hampers filled with groceries and goodies.  These hampers go to 6 of our families during the Christmas season.  The Holiday Hampers are given to the families to ensure that they are able to provide a Christmas dinner for their children as well as groceries to get them through the Christmas break.
I Like Me Books 
Each year Aliant, a PALS partner, donates personalized books to our Kindergarten students.  These books include the students’ name, two of their friends, their teacher, and their school.  The books are designed to foster reading in the young students by making them excited about the book.  Last year, 60 kindergarten students received these one of a kind books.
This afterschool program is run by the Shimpokai Judo Club.  23 of our grade 5 students were given the opportunity to participate in a free Judo program for the school year.  The students met for 1hr/week with Judo instructors learning moves, throws, hold, discipline, and the importance of being physically fit.  Students were then tested at the end of the year and passed to the next belt.  Judo is a very successful and fun program that provides the students with an opportunity to try a sport they would not normally try mainly due to difficulty with the cost and transportation. 
Library Volunteers 
Volunteers come in once a month to tidy up the library, restock the books, and read to the Kindergarten students.  There is also 1 volunteer who comes in weekly to sign in books and re-shelve them.  These volunteers help maintain our library because we no longer have a staff member to do so.  Having the Library volunteers has allowed more classes to use the library.
Lunch Program 
To ensure that students are well fed throughout the day, students who come to school without a lunch are provided with one by the school.  This program is in place to guarantee that all students have a nutritious meal that will give them the energy they need to continue their education for the rest of the day.  Last year, anywhere from 4-14 students were provided with a lunch a day.  The program ran Monday and Friday since the majority of the students attended the Lunch Club the other three days, however if a student ever needed lunch Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday there was always something available for them as well.
Marigolds on Main Street 
Each year the students at Centennial School start and grow many, many marigolds to later plant along Main Street.  This program is in place for students to take pride and ownership in their community.  Each student and staff participate in the yearly community event, many of our volunteers and parents attend too.
Mini Bus 
The Mini Bus is a 24 passenger bus that is provided by JDI Limited.  This bus is used by our schools as well as the other Community Schools in Saint John to provide more field trips for the students at minimal cost to the school.  The benefit of the Mini Bus allowing each class more field trips is two-fold as it also provides students with more material to write about.  The Mini Bus provides financial assistance as well as helping to increase literacy.  This year 15 field trips were taken using the Mini Bus.
Mother Goose 
The Mother Goose program is run by Talk with Me.  The school provides space for parents and their children (aged 0-3.5) to meet for 1 hr/week for 5 weeks.  A Talk with Me employee leads the parents in dancing, rhyming, and bonding with their child.  This program provides parents in the community with a great, cost free play group and also helps them feel more comfortable being at the school.  Last year 8 parents and their children participated in Mother Goose.
Mother/Daughter Book Club 
This program is run in partnership with St. Patrick’s School on the west side.  Mothers and Daughters from each school meet together for 1 hr/week for 8 weeks.  The program alternates its meeting place between Centennial School and St. Patrick’s School as a way to bring the mothers and daughters out of their community and into another.  During the 8 weeks we read and discussed two books that focused on bullying, “The Hundred Dresses” by Eleanor Estes and “Blubber” by Judy Blume. Each week the mothers and daughters also made a craft and socialized over a snack.  This program provides the mothers and daughters with one-to-one time to talk and bond with each other as well as making friendships with new people.  The Mother/Daughter Book Club also builds trust and acceptance between the families and the school.  Last year 5 mother and daughter pairs participated in the program and it was facilitated by the Community Schools Coordinators from the two schools. 
Reading Buddies 
Literacy is very important at our school and to help students who are struggling with reading they are paired with a reading buddy.  The Reading Buddies are volunteers from our PALS partners who spend 1 hr/week with either one student or a few students working on their reading and comprehension.  This year we had 3 reading buddies, one was a French reading buddy who worked with 8 grade 5 students from the intensive French program, one who worked with 8 students in grade 2, and one who worked with a grade 2 student in a one-on-one capacity.
Saint John Milk Fund 
The Saint John Milk Fund provides milk for students whose families are not able to afford milk through the school milk program.  Last year 35 students were provided with free milk for 5 days a week from November-May.  The students who received the free milk this year were identified by their teachers as children who would benefit from this program. 
Vision Screening 
This program is provided by the St. Joseph’s Community Health Centre.  A public health nurse comes in to the school and performs eye exams on students in Kindergarten and Grade 5 as well as any other student experiencing seeing difficulty.  The vision screening picks out students who have undiagnosed vision problems.  Once a vision problem has been recognized, a notice goes home to parents encouraging them to take their child to an eye doctor to have their vision corrected.  The notice also lets parents know that if vision correction is needed it is not a cost they will incur, there is financial assistance available to them.  This year 15 students were identified as having a vision problem out of the approximate 80 students who were tested.
Others of Note 
Other programs that the school was able to offer students last year was Junior Achievement for the grade 3 students, Dental Hygiene program through the dental school for all the students in Kindergarten to grade 2, and a visit to the Saint John Library for the grade 2 students.  The grade 4’s were also chosen for a train ride from Harbour Station to Welsford and back sponsored by JDI, NB Southern Railway and other PALS partners and the grade 3 students were taken on a morning tour of the NB Museum.