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Gladstone Secondary School wins $50,000 to build a greenhouse

Kurt Heinrich
Jan 29th, 2013

Gladstone students planting seeds; Photo courtesy of Aviva Community Fund

Gladstone Secondary School has been awarded $50,000 to support the building of a 30-person greenhouse for the school’s science and foods programs.

Gladstone’s 1,200 students will be the biggest beneficiaries of the new project. While the school currently has a garden and uses some of its produce in its foods program (based in the school cafeteria), the planned greenhouse will greatly increase its vegetable producing capacity. The new greenhouse will provide a many new opportunities for the school's garden club in addition to the school’s science and food program curriculum.

The Aviva funds of $50,000 will support the school greenhouse’s first phase. For more information on the Gladstone submission go here.

Vancouver Giants pink flash mob: video

Kurt Heinrich
Jan 23rd, 2013

This past weekend over 1800 students from 16 elementary and secondary schools from across Metro Vancouver gave the audience of this Sunday’s Vancouver Giants game a huge treat when they broke out in a choreographed flash mob dance that they had been rehearsing for months. The aim of the video is to spread the word of acceptance among students.

It is the latest (and biggest) choreographed dance organized by Vancouver School Board (VSB) staff and students. Last year’s video garnered 60,000 views and the year before (the first year of the flash mob) has racked up 1,200,000 views.

When technology enters the classroom

Geoff Johnson
Jul 6th, 2012

Techology is rapidly changing how children learn in classrooms. Image sourced from

“That’s it class – you’ll find the notes and the PowerPoint on the S-Drive and a version on Moodle, there is also some relevant info on my edublog”.


It was a Social Studies 10 class and the topic was “Exploring Twentieth Century Canada”. The teacher’s personal “edublog” included additional references, access to YouTube videos, and archived material on lessons for that class to date.

It was at that point that I realised how much the delivery of learning has changed, and how fast. Student access to a teacher guided world of information has revolutionised how, when and where kids are learning now.

Not in the future – now.

Britannia's Raincouver Business Club Wins Student Company of the Year

Kurt Heinrich
Jun 8th, 2012

Britannia Secondary students came out on top in the Junior Achievement of British Columbia CIBC Student Company of the Year competition. They created the student company "Raincouver" to market umbrellas to the weather weary citizens of East Van. 

For a second year in a row, Britannia Secondary came out on top in the Junior Achievement of British Columbia CIBC Student Company of the Year competition. Students at Britannia worked hard to create the student company "Raincouver" to market umbrellas to the weather weary citizens of East Van.

After designing a special logo, producing, marketing and selling the umbrellas, Raincouver walked away with a $1,300 profit. They decided to give back $500 to local charities CLICK and A Loving Spoonfull.  

The school's company involved 30 students in grades 10 through 12 and volunteer advisors James Atherton from Great West Life, Paula Garcia from CIBC and sponsor teachers Lee Nipp and Ksena Tatomir from Britannia.

Raincouver won because they reached all their goals, selling out their entire product lines of 250 umbrellas and achieving an ROI of 102% for their shareholders.

ACES program at Kelowna middle school is making a difference locally and globally

Sponsored Content
Feb 10th, 2012

International Development Week  (February 5-11) is an annual campaign that highlights the work of Canada's development community. This year’s theme is “We Make a Difference,” with a special emphasis on “Empowering Women and Girls.”

The goal is to inspire Canadians of all ages to act on local and global issues of social justice. The Government of Canada provides funding for this initiative through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

The Active Community Education with a focus on Service program (ACES) is dedicated to proving that it’s never too early to start contributing to global change. Students in grades 7 to 9 are making a difference in the empowerment of women and girls: in Zambia, by raising funds to support a school where girls receive primary education; and in their own school, where their hard work inspires their peers to become young leaders in social change.

Theatre schools and Vancouver Board School unite to repair Carleton School House

Press Release
Sep 12th, 2011

Vancouver, BC  - A formal announcement will be made on Tuesday, September 13 about a new partnership between one of Vancouver’s premier educational theatre companies and the Vancouver School Board.

 The event will feature information about the launch of Green Thumb Theatre’s new capital fundraising campaign and their plan to repair and inhabit one of Vancouver’s most treasured heritage building, the Carleton School House.

 The School House was ranked first on Heritage Vancouver’s list of Top 10 Endangered Sites in the city. The new partnership is a symbol of how heritage advocates, arts organizations and educational institutions can come together in an effective and mutually beneficial partnership.

 The announcement will include speeches from VSB Chair Patti Bacchus, Green Thumb Theatre Artistic Director Patrick McDonald and Heritage Vancouver President Donald Luxton among others.

 Following the announcement, there will be a media availability to individually interview speakers.


Event Details

Enough kitchen-table kvetching: Vancouver event offers strategies for community change

Kristina Campbell
Feb 10th, 2011

Enough kvetching at your kitchen table, says Vancouver advocacy group VAN BC. If you want to see your community change for the better, it's up to you.

The group is inviting Vancouverites to a Sunday conference intended to give people the strategies they need for making concrete changes at a local level.

VAN BC (Vancouver Alliance Network Because we Care), a citizen group fresh from its fight to prevent the VSB from closing a list of public schools, is calling its day-long conference "Where Change Happens".

"The event will focus on developing strategies which empower people within their community to take an active role in ecological, economic, and social events, while endeavouring to think globally but act locally," say organizers. VAN BC cites particular interest in finding ways to support vulnerable women and families, recent immigrants, urban Aboriginals, and special needs children.

Scheduled speakers for the conference include MP Libby Davies, MLA Jenny Kwan, city councillor David Cadman, and former BC premier Mike Harcourt.

BC teacher continues to challenge prevailing ideas about public education

Kristina Campbell
Jan 20th, 2011

Ackerman cycled 3000 kilometres across BC last summer, listening to what people had to say about public education.

You just have to open up any paper to read about what a mess public education is in British Columbia. Kids are failing, right? Parents are angry, right? The government is to blame, right?

Not so fast, says 30-year-old Tulani Ackerman. The Prince Rupert School District high school teacher cycled 3000 kilometres around the province last summer, stopping regularly to listen to what locals had to say about BC's education system.

Throughout her one-woman public consultation, Ackerman definitely heard about the bad and the ugly of education - but she also heard about the good. 

"I was inspired by New Denver’s school because of the food and flower garden that the students have taken full responsibility and pride in," 
said Ackerman in an August speech to BC parliament. "I was inspired by the long lasting and meaningful relationships built in South Slocan at Mount Sentinel School between teachers, parents and students. It encouraged me immensely to see a community work as a team for the betterment of their children." 

Falcon's merit pay unlikely to produce better teachers

Kristina Campbell
Jan 6th, 2011

Under Falcon's proposed system, exceptional teachers would receive cash bonuses. (Flickr photo by 'rick')

This week, BC Liberal leadership candidate Kevin Falcon caused a stir in the education community by announcing that, should he become premier, he would support a merit-based pay system for British Columbia's teachers. Falcon said that he would explore ways to measure exceptional and innovative teaching practices, then bestow cash bonuses on those who use these methods to boost student performance.

MacDiarmid not fooling anyone

Noel Herron
Dec 6th, 2010

Wrong-way Corrigan, of US football fame, has nothing on Margaret MacDiarmid.

Recently, Premier Campbell reinstated MacDiarmid as BC’s education minister, after her newly-appointed predecessor George Abbott dropped out of cabinet to run for the Liberal leadership. While this farcical situation plays out, MacDiarmid, perceived as one of the most arrogant and out-of-touch education ministers this province has ever seen, is once again fronting for the BC Liberals’ education agenda. No sooner had she returned as education minister than she was quoting the report that Cheryl Wenezenki-Yolland gave to the VSB earlier this year, as evidence that the board had adequate resources to meet its needs. (If one has any doubt that the Campbell government punishes its critics and rewards its faithful, note that in the most recent cabinet shuffle, Ms. Wenezenki-Yolland landed the plum job of associate deputy minister overseeing the Environmental Assessment Office in Victoria.)

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