Diversity Week with École Garibaldi Highlands Elementary School

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The École Garibaldi Highlands Elementary school family had their first Diversity Week from June 20, 2022, to June 24, 2022, ending this special time with the school's first Annual PAC Family Carnival. Many families were out to celebrate and incredible memories were made for the students.

The Gift of Ancestry -  To begin the Diversity celebrations, students honoured their Ancestors and the dreams that they aspired them through the "Gift of Ancestry." It was absolutely inspiring to see how many countries and continents are represented in the ancestral origins on the world map; there are many folks represented from all over Canada and BC, as well. On Tuesday, David Bouchard, Canadian Author, Speaker and Educator, joined ÉGHE classes via Zoom to celebrate the gifts of the Indigenous Peoples of Canada and students learned a great deal about David's ancestry and his pride in being Métis. In addition, many classes explored learning about a famous Indigenous person of Canada or their contributions to collective groups.
The Gift of Me - David Bouchard visited the students again on Wednesday, to have them consider what their spirit animals are and the gifts that they give to us to live our lives with the most meaning. Students were reminded about how incredibly special each of us is in our own diversity through the "Gift of Me". The students visually represented their own unique gifts.

The Gift of Commitment - On Thursday, the Gift of Commitment Day, David had his last visit with ÉGHE students, and he taught more about spirit animals and asked students what they would have as the four ones on their totem. Students asked many questions that day, including what it is like to be a writer. The learners wrote very powerful "I will…" statements on butterflies; this particular animal was chosen as it symbolizes transformation and changing our world. Seeing the learners' reflections and what they shared to improve relationships and spaces was wonderful.
The Gift of Community - Friday was the Gift of Community Day; the ÉGHE school community celebrated with the 1st Annual Family Carnival, while individual classes wrote thank you notes to those who supported the school. Others made personal statements of gratitude about what the community provides them with, and so much thought was evident in their sharing.

Principal Laurie Johnston never dreamed how wonderful this new week could be on the conception of its ideation. "It was inspiring to witness how our students responded to Diversity Week in recognizing their own gifts, including those given by their ancestors and those who have tended our lands before us. From that foundation, our learners were able to commit to action that supports equity. As a learning community, we came together to be grateful for everyone's contributions and were able to celebrate them, during our 1st Annual Family Carnival. We were able to learn about what makes us uniquely special, grow in our knowledge of the diverse experiences of others, and flourish in our commitments to make our world an inclusive place for everyone."