Tag: Share

Connecting for the Future

I recently received a gift from Byrne Creek’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) Chair Janet Reid. It is a gorgeous First Nations art piece that I love! It is called, The Parent Voice: Connecting for the Future.

I went to put the artwork up in my office the other day and noticed the artist’s interpretation of the painting. It was a moment where I realized that the painting is a perfect fit for the path that we have charted in developing our community school model here at Byrne Creek:

“The Parent Voice: Connecting for the Future design encapsulates the elements of sharing, connection, growth and leadership which also run parallel to the mutual understanding and desire to sustain and brace a well balanced and healthy future.

The Man and Woman symbolize the sharing of their words, wisdom and cultural teachings with love and respect. The Eagles symbolize power of Great Spirit, courage, freedom and the capacity of bridging worlds. The Salmon symbolize the power of instinct, determination, intuition and the ability to follow your vision. The Bears symbolize the power of strength, sweetness of truth, deliberation, conservation and healing.

When creating this design I wanted each animal to have a partner to represent how we should never stand alone. The practice of partnership is a leading model of personal and professional success. I hope the viewers of this design feel its meaning within themselves as it comes from a place of welcoming, love, respect, understanding and unity. May we continuously thank and honor our Parents, Elders, Role Models, and Caregivers for their wisdom and guidance as we continue our journey in a sustainable and well balanced future.

Jamin Zuroski is the artist of this treasure and the author of this narrative. On his bio Jamin is described as a person of First Nations, Polish, and Ukrainian descent.”


Gifts to Share

David Starr, principal of Edmonds Community School in Burnaby (one of Byrne Creek Secondary School’s feeder Elementary Schools) wrote a book, released a few weeks ago, called From Bombs to Books. Starr’s love of his school community is evident as he shares the difficult journeys of so many of our communities Refugee families. It is a very powerful book about courage, survival and belonging. And it is well worth a read!!!

I am humbled by the resilience and sheer tenacity of so many of our families’ arrival stories into Canada! Our students and community is so fortunate to be able to have access to this sort of strength, wisdom and experience. And I have been thinking a lot lately about how we might connect with this gift that is often hidden in plain sight.

Over the past few months Byrne Creek Secondary and the Canucks Family Education Centre have hosted workshops at Byrne Creek for parents and youth to help families better transition into Canadian culture.

This past week we held a workshop World Café titled “The Community and You.” The questions served up to parents and youth during this session were: What are your likes, passions, interests, and skills? And what would you like to share with the community?

The youth engagement and suggestions were phenomenal! Their ideas were very impressive. They offered the likes of holding FaceBook training for parents and mentorship/leadership workshops with younger children.

Parents were also very generous with their offerings. Out of this session we have the beginnings of the following:  

A very experienced pediatrician from Afghanistan will be holding workshops for parents on family health, a university professor of English from Russia will be holding TOFEL preparation training sessions for parents, and English (and perhaps Russian) conversation classes for youth and a university Economics Professor from Malaysia has offered to lead financial planning workshops for parents and youth in our community.

This is some of the wealth that we are hoping to connect with more and more as Byrne Creek transitions into a Community School.  We will be holding more such workshops, and we are beginning to look for funding to maintain such initiatives (for example, if materials are required).