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Abbotsford School District Wins National Education Innovation Award

Abbotsford /Toronto The EdCan Network recognizes this district’s Robert Bateman Secondary Art Activism Program – where Art is a vehicle that empowers students – as a winner of the 2018 Ken Spencer Awards for Innovation in Teaching and Learning.

This program blends Art, English, and Social Justice curricula as students take a stand on a social issue of importance to their community – such as addressing the challenges faced by refugees from around the world as they integrate into Canadian society.

In partnership with local organizations, students undertook a project where they met with and interviewed ten community members who had immigrated to Abbotsford, as refugees, and worked to represent their stories through artworks. Throughout this learning process, students organized an exhibition of 25 five-foot portraits of the volunteers, depicting their brave journeys to freedom. Through the sale of their artwork, they were able to raise $8,000 towards this scholarship fund.

“Two important elements made this such a powerful learning program: the currency of topic connecting to local and global newcomer and refugee issues and the high level of student ownership in this process,” says Darren Googoo, Chair of the EdCan Network. “We congratulate the students, educators and community partners and supporters for making this program such a successful model that will inspire other schools to emulate it across the country.”

A Ken Spencer Award recognition ceremony to honour the students, educators and community partners involved in this award-winning program will take place later this spring. This is the ninth year of this award, and the EdCan Network would like to thank the 94 school and school district staff for their time and effort in the preparation of this year’s award application packages.

For a booklet showcasing the work of all seven Ken Spencer Award

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