Archive for June, 2012

Unveiling Nexways wa lh7ayenexw Garden and Feast

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Spring Session Streetfront Style

May and June is when our outdoor schedule really shifts. With the marathon finishing, we put our running shoes aside for awhile and focus on other things. The warmer weather allows us to get out and start paddling. We’ve had 4 canoe day trips so far (Jug Island; Twin Island; Buntzen Lake; and False Creek) complemented with some day hikes and trail runs.

We culminated our spring season with a multiple day trip touring Indian Arm and using Twin Island as our central location.

With final exams looming, we put extra focus on academics in the spring term. Kids were busy trying to complete assignments and prepare for tests.

Our wonderful garden project concluded in magnificent fashion. A Squamish educator, Dustin Brown, visited our class. He gave the kids an amazing session on local history and aboriginal traditions culminating in finding an appropriate traditional name for our new garden. It was a brilliant exercise and profoundly moving for many students. The name chosen was Nexways wa lh7ayenexw Garden (which translates into “Transformed Life”)

We then followed that up with an official naming ceremony and feast. Elders from the surrounding Nations attended; our students were involved in every aspect of the sacred ceremony; and it finished with a huge smoked salmon and bannock meal. Dignitaries from Vancouver were present and laid witness to a truly remarkable event.

We ended the year with some fun group field trips: one was to a wonderful high ropes/activity course in Maple Ridge called Wildplay. The 75 foot zip lines and dangling rope swings exhilarated all the kids. Our final wrap up was a great day at Spanish Banks, skim boarding; swimming; playing volleyball and enjoying each other’s company. It was a great way to end the year.

Streetfront gained quite a bit of publicity this year. The Province did a great article and video on us. Global TV did a really nice news story on our accomplishments. And the Globe and Mail featured Streetfront as one of 4 programs across Canada who are redefining what a “healthy” student really is. Pretty amazing for a little school from the Downtown Eastside.

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