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Archive for December, 2013

Alannah Wong: Christmas Hero

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

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Alannah Wong’s Holiday Gift

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Alannah Wong, a grade 10 student at Streetfront spearheaded a wonderful holiday initiative. She wanted to do something for those in need around our community. With the help of her generous parents, we had $100 ready to donate.

Alannah knew that money donated to the Greater Vancouver Food Bank can actually be multiplied in value by the Food Bank itself. As is the case with Alannah – she wanted to make the biggest impact possible. She proudly donated the $100 and knew that her efforts would make somebody’s holiday that much more merrier.

Nice work, Alannah. Thanks for providing such a great example.

Categories: Blog, Event Tags: , ,

Streetfront Storms the Downtown Eastside – A Tale of Fellowship and Goodwill

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Alannah Wong thought that Streetfront should do something for those less fortunate considering it was the holiday season. It made sense considering the social conscience the program has always been committed to. On her own, she solicited her parents to help raise some money – before the day was over – a $100 was raised. Streetfront then matched that $100 and with $200 we were ready to give.

Ideas were pitched – socks; blankets; gloves – all were considered but in the end it was decided that the goal was to bring fellowship to a lonely place. We would take $100 and buy cookies; candy canes; oranges; juice boxes and chocolates. We would put those items in a Christmas bag and then go out into the community and meet our neighbours.

The kids set up a production line and in the end we had over a 100 goody bags ready to deliver.

We then loaded up our gifts and dressed up our usual 21 passenger van in Streetfront colours and headed for a place that needed a little brightness and levity.

We got to Hastings and Cambie and spilled out into the community. It was such a moving experience. In my 14 years at Streetfront, I’m not sure if I’ve ever been prouder than I was that afternoon. The kids were a bit reluctant to get engaged at first – to be honest, it is such a demonized place, who could blame them – but soon a magical metamorphosis took place. Once someone shook a hand or talked to a stranger that whole edifice of fear and anxiety was replaced with confidence and brotherhood. Soon all the kids were shaking hands, hugging, talking to or singing carols with total strangers. The kids couldn’t get to the bags fast enough. They were actually running for the chance to engage with people they may have formerly ignored or derided. It took just a mere 10 minutes to give out the 100 bags but the feeling of community and support – will last a lifetime.

Those that think the youth of today are a lost cause of electronics and apathy need to come to Streetfront. I’m excited about the future – we all should be. Sent from my iPhone

Categories: Uncategorized

Streetfront Students Speak to the Vancouver School Board

December 21, 2013 Leave a comment

Shivnay Chandra and Josue Cineros were asked to speak to the Vancouver School Board on Wednesday Dec. 18 by Superintendent Steve Cardwell. The board was very interested in finding out more about Streetfront and the unique physical components utilized by the staff.

Shivnay and Josue were amazing. They spoke with poise and eloquence about their experiences and successes. A 10 minute talk quickly turned into a half hour Q & A, with the boys fielding questions from the board members.

Once again, Streetfront students make us proud for their dedication to the program and commitment to better themselves.

Congratulations, Shivnay and Josue!!!!

Categories: Uncategorized

Streetfront Conquers Seattle – 2013 Edition

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Congratulations to such wonderful Canadian Ambassadors Trevor your crew is an inspiration to Brit and Van East. Great Job Street Front!!

From: Trevor Lane Stokes [mailto:tstokes@vsb.bc.ca]
Sent: Wednesday, December 04, 2013 9:39 PM
To: My blog; Taylor, Geoff; Schofield, Andrew; Don Fiddler; Ron Bergeron; Suzuki, Ron
Subject: Streetfront Conquers Seattle – 2013 Edition

For the 12th consecutive year, Streetfront has driven down to Seattle to have our students run the Seattle Marathon. Things have changed in those 12 years; instead of one boy running alongside his teacher as happened in 2001, this year we had 10 kids running the full (42.2 km) and 3 running the half marathon (21.2 km). We also had 2 wonderful volunteers running the races with the students: Ben Proctor, a super committed volunteer has been training with the kids all year and Brandon Steele, a VPD Officer and marathon trainer extraordinaire.

The trip begins Friday night with the annual Black Friday Sleepover – this is when the kids who are heading down to Seattle stay over Friday night to avoid the reality of sleeping in. The portable becomes filled with the sights, sounds and smells of a dozen kids who have trained, laughed and struggled together for months or years. Waking up at 5:15 am to pack up, we are met by the other Streetfronters who got themselves to the portable right on departure time.

Barry drives the bus and we head to the border. Hold our breath and enter the USA. Our first stop is the outlet mall. For most of the kids this is a special time – rarely do they get to participate in the consumer hoopla of Black Friday. Most have a tiny bit if cash while many have none, so we try to give them all around $40 American, so they can consume like everyone else.

Once the shopping is done, we make a b line to the Marathon Expo where all the kids and staff will volunteer for 4 hours. This volunteer commitment is a huge part of the weekend. The Seattle Marathon Association comps ALL of our entry fees to the marathon (over $2000 worth) because of the kid’s effort at the Expo.

After volunteering, a huge team meal is planned. Reminiscing about previous marathon experiences and re-telling Streetfront stories, the evening is so special. I sit back and am beyond proud that I’ve been able to witness every aspect of this. We wallow out, bellies full, heading towards the hotel to get prepared for tomorrow’s race.

The half marathoners start at 7:30 am so we are up at 6 am consuming as many calories as possible. The fulls are up at 6:30 doing likewise. A palpable nervous energy fills every room. Everybody is trying to eat but most can’t, the nerves getting the best of them. Before anybody is ready, they are out the door and heading to the start line.

The anthem will be sung and the runners off. We stand out. Most of my kids are aboriginal, insanely poor and 25 years younger than the average marathoner. But once the race starts, all of the runners have but one goal – finish as quickly as possible. Some of my kids will finish in 4 hours and 15 minutes, like William Vu, who completed his 10th marathon with me, yes 10!!!!) and others will pass out at 26 km but then regain their composure and finish all 42.2 kms in 5 hours and 45 minutes, like first-timer Shivnay Chandra did, tears streaming down his face because he thinks I’ll be disappointed with his effort. Regardless of their time, every single student had the courage to do something that less than 1 out of every million high school students will do – that is run a marathon. That’s amazing, isn’t it? More amazing – I’ve had over 125 of these marathons completed by kids like these over the last 12 years.

I’m a blessed man, that I know. I hope you are impressed by these kids because I would challenge you to find a more accomplished group of Vancouver students than them. In my eyes, none are finer.

Thanks for reading,

Trevor Stokes

Teacher – Streetfront Alternative Program

Categories: Uncategorized

Streetfront Conquers Seattle – 2013 Edition

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Congratulations All! This story is now off to Kurt at VSB. Okay?
GT

Categories: Uncategorized

Streetfront Conquers Seattle – 2013 Edition

December 5, 2013 Leave a comment

For the 12th consecutive year, Streetfront has driven down to Seattle to have our students run the Seattle Marathon. Things have changed in those 12 years; instead of one boy running alongside his teacher as happened in 2001, this year we had 10 kids running the full (42.2 km) and 3 running the half marathon (21.2 km). We also had 2 wonderful volunteers running the races with the students: Ben Proctor, a super committed volunteer has been training with the kids all year and Brandon Steele, a VPD Officer and marathon trainer extraordinaire.

The trip begins Friday night with the annual Black Friday Sleepover – this is when the kids who are heading down to Seattle stay over Friday night to avoid the reality of sleeping in. The portable becomes filled with the sights, sounds and smells of a dozen kids who have trained, laughed and struggled together for months or years. Waking up at 5:15 am to pack up, we are met by the other Streetfronters who got themselves to the portable right on departure time.

Barry drives the bus and we head to the border. Hold our breath and enter the USA. Our first stop is the outlet mall. For most of the kids this is a special time – rarely do they get to participate in the consumer hoopla of Black Friday. Most have a tiny bit if cash while many have none, so we try to give them all around $40 American, so they can consume like everyone else.

Once the shopping is done, we make a b line to the Marathon Expo where all the kids and staff will volunteer for 4 hours. This volunteer commitment is a huge part of the weekend. The Seattle Marathon Association comps ALL of our entry fees to the marathon (over $2000 worth) because of the kid’s effort at the Expo.

After volunteering, a huge team meal is planned. Reminiscing about previous marathon experiences and re-telling Streetfront stories, the evening is so special. I sit back and am beyond proud that I’ve been able to witness every aspect of this. We wallow out, bellies full, heading towards the hotel to get prepared for tomorrow’s race.

The half marathoners start at 7:30 am so we are up at 6 am consuming as many calories as possible. The fulls are up at 6:30 doing likewise. A palpable nervous energy fills every room. Everybody is trying to eat but most can’t, the nerves getting the best of them. Before anybody is ready, they are out the door and heading to the start line.

The anthem will be sung and the runners off. We stand out. Most of my kids are aboriginal, insanely poor and 25 years younger than the average marathoner. But once the race starts, all of the runners have but one goal – finish as quickly as possible. Some of my kids will finish in 4 hours and 15 minutes, like William Vu, who completed his 10th marathon with me, yes 10!!!!) and others will pass out at 26 km but then regain their composure and finish all 42.2 kms in 5 hours and 45 minutes, like first-timer Shivnay Chandra did, tears streaming down his face because he thinks I’ll be disappointed with his effort. Regardless of their time, every single student had the courage to do something that less than 1 out of every million high school students will do – that is run a marathon. That’s amazing, isn’t it? More amazing – I’ve had over 125 of these marathons completed by kids like these over the last 12 years.

I’m a blessed man, that I know. I hope you are impressed by these kids because I would challenge you to find a more accomplished group of Vancouver students than them. In my eyes, none are finer.

Thanks for reading,

Trevor Stokes
Teacher – Streetfront Alternative Program

Categories: Uncategorized