Students at Edmonds Community School took a moment to put their wishes for the New Year out into the universe.
The school reflects the diversity in the community that surrounds it. Fifty-two different languages are spoken by students who attend Edmonds. This unique environment provides a richness for all students, with exposure to different cultures and a chance to open up their world views.
At this year’s Night of Lights, an annual community event held in December at the school, the evening culminated with people writing a wish for the world for 2019 on a slip of paper. Examples included:
- no more war;
- peace in my home country;
- lots of food to eat; and
- love around the world.
In addition to students and families from Kindergarten to Grade 7, the Night of Lights was also attended by school alumni, community members and partners, as well as others who regularly come to adult education classes and StrongStart at Edmonds.
The evening began with carolling for residents at the local assisted living centre. The students returned to walk through the maze of lights, while singing seasonal songs about peace and joy. Attendees then had a chance to write their wishes for the world on special paper intended to burn in a child-friendly way. The messages were gathered in a bowl and lit by Edmond’s Principal, Sean Gaster.
“It’s a special thing for the children to see their messages wafting out in the form of smoke into the universe,” said Gaster. “This event is our way of giving back to the community as a whole by providing them with a beautiful experience. We get a lot of support from the greater Burnaby community and appreciate the opportunity to say thanks.”
In the build up to the Night of Lights, an entire room was filled with toys, gifts and food to share with families who could benefit most. The school received tens of thousands of dollars of in-kind donations that were shared with those families throughout the Burnaby School District, including some at Edmonds. That same night, in partnership with the City of Burnaby’s Youth Services, a holiday meal was hosted for about 70 local youth from the community.
The Burnaby School District has eight community schools. The variety of programs and services they offer help to meet the specific educational, recreational and social needs of the area they serve. Learn more about our community schools here.