recent news

Learning About Cultures and the Strength in Our Differences

A chance to explore one another’s perspectives, experiences and cultures provides students with deeper connections to the world around them. What follows are some of the recent activities and celebrations in our schools.

Over at Kitchener Elementary, a Grade 1 class learned about Ramadan through story and art. After asking their teacher, two Grade 6/7 students at Brentwood Park Elementary shared with their classmates about celebrations in their homes for Nowruz. As part of Celebrate Diversity Month at Brantford Elementary, families shared their traditions with the school. Students learned about the Persian new year tradition of having a Haft-Sin table. All of the items on it are selected for their symbolic meaning. To support the cultural sharing, parents collaborated with the school to create a video about Nowruz and Vaisakhi. You can watch it here:

Settlement Workers in Schools (SWIS) hosted several gatherings this spring including a pre-Nowruz celebration at Twelfth Avenue Elementary, with traditional foods made by parents. A gathering for Eid al-Fitr at Edmonds Community School hosted 350 people at a feast to mark the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month. Sponsored by the United Way, the event featured entertainment, activities, and came to life with the help of many volunteers. Students and staff at Byrne Creek Community School were invited to join the SWIS-organized celebration of Eid al-Fitr and Nowruz. Students from Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and more countries came together to decorate the main atrium at school. The crowd enjoyed traditional foods and cultural dancing as part of the festivities.

Alpha Secondary had a visit from The Other People, a multi-faith and multi-cultural organization. They spoke with approximately 80 Grade 12 students about the importance of learning from people with different backgrounds. The youth participated as part of their Social Justice, Contemporary Indigenous Studies, or World History class. The students probed the panel of prominent leaders with questions about racism, bigotry, and implicit bias in Canada.

A special viewing of the documentary Ice Queens, which showcases Black women in hockey, was held at Byrne Creek Community School. With sponsorship from the Vancouver Canucks and in partnership with the Ninandotoo Society, the Toronto-based director of the film was flown in to do a question and answer session with the youth.

Leadership students at Burnaby Central Secondary organized a Cultural Appreciation Week, including a chance to try different cuisines, learn, and participate in a cultural fashion show.

Read about more opportunities to celebrate culture and diversity, as well as anti-racism work happening in Burnaby Schools:

Celebrating Black History Month and Beyond – February 2024
Celebrating Lunar New Year and Sharing Culture – February 2024
Learning Through Indigenous Teachings and Honouring Culture – Multiple Stories
Student Voice Elevated at District-led Black Excellence Day Event – January 2024
Celebrating the Strengths in our Differences and Working to Dismantle Racism – December 2023

Students’ Post-Secondary Horizons Ignited in Black Futures Program – May 2023
Cultural Traditions and Practices Honoured – May 2023
Sharing Culture and Celebrating Expressions of Who We Are – March 2023
Celebrating and Reflecting During Black History Month – February 2023
Learning Through Indigenous Teachings and Honouring Culture
Students Presenting at Black Excellence Day Event for Thousands – January 2023
Celebrating Black Excellence Beyond Black History Month – October 2022
Next Steps Coming: Action on Racism – September 2022
Anti-Racism Lead Nominated for Premier’s Award for Work in District – September 2022
Raising Diverse Student Voices and Opportunities – May 2022
Honouring Community Traditions and Practices – May 2022
Honouring and Learning About Black History – February 2022
District Hosting Black Excellence Day for Thousands – January 2022
Dismantling Racism: Invitation to Engagement Process – May 2021
Asian Heritage Month: Honouring, Celebrating and Taking Action – May 2021
Black History Month: Celebrating & Learning – February 2021
Supporting Black Shirt Day – January 2021
Continuing Our Journey: Supporting Anti-Racism – October 2020
Action on Racism: Burnaby Board of Education – June 2020
Celebrating Black History Month in Burnaby Schools – February 2019

Posted April 2024