This Tuesday, faculty, staff, students, and alumni of the Adler School in Vancouver will fan out to communities throughout the city metropolitan region—partnering with community organizations and Stratford Hall International Baccalaureate World School teachers and students for the two schools’ second annual Community Action Day.
The collaborative day is a dedicated day of action combining both schools’ hallmark programs focused on community engagement and social change.
At the Adler School, our graduate students in psychology and counselling are trained to lead social change for improved health outcomes, applying methods of psychological service that affect social policies and solve social problems. Our Community Service Practicum has been recognized as a best practice, through which our students work with community organizations on projects that systemically improve community mental health over the long term.
At Stratford Hall, middle school students participate in community service projects as part of the experiential learning component of the school’s International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Programme.
Here’s where we will be on Tuesday:
- Aboriginal Mothers Centre Society in Vancouver, which supports Aboriginal mothers through housing provision, advocacy, ongoing support, and job skill development. We will facilitate modules that emphasize a strength-based approach to self-advocacy, dealing with anger in difficult situations, encouragement, and relapse prevention planning; we also will be working with 3- to 5-year-old children in daycare.
- Britannia Community Centre, a centre on the east side of Vancouver that provides a 55+ Seniors Program. We’ll be working with seniors in the day program to create intergenerational dialogue about the use of social media.
- Cottonwood Community Garden, south side of Strathcona Park in East Vancouver. Working together, we will be digging garden beds and weeding existing plots at this four-acre community garden—to demonstrate the importance of creating community spaces to increase accessibility, as well as to foster the growth and exchange of knowledge about gardening and small-scale food production.
- Edible Garden Project: the Lillooet Park Community Garden, in the District of North Vancouver, which is expanding the impact of urban agriculture through hands-on education, increasing access to local food, and engaging local neighbourhoods in gardens and the community farm. We will take part in gardening such as transplanting, planting seeds, weeding, and composting, as well as an organizational overview and farm tour.
- Hastings Urban Farm (Portland Hotel Society) in Vancouver, a community collaboration that addresses issues of food security and enables the Downtown Eastside community to grow and share food with residents. Its urban farm project vision is to create food security, affordable housing on-site, and a market stall to buy food. On Tuesday, we’ll discuss the right to food and food security in the community, why the site exists, why it’s different from other urban farms, and more—and take part with the community in scarecrow building, the harvest and market stall, learning about bees, planting, and more.
- Also at Hastings Urban Farm (Portland Hotel Society), we will work with elders and medicine people to build the Downtown Eastside’s first-ever medicinal and sacred plant garden, while learning about aboriginal healing plants and garden construction.
- Maplewood Flats, south of Dollarton Highway in North Vancouver. Managed by the Wild Bird Trust of British Columbia, the Flats is a popular bird-watching park and locale for family outings along Burrard Inlet, with more than 200 species of birds spotted in the park annually. We will take part in learning about the purpose of maintaining conservation areas for wild animal species, and providing gardening and maintenance support.
- The PEDAL Depot (Pedal Energy Development Alternatives), the umbrella organization for several bicycle-related projects in the Vancouver area that provides charitable and educational programs, as well as a bicycle education and recycling workshop. We’ll take part in a road safety orientation, a bike rally from Stratford School to the PEDAL Depot, sign-making for the Depot, and bike maintenance workshops.
- Portland Hotel Society: DEERS (Downtown Eastside Elder Resource Sanctuary), which offers many services to Downtown Eastside residents. We will conduct qualitative one-on-one surveys to gather information with elders in the community without a means to access services relevant to their needs or offer counsel as elders to their community.
- Portland Hotel Society: DURC/Young Users Unite, which provides services to residents of the Downtown Eastside. We will take part in a forum regarding “healthy” and “sick” communities. What does it mean? Are we a “healthy” community? Our focus will be engaging discussion about the social forces impacting communities and building critical awareness of DTES community-based issues.
- Renfrew Community Centre, which offers an active complex of facilities to serve the growing Renfrew-Collingwood neighbourhood, home to the city’s highest population of children and youth and its fastest-growing seniors population. We will support Renfrew Ravine maintenance, through special removal of invasive species.
- Trout Lake Community Centre, a facility jointly operated by the Vancouver Board of Parks and Recreation and the Grandview Community Centre Association that provides a gathering place for community to enjoy recreational activities in a spectacular location. In advance of the Centre’s “Trout Lake Day” event on June 23, we will collaborate creating a large-scale outdoor art installations, and promoting the event—focused on the importance of arts, recreation and fun in a vibrant community.