How can I help others feel welcome and special?
Students will research past discrimination issues that Canada has faced: Japanese Internment, The Indian Act, Doukhobours, Asian Riots, Chinese Head Tax, Chinese immigration Act, and the Numbered Treaties and present their findings to each other. We will discuss the injustices and the lessons to be learned. Students will then discuss and research the reasons for, and the issues around immigration. We will explore the process of immigration and push and pull factors. We will research our immigration stories and share them with each other. We will invite a new immigrant in to speak to us about the reasons they immigrated, the challenges they faced, and the needs they had in the new country. We will visit, or invite in as guest speakers, people from the immigration office, the refugee society, the cultural centre, and the welcome wagon to discover what they do to help others and see if there are initiatives that we can partner with, or find an unmet need we can meet. Students will brainstorm ways to help a new immigrant and create a pictorial guide that will be helpful to New Canadians, new residents to our town, and new students to our school. Students will take pictures of places and things that would be helpful (around town or around the school) and maps of how to get to each place, including simple written instructions. They will have voice and choice on whether they want to make their guide for new immigrants to Canada, new residents of the town, or new students to the school. We will also prepare welcome packages for new students of our school with our school water bottle, etc. We will present our completed guides to the Immigration Office, the Refugee Society, the Welcome Wagon, and to our School Administration offices to be given out to newcomers.
CONNECTIONS AND PERSPECTIVES:
Our school’s purpose the last two years has been, “You Belong” and “Here for a Purpose”. We are a multicultural school with students of different backgrounds and various stories of discrimination and/or immigration. Our goal is to help our students feel empathy for others and discover ways to help newcomers feel welcome in a strange place. It is my deep hope that my students develop a heart for others and cultivate the skills they need to make a difference in their world. As we try to meet the needs of the “least of these” around us, we will become justice seekers, community builders, and servant workers.