RECIPIENTS OF GRANTS IN SUPPORT
OF SOCIAL JUSTICE LEARNING
Square Foot Gardening for Community Next Step Outreach School, Vegreville
The Aspen Foundation grant will be used to create square foot gardens and grow vegetables in partnership with disabled adults. The vegetables would then be delivered to the food bank where the students would volunteer.
"...the Square Foot Gardening project has shown me how important cooperation is. We had to work as a team to make sure that we completed everything...We got to be leaders in the community and people saw us more than just teenagers causing trouble." -Jordan
Ordinary People Making Necessary Changes St. Joseph Catholic High School, Edmonton
The Saints Social Justice Team will use the Aspen Foundation grant to carry out a program related to homelessness, water issues, sexual minority rights and education in developing countries.
"Volunteering at the HOPE Mission is absolutely one of my favourite things to do. It helps me to have a better understanding of the homeless people and that they are just like us." -Claire
We All Come From Somewhere GH Primeau Middle School, Morinville
The GH Primeau Middle School students will take part in a program of connecting to their historical family roots and to new citizens. As part of this program, they will use the Aspen grant to plant and tend a garden in the school flower boxes to connect to their past.
Woodhaven Connects Woodhaven Middle School, Spruce Grove
Woodhaven Middle school has developed a school-wide program to build a sense of community and citizenship with their students. The program at each grade level is age-appropriate. Aspen has assisted the grade nine program of activities that include making connections with a soup kitchen, the Bissell Centre, Mustard Seed Church and the Salvation Army.
"They try to wrap their head around finding a different place to sleep each night and perhaps a different bed. Some have said that they feel really bad when a citizen asks for a little more soup or a second sandwich and they have to say, 'Sorry, only one.' That part is really hard for them as they reflect on their own lives."
Parkland Village School MicroSociety Parkland Village School, Spruce Grove
Students at Parkland Village School have developed a citizenship program to connect with a variety of community agencies including an EI office, the Foodbank, the John Howard Society and NGO agencies.
"There is a greater need than they were aware for community organizations such as the Parkland Foodbank."
Gardens Replenish Our World (G.R.O.W.) Project Nose Creek Elementary School, Airdrie
The Aspen grant will be used to assist students to plant, harvest, and care for a garden plot from which vegetables will then be harvested, washed, separated and bagged for the Airdrie Food Bank.
"Because of projects like GROW, students often feel the need to address other needs here and abroad."
Our Lady of Lourdes Community Cooking & Caring Our Lady of Lourdes School, Calgary
The Aspen grant will be used to assist students to bake and prepare foods for charities in Calgary such as Made by Momma, Streetlight, Alpha House and Inn From the Cold.
"Our students learned a great deal from this project. First, they developed a keen sense of empathy and understanding by helping out vulnerable people in society."
Circle of Friends: Incorporating Multicultural and Antiracism Education Westhaven School, Edson
West haven students will participate in a twice monthly program called Circle of Friends. In this program they will participate in activities to learn about diversity and anti-racism in a school that has much diversity. The Aspen grant will be used to assist with the development of kits and purchase posters to be used by teachers and students.
"Their discussions about residential schools and their interpretations of the system as being very "unfair" were particularly powerful. My students' understandings of how separation from family, loss of language and culture surprised me as pretty insightful." -Ms MacPhail, Grade 1 teacher
YAA! (Youth/Adult Alliance) Bishop Kidd Junior High School, Calgary
Students in this program will lease with a seniors in a neighbourhood lodge. They will participate in joint activities with senior in the lodge and on local trips.
"Stereotypes diminished...students became aware of the reality of the lives of seniors." -Ms. Dirsa, teacher
Building a Peaceful Community Keheewin Elementary School, Edmonton
Students in this program will be learning what "be the change we want to see" means. They will participate in a variety of activities including delivery to the community of Keheewin Kindness boxes.
"I felt kind of nervous and kind of sad because I feel bad for people who are poor and what if we didn't give them a box." -Grade 1 student
Support One Senior (SOS) Evergreen Catholic Outreach School, Spruce Grove
The Aspen Foundation grant was used to connect students with seniors in a local lodge by participating in a variety of activities.
"I still think about [name of one of the seniors] all the time; it was amazing learning about her life." -Grade 10 student