Across the District, there are a variety of opportunities throughout the school year to celebrate diversity, inclusion and kindness.
When students feel represented, welcome, supported, respected, and safe, they are more engaged in learning. During Pride Month several schools – such as Brantford Elementary, Burnaby North Secondary and Maywood Community School – raised the Pride flag.
What follows are some of the recent events and opportunities to celebrate the strengths in our differences and having pride in who you are.
A District-wide family event called Freedom to Celebrate was held for the first time and kicked off Pride Month on June 1. Staff, students, and family members were invited to an evening of festivities, which included enjoying a meal together, an author reading, face painting, a magician, student performances, and representation by several community partners including the Burnaby Public Library.
Burnaby South Secondary’s SOGI Club organized a lunchtime Rainbow Crosswalk Dance Party underneath the Pride flag. Held in celebration of Pride Month, the dance party has become an annual event for students and school staff. The rainbow crosswalk is one of many initiated by students across the District.
Gilmore Community School celebrated Pride Week to promote inclusivity and acceptance. Everyone was encouraged to wear something that makes them feel proud for a school photo. The Pride Committee had the idea and a member of the school community who is a photographer took the picture with a drone. After the group photo, intermediate students remained for the raising of the Pride flag.
Several schools held pride marches for staff and students including Stoney Creek Community School where students expressed themselves in colourful clothing.
Students and staff at Taylor Park Elementary wore festive clothing, carried rainbow flags and held messages of belonging for their parade.
Cameron Elementary invited Trustees and local dignitaries to attend their Pride event, which began with a school assembly and culminated in their own Pride March. Many carried handmade banners to share messages of inclusion.
Students at Nelson Elementary marked Pride Month with messages about loving everyone as they are.
In the lead-up to the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia or IDAHAT in May, the Pride flag was raised at the District Administration Office. For the first time since the pandemic began, the annual IDAHAT Breakfast was back on in person. Students from across the District had the opportunity for connection and to hear from keynote speakers. In recognition of IDAHAT, the Pride Club at Brentwood Park Elementary made one-of-a-kind stickers for their school community.
This story has been reproduced with permission from the Burnaby School District. The district’s posting can be found here.