Connaught Street School in Fredericton has been selected to participate in the Capacity for Courage grant program. The school's one-year project, entitled "Today's Youth, Tomorrow's Leaders," will focus on creating events throughout the school year which support youth empowerment and engagement. A launch event for about 30 students will be held in November.
"This is a unique opportunity to build capacity around student voice by providing them with authentic opportunities to engage in learning of their choice and be empowered to make a difference in the life of their community," said Principal Barb Corbett.
Corbett said the school will be organizing a series of events which will foster a "sense of belonging in our diverse school community."
"We will be partnering with many different groups and organizations in the community to connect our students with role models for this thought approach," she said.
The Capacity for Courage program, offered through the provincial Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) and Post Secondary Education Training and Labour for K-12 anglophone schools, aims to support educators and students with initiatives that support culturally vibrant classrooms, schools and communities.
Connaught Street School is partnering with NouLab in bringing its project forward. NouLab is New Brunswick's social and public innovation lab. Kathy Whynot from EECD and a team from NouLab visited the school Oct. 15 for a student focus group discussion.
"The passion and spirit within your walls is palpable and such a pleasure to take part in for a morning," Whynot wrote back to the school. "The school cheer, the secret handshake, the dancing - all so joyous. It is clear from your example that a school team that has shared leadership, provides the space for open and honest conversations about new directions, and commits to knowing and meeting the unique needs of all students, can achieve great gains together."
The themes of the Capacity for Courage grant program are driving dynamic change in an increasingly diverse school, development of cultural vibrancy in school, and having the courage to lead change toward a vision of a culturally inclusive school and community.
Shown in the photo below are students Isabelle Cullen, Olivia Hawrishok, Sabin Uwitonze, Owen Roach and Ana Leroux who took part in the student focus group.