Community of Care

Richland Academy / Community of Care

We Can Change the World!

Ms. Amy Pitt, Richland Academy’s Children’s Rights Team Leader and Performing Arts Teacher, has high hopes for Richland students and the local and global community, as they embark on the 2013-2014 school year as the first elementary UNICEF Rights Respecting School in the GTA.  Inquiring Minds is delighted to share this post from Ms. Pitt.

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Last December, we announced our commitment towards becoming the first elementary UNICEF Rights Respecting School in the Greater Toronto Area. Administrators, teachers, students, and parents worked hard towards our collective goal through surveys, meetings, workshops, and a symposium. We took on the initiative with full force because we believed in it.  It’s amazing what can happen when people come together; children and adults working together for a common goal. This September marks our first year as a Rights Respecting School and I couldn’t be more excited. Grades 1-6 elected one member of their class to represent them on the Children’s Rights Team this year. They did this through a blind vote. The Children’s Right Team will meet once a month to discuss Children’s Rights issues inside and out of our school community. Team members will also embark on Peacemaking Circles where they will become proficient at the art of peaceful resolution, an art that they can share with their classrooms and assist when inevitable conflicts arise inside and out of the classroom.  Our first task will be to synthesize the ideas our school community, (including staff, students, family members, and guests) has written on the Graffiti Wall next to Mrs. Oliveira’s office and create a new school wide charter during our first meeting in October.

Educating for Responsible Citizenship Symposium

Given Richland Academy’s Children’s Rights Team leader, Ms. Amy Pitt’s involvement with the Rights Respecting Schools program in connection with UNICEF Canada, she was invited to attend the 2013: What’s Worth Knowing: Educating for Responsible Citizenship Symposium hosted by the education NGO Learning for a Sustainable Future. Ms. Pitt participated in this event with A.P. and K.D. from the Grade 6 class.

This event brought together over 125 senior decision makers in the government, business, and non-profit sectors, as well as educators and students from across Canada. The Symposium mobilized knowledge about the links between formal education and active youth engagement. LSF’s latest youth-designed project, The Our Canada Project, was also launched at this event. The Our Canada Project is an innovative platform for all Canadians to engage in conversations about the future and share their actions of responsible citizenship.

The Honourable David C. Onley, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, addresses Symposium participants

At the symposium there was a group of young people that built a new website named the Our Canada Project. I thought that this was inspiring because it told me that any young people can do anything if they put their minds to it.”- A.P., Grade 6

Primarily, the questions the symposium sought to address were:

  • What do children and youth need to know, do, and value in order to ensure they are responsible, active, and contributing citizens?
  • How can formal education be reoriented to meet these goals?