Posts tagged ‘adopt-a-school’

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Strathcona principal gets her Christmas wish

#vansunkids By GERRY BELLETT Strathcona Elementary principal Margaret Jorgensen has dreamt for years of finding the means to set up a computer-assisted literacy program at her Downtown Eastside school where many students living in extreme poverty struggle to read. Her friend Ron Suzuki, who runs the adjacent Strathcona Community Centre, said such a program would […]

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Adopt-a-School: Teachers will go it alone to pay for breakfast program if necessary #vansunkids

BY GERRY BELLETT The hunger game was manageable when Tanya Kozak was hired three years ago as a child-care worker at Surrey’s David Brankin Elementary. “There wasn’t so much of it back then,” said Kozak. But the next year it suddenly got worse, and Kozak started coming in early to make oatmeal for 10 to […]

Amrithma Dhillon, left, volunteers to serve students at Mitchell elementary in Richmond. The school would like to continue their lunch and breakfast program and to buy a dishwasher. Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost, PNG , Vancouver Sun

Breakfast needed more than ever: Hungry pupils can’t learn #vansunkids

  BY GERRY BELLETT It was in September two years ago that Mitchell elementary principal Madhuri Pendharkar realized something had to be done about the number of children coming to school hungry or without food to see them through the day. “We had a lot of kids that needed feeding,” said Pendharkar. “It was two-fold: […]

Shakayla Bowe and Kayci, with youth worker Carley Romas, at Charles Tupper Secondary’s program for young moms in Vancouver. Photograph by: Wayne Leidenfrost , Vancouver Sun

Adopt-a-School: Providing for young moms — and babies #vansunkids

BY GERRY BELLETT Kayci is 16 weeks old and her mother Shakayla Bowe is 16 years old — a symmetry of weeks and years that will never come again. And if those numbers suggest this is a child looking after a baby, the ready smile on the baby’s face shows that this is a child […]

rances Stone at home with her three children Austin, age 12 ( C ) , Aidan, age 7 ( R ) and Maya, age 6 ( L ), Burnaby,  Gerry Kahrmann  /  PNG)

The long climb out of poverty

BY DAPHNE BRAMHAM This Christmas is a special one for Frances Stone and her three children. This year, they didn’t have to rely on charity. “I bought all my children Christmas gifts. I bought all of them myself,” says the 38-year-old Burnaby mom. “That’s a huge thing for me. It’s the first year that I’ve […]

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Strathcona Elementary families enjoy Metro Theatre’s pantomime #vansunkids

BY GERRY BELLETT If you‘ve never seen one before, nothing can prepare you for a good old-fashioned English pantomime. So when about 80 children and parents from Strathcona Elementary school in the Downtown Eastside entered Metro Theatre, Saturday night, to see their first panto — Jack and the Beanstalk — Catherine Morrison thought it advisable […]

Adrienne Beaton, Sir Charles Tupper secondary youth and family worker, and school counsellor Joseph Lee in front of 'Charlie's Closet at the Vancouver school. The pair are seeking cash donations to fund Charlie's Closet, a sort of in-school clothing store for impoverished kids.
Photograph by: Jason Payne , Vancouver Sun

Adopt-a-School: A closet for students who don’t have one at home #vansunkids

BY GERRY BELLETT There are some students attending Vancouver’s Sir Charles Tupper Secondary who own their own cars. And there are some who own only the clothes on their backs. The gulf that exists between those two groups needs no exploring. “Kids with cars? Yes. I remember seeing one kid broken down who didn’t know […]

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Telus donating $1 for every social media mention of #vansunkids

Every time you use the social media hashtag #vansunkids, you’ll be helping impoverished children in your community. Telus is donating $1 to The Vancouver Sun Children’s Fund Adopt-a-School campaign for every mention of the campaign tagged with the #vansunkids hashtag, up to a limit of $20,000. Telus has been a supporter of our Adopt-a-School program […]

Everybody in the community has to be involved in eliminating poverty, says Michael McAfee, who heads the Promise Neighborhoods Institute in Oakland, Calif.
Photograph by: Steve Bosch, PNG , Vancouver Sun

A coordinated attack on poverty

From cradle to career: Promise Neighborhoods program offers ‘big leadership’ and ‘big dollars’ By DAPHNE BRAMHAM It’s a radical idea: Breaking the poverty cycle is simple. That’s what Michael McAfee is helping to prove as director of the Promise Neighborhoods Institute , where he works with more than 60 of the most distressed communities in […]

Admiral Seymour elementary teacher Andrea Wilks, right, is joined by former MLA Joan McIntyre, who donated to The Vancouver Sun's Adopt-A-School campaign, which in turn helped pay for this sensory room at the school. The room will be used for children with emotional problems who cause disturbances in class and need help to calm down.
Photograph by: Jenelle Schneider, PNG , Vancouver Sun

Helping children with sensory overload

Donations create a place for students to calm down when the world gets too hectic   By GERRY BELLETT In late October the painters were finishing off the walls inside Admiral Seymour elementary’s new sensory centre, putting it out of commission, which was a pity because there was a young boy that morning whose nerves […]

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Donors with hearts of gold help Richmond’s needy children

Food programs get 10-year commitment By DAPHNE BRAMHAM It is the longest commitment Adopt-a-School has ever received – $100,000 for food programs over 10 years. Not only are the Hearts of Gold Foundation and Centro Dental Group donating $10,000 a year to help feed hungry schoolchildren in Richmond, they’re setting up a pilot project that […]

Harrison Lee

It doesn’t matter who’s to blame, the village needs to feed the children #vansunkidsfund

BY SHELLEY FRALIC Whose fault is it that a kindergartner arrives for school every morning without having had breakfast and, sometimes, without having eaten dinner the night before? Who’s to blame when an elementary student comes to class lacking a warm coat, winter boots, gloves or even socks, and then opens a tattered backpack to […]

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Simon Chang delivers hope, inspiration to Britannia Secondary School

By GILLIAN SHAW Simon Chang’s life as an internationally renowned fashion designer is far removed from the reality of life for students at Vancouver’s Britannia Secondary School. But Chang, who grew up the youngest of four children living with his family on Keefer Street in Chinatown, once walked the halls of the east-side school as […]

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B.C.’s child-poverty rate is a travesty

By Daphne Bramham It’s a shameful and longstanding distinction that a greater percentage of B.C. children live in poverty than anywhere else in Canada, and 2011 was no exception. You can argue over which Statistics Canada data to use – low-income after tax or before tax, market basket measure, or the deprivation index. But it […]

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Coquitlam’s Ecole Maillard needs help with breakfast, lunch and after-school food #vansunkidsfund

By Gerry Bellett In May Coquitlam’s Ecole Maillard Middle School took a run at feeding its hungry children. “We realized we needed to,” said vice principal Kathryn Jung whose school tops the vulnerably index in the Coquitlam school district with 10 per cent of its 409 students being deemed vulnerable as a consequence of poverty. […]

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Richmond school needs help to supply lunches #vansunkids

By Gerry Bellett Vice-principal Tanya Major isn’t asking for much – $2,000 from The Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-A-School campaign – perhaps the most modest request this year’s campaign has received. Her school, William Bridge elementary, located at the end of a quiet street near Number 3 Road and Williams in Richmond, isn’t overwhelmed with the sort […]

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Adopt-a-School 2013 campaign launch

By Gerry Bellett This time two years ago The Vancouver Sun launched our first Adopt-A-School campaign after discovering some inner-city schools were struggling against a tide of poverty and privation that was overwhelming teachers and principals. Want in the form of hungry children arriving at school in worn-out clothing and footwear, listless from hunger or […]

Teacher Carrie Gelson

From a single story comes profound change #vansunkids

By Shelley Fralic The one thing a newspaper reporter learns within minutes on the job, and even more so after years in the trenches, is that the power of the press can turn a single story into a profound agent of change. In the fall of 2011, The Vancouver Sun learned about the plight of […]

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Adopt-a-School: Kids learn to survive, and thrive, in the kitchen

By Gerry Bellett Their electric frying pans are filled with vegetables and Project Chef’s Barbara Finley is extolling the virtues of patience while cooking to 31 Grade 4-5 kids in Hastings Elementary, who hang on her every word. “Being patient — that’s the hardest part of cooking,” Finley tells them. “Have you seen the way […]

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Adopt-a-School sets example for assistance

  By Patti Bacchus,  Chairperson, Vancouver Board of Education Over the past year and a half, several Vancouver schools have been inundated by the generosity of The Vancouver Sun and its many partner organizations and donors. The support pouring into our schools has been nothing short of incredible. Some schools have benefited from monetary and […]

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Adopt-a-School: CIBC Wood Gundy delivers philanthropy without fanfare for inner-city schools

By Gerry Bellett It almost defies belief that a downtown office of just 55 people has been the prime provider of hot breakfasts and other services for poor and needy children in Vancouver’s east-side elementary schools for the past 17 years. Since 1995, staff in CIBC Wood Gundy’s office in the Bentall Centre have put […]

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Adopt-a-School: Zajac Ranch introduces inner-city kids to the great outdoors

By Gerry Bellett There they were, 27 Downtown Eastside kids standing in the wilderness near Stave Lake trying to comprehend it all. The Zajac Ranch — essentially a large clearing among the trees — is at the end of a logging road with potholes and one-vehicle bridges well north of Mission. And for these children-of-the-concrete, […]

Gigi Janes plays the drums in a band with  other students at Morley Elementary School in Burnaby, B.C. (Arlen Redekop photo/ PNG)

Adopt-a-School: Best Buy donates musical instruments, bringing rock’n’roll to Burnaby school

The well-to-do can wear jeans full of holes but for a poor boy jeans ripped almost to the crotch and held together by pins and embarrassment are a stigma, not a fashion statement. “It was certainly difficult for him to have to come to school like that,” said Hal Wall, principal of Burnaby’s Morley Elementary; […]

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Adopt-a-School: Technology ignites a passion for learning in both kids and teachers

By Daphne Bramham The Smart Board in Kathryn Mazzone’s classroom is indistinguishable from one of those ubiquitous white boards used in offices to scrawl meeting notes — until she powers it up. As the white screen comes to life, so do Mazzone’s Grade 3 and 4 students at Henderson Annex in southeast Vancouver. It’s hard […]

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Adopt-a-School: Grouse Mountain elevates young spirits

By Gerry Bellett Later this season Grouse Mountain pass-holders will be asked for donations of warm clothing and footwear — new or slightly used — to help clothe children throughout Metro Vancouver for whom winter is the time when poverty bites hardest. “There are children who will need help and this is the time when […]

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Adopt-a-School: Beating back poverty a boon to education

There’s a certain surreal quality about an elementary school principal sitting in her office fretting over where she might get a good deal on beds, of finding some company to give her a break on the price of box springs and mattresses. It’s fair to wonder what the price of beds could possibly have to […]

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Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School program has inspired unexpected positive side-effects and quiet acts of kindness

Last year’s Adopt-a-School campaign officially ended on Dec. 31, but four and a half months later, on April 19, two gymnastic instructors arrived unannounced in The Vancouver Sun’s newsroom with a thick bundle of $20 bills, a couple of cheques and a hefty bag of rolled-up coins. All told, $1,749. It had been raised quietly […]

Photo by Mark Yuen

Child poverty is not going away, Adopt-a-School launching for a second year

By Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun Last year’s Adopt-a-School campaign exceeded all expectations and raised close to $800,000 in cash donations and matching funds and a substantial amount of goods and services for inner-city schools struggling against a rising tide of classroom poverty. Such generosity from our readers brought relief to hundreds of children in 37 schools […]

Jim Duggan (centre) buys his produce wholesale to feed the poor from friend Jason Yang (right) of Neighbour's Choice Farm Market in West Vancouver. Yang is helped by Johnny Le (left).

Inner-city school food deliveries switch to centres for summer

When Jim Duggan dived head first into helping poor inner-city families receive fresh fruit and vegetables, he didn’t realize how fathomless is the pool of want. Inspired to help by The Sun’s Adopt-a-School stories describing the needs of poverty-stricken children and families, Duggan pledged to spend $500 a month on fruit and vegetables and distribute […]

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Guests asked to give to The Sun’s Adopt-a-School campaign in lieu of the traditional gifts

No wedding is complete without joy and, in the minds of many, an abundance of gifts – the china, silver and whatnots that convention and affection deliver. Today when Dr. Brenda Lau and her fiance Doug Zabkar are married in Vancouver, there will be joy aplenty, but the roughly 95 guests will be arriving empty-handed. […]

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Vancouver’s Colliers adopts Hastings elementary school

by Gerry Bellett, Vancouver Sun What does it to take to adopt an entire school? Colin Scarlett and Colliers International are about to find out. In response to The Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School campaign, launched late last year, the commercial real estate company’s local office raised $12,765, a sum that will be matched by the Vancouver […]

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Teacher’s simple plea turned into a campaign so successful that it’s not going to stop here

By Gerry Bellett There are times when a small cry for help is the pebble that starts an avalanche. On this eve of Christmas, who would have thought that in September when inner-city teacher Carrie Gelson pleaded for social justice on behalf of her students it would have resulted in the Adopt-a-School campaign and such […]

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Group of professional mothers reach out; Friendship circle works with inner-city teachers to identify those in need of help

By Gerry Bellett A month ago Dr. Joanne Roussy of the University of B.C.’s medical school would not have known how to negotiate the mean streets of the Downtown Eastside, but here on a wet Tuesday morning she was getting the hang of it. Navigating was Julia Morrison, a Scottish nurse, who apologized for having […]