Students at Irma Coulson Public School have been emphasizing the value of using helpful words and not hurtful ones. They have recognized the importance of open discussion about pressing issues. Students have also learned that eating a healthy breakfast is a key to establishing a solid foundation for an effective day of learning.
For these kinds of efforts and more, the Milton school has been awarded the Social Changemakers Award from Harmony Movement, a not-for-profit organization that addresses inclusion and social change. The school officially received the award during a ceremony in Toronto last night (Nov. 3).
The Social Changemakers Award recognizes an individual or group of youth who have participated in Harmony student programming and are doing amazing work in equity and social justice in their schools and communities.
Irma Coulson Public School Principal Merrill Mathews said the school is honoured to receive this award in recognition of the dedication and hard work by taking on several initiatives that have supported the school’s mission of ‘equity and excellence for all’.
These initiatives included the formation of an Invisible Issues team that address concerns from the student body; a student-led education initiative to encourage students to use helpful rather than harmful words; and a commitment to continue to provide a nutritious breakfast program.
“This work has taught our students the value of their voice and the positive impact of getting involved in initiatives aimed at helping others,” Mathews said. “Through a continued approach to education around social justice issues and an ongoing effort to make a difference for others, our students will continue to live out our school values of “Look After Yourself, Look After One Another”.
Receiving the Social Changemakers Award is a “wonderful tribute to the amazing work of our students, which we know will inspire them to continue to be leaders for positive social change,” Mathews said.
But the effort to build inclusion at Irma Coulson Public School will always continue, he noted.
“Staff and students will continue to look for ways to create greater opportunities for equity and inclusion, starting with a dedication to our Breakfast Program. We plan to continue and enhance our Breakfast Program by expanding it to include new items that reflect our diverse population.”
To continue to help students develop a greater understanding of diversity and equity, Mathews said the school will be using the Action Kit received from the Harmony Social Changemakers Leadership Training.