Teachers, students work to make a difference

Teacher works to instill a sense of social responsibility in Springwood students

Last spring Nanoose Bay Elementary School students helped the children raise close to double their goal for Mayan Families Canada.

Last spring Nanoose Bay Elementary School students helped the children raise close to double their goal for Mayan Families Canada.

Springwood Middle School teacher Robin Pawliuk made a presentation to the school board on Jan. 24, about a new Making a Difference program, continuing her work to engage students in social responsibility.

“It’s easy to make a difference if you know how,” said Grade 8 student Emma Deering, who went on a trip to volunteer at the Loaves and Fishes food bank in Nanaimo.

“We try to get kids here to see they can actually make a difference,” Pawliuk said of her work which started about seven years ago after a visit to Guatemala with her daughter.

After that trip they co-founded Mayan Families Canada and began working with local students for their own awareness and to help raise donations for children in Guatemala.

While Pawliuk is still involved, Mayan Families Canada has taken on a life of its own with various schools taking on projects.

More recently she has been working on other programs, starting with her own school.

She brought three Grade 7 and 8 students with her to the school board meeting to talk about the things they have been involved in this year.

“I got to hand out toiletries,” Deering said of her trip to Nanaimo, explaining it was an eye opening experience to see that the people who needed a hand were “just like you and me, but they have different needs,” and that you don’t often think about things like toiletries, or the socks they handed out in Victoria on another trip.

Eric Thompson admitted he was really nervous when they first went on the Victoria trip, but Pawliuk called him their poster child “with his parent permission,” she pointed out.

She said half way through the day he was deeply involved and clearly enjoying the experience.

On his own initiative Grade 7 student Ryan Campbell had asked that people don’t bring presents to his twelfth birthday, but donate cash instead and he raised $510.

While Pawliuk said the programs are going great and her defining moments as a teacher have come from watching the students in those kinds of activities, “funding is a huge issue,” with transportation being the main expense that she hoped the board would take into consideration in the future.

Check www.mayanfamiliescanada.org for more on that program and watch your local school for more social responsibility activities in the near future.





Just Posted

(PQB News file photo)
Fireworks report highlights enforcement challenges for Regional District of Nanaimo

Director: ‘I just think it’s wasting everybody’s time’

Terry Mazzei next to a truck after it was struck by lightning, with him inside, on Wednesday afternoon, June 9. He walked away from the incident without injury and the truck sustained only mild damage; a blown front tire and newly broken gas gauge. (Wendy Mazzei photo)
Nanoose Bay man walks away unscathed after lightning strike

VIDEO: ‘We like to think that his dad was watching over him’

Douglas Holmes, current Alberni-Clayoquot Regional District chief administrative officer, is set to take on that position at the Regional District of Nanaimo come late August. (Submitted photo)
Regional District of Nanaimo’s next CAO keen to work on building partnerships

Douglas Holmes to take over top administrator role with RDN this summer

This young fledgling white raven was spotted in the Coombs area on May 16. (Mike Yip photo)
Expert says 2 sets of parents producing rare white ravens in mid-Island area

One of the iconic birds is currently recovering at wildlife centre after being rescued

Flowers planted along Highway 19 in downtown Parksville. (Submitted photo)
City of Parksville plants more than 15,000 annual bedding plants

Residents encouraged to take flower photos and post to social media

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read