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Rose Avenue PS First Public School in Canada Recognized as Changemaker

Rose Avenue PS First Public School in Canada Recognized as Changemaker

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

Rose Avenue PS has been selected as a pioneering Changemaker School by Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social entrepreneurs. It is the first public school in Canada to receive the designation. The Mabin School is the first independent school in Canada to be recognized and was also honoured at an event on May 4 at Rose Avenue PS. 

Ashoka recognized the schools for the work they do to empower students with the skills they need to be changemakers in our rapidly changing world. To celebrate the accomplishment, and to mark Mental Health week, Rose Avenue PS welcomed representatives from Ashoka, The Mabin School, and special guests such as Ashoka fellow and Roots of Empathy founder Mary Gordon. 

“These [two] schools are role models for developing students who have mastered the critical skills of empathy, teamwork, leadership and problem solving,” said Barb Steele, Executive Director, Ashoka Canada.  “Together with the staff, students, administration and community of parents from both schools we look forward to growing the Changemaker School community in Canada.”

David Crichton, Principal of Rose Avenue Public School, was pleased that his is the first public school in Canada to receive the prestigious recognition from Ashoka.  “It speaks volumes about our students and staff, and their efforts to create an environment where characteristics like empathy, co-operation and collaboration are valued and can thrive,” he said. “Schools are the hearts of their communities and when I watch our students work together to look for creative solutions on issues that affect us all, I feel like our collective future is in very good hands indeed.” 

The event also included presentations by Rose Avenue PS students from junior kindergarten to grade 6. Students discussed their innovative Buddy Bench, an initiative created to foster friendship and empathy, while a presentation from grade 1 students about Butterflies and Chaos Theory exhibited teamwork and the notion that small things can have a big impact. The school’s eco-team also spoke about their sustainability, waste management and energy reduction projectsThe Mabin School showcased their entrepreneurial adventures where they raised funds for Sick Kids Hospital and the Daily Bread Food Bank through their mobile food cart and cupcake sales. Via video presentation, The Mabin School’s junior and senior kindergarten students proudly showcased their accessibility project which helps local businesses place ramps in their entrances to accommodate persons with physical disabilities. 

Rose Avenue PS is located in the vibrant downtown centre of the St. James Town community in Toronto.  The school has a student population of more than 650 students, with some 85% of those students having English as their second language, and representing about 50 language groups. The school offers a strong instructional focus on literacy, numeracy, the arts, and the environment and features community partnerships with the George Brown Daycare, Community Matters, Inner City Angels, Mariposa in the Schools, and Manulife.  Rose Avenue PS is part of the TDSB’s Model Schools for Inner Cities program and is proud to be an Eco-platinum school.

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