Thursday, February 4, 2010

Making Peace Through Education, Empathy and New Friendships.

8 Days left!

Today was a gorgeous day to live in Vancouver. The sun was brilliant, and the sky a blue almost as intense as the jackets belonging to Olmpic volunteers, which swarm down the streets in increasing numbers.

I woke up early in order to catch a ride downtown, arriving at the office at 7:15 to meet up with The Sharing The Dream Team for our second big webcast, focusing on The Olympic Truce. Keara and I watched the sunrise's blazing reflection bouncing off glass skyscraper windows, while rehearsing our lines and interview questions.

Our guest of honour, the Honourable Margaret MacDiarmid, BC Minister of Education, arrived at 8:00 am. We got seated and did a mic check, while Audrey Hobbs-Johnson, a BCELC consultant, asked our studio audience some thought-provoking questions around global citizenship and legacy. The Minister was very friendly and calm, asking questions about Sharing The Dream and sharing stories with Keara and me while we got ready to go online.

We went live at 8:30am, kicking off with our interview with The Minister, who had some excellent points. She spoke on the importance of learning about global citizenship from a young age and incorporating it into our lives, and how teachers find ways to encourage global citizenship not only in Social Studies classrooms, but in everyday situations in math class or science.

This was rapidly followed by the video of our interview with Greg Mortenson, a few weeks ago, as well as videos sent in from Craig Kielburger and Her Excellency, The Right Honourable Michaelle Jean, Canada's Governor General. You can find the full webcast at It should be archived within the next couple of weeks.

Although I would say that our webcast today was our most successful to date, I think the true success of the day came after we'd finished filming, and we had the opportunity to put what we'd learned into action. After participating in an activity about making our peace, which will be broadcast in a special webcast on February 11th, a group of both Students Live members, who had been in the audience, and Sharing The Dream Members, who had been conducting the webcast, went for a walk in the Vancouver sunshine down to Robson Square.

We soaked up the culture and outdoor art exhibits, and admired the towering photos of athletes that adorn The Bay downtown, and chatted excitedly. Every fifth person on the street seemed to have an acreditation pass around their neck. To me, this was the highlight of the day, getting the opportunity to make connections with other students and discuss the games and how we contribute to our communities and our world.

The big focus of our webcast today was on creating global citizens and making our peace. We discussed the importance of education and empathy, but ultimately concluded that peace comes through building positive relationships with the people around you, through dialogue and the friendship that follows.

Watch for a special three hour long live Sharing The Dream webcast on February 11th, where the team will be attending a forum on Making Peace and The Olympic Truce with Michaelle Jean.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coquitlam Gears Up For The Games

A couple photos from roaming Coquitlam during our semester break. Even though The Games aren't officially coming here, the excitement and spirit is popping up everywhere. Lookout for later blogs about how we are painting our town red to support our athletes!