Selby joins Peaceful Village participants to feature Programming Made Possible by the $4-Milllion Bright Futures Program

Advanced Education and Literacy Minister Erin Selby joined students, parents and community members at the Peaceful Village classroom in Gordon Bell High School today to see first-hand one of the projects supported by the $4-million Bright Futures Fund.

“The Peaceful Village supports students and helps them graduate from high school with the skills they need to better their lives through post-secondary education and training,” Selby said. “I look forward to seeing how this fund continues to change the lives of young people who might otherwise not think they have post-secondary education within their reach.”

The Peaceful Village program, started in 2008, is intended to reduce the number of immigrant and refugee students who leave school between junior high and high school by providing culturally relevant and targeted programming. The program is based at Gordon Bell High School (grades 9 to 12) and Hugh John MacDonald School (grades 7 to 9) and includes tutoring, mentoring, elders and family/caregiver involvement, cultural mentorship in the arts, passion projects and other components designed to help students succeed. The program encourages the families and caregivers of students to become involved in community activities connected to the program.

In 2010-11, Bright Futures supported 30 participants at Hugh John MacDonald and 50 participants at Gordon Bell High School.

We are incredibly grateful for the support we receive from Manitoba Advanced Education and Literacy and we see this kind of support as evidence of the government’s commitment to education that is deeply connected to community development.”

Programs and services have expanded over the past three years to include village kitchens, gardening co-operatives, English-as-an-additional-language classes for families on Saturdays, theatre and music programs, and family-entry meetings that have created and maintained communication links with parents and guardians in the program. The Peaceful Village has also established and expanded a language bank that today includes Arabic, Farsi, Nepalese, Swahili, Mandarin and Dinka.

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