Wednesday, February 18

Tuesday, February 3

Advocate for Public Education Before Provincial Budget Releases on Feb 17

On behalf of the Dickens PAC, I attended the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) Citywide workshop on Jan 29.  The key topic - apropos to the Dickens enrollment/space issues - was advocacy. 

During this meeting, both letter-writing campaigns and petitions began to call on the Gov't to implement the recommendations of the Select Standing Committee on Finance and Government Services for increased Education Funding in the 2015 Budget. The Provincial Gov't is running a surplus of >$400M and the new budget will be released on February 17 just two weeks from now.

The finance committee has released its budget recommendations. Two things to note regarding education: It was by far the top priority for citizens who responded to the committee’s poll, and the committee’s recommendations at pp 24-25 include “adequate” funding that enables school boards to fulfill their mandates and do necessary maintenance, and “adequate” capital funding for new schools where they are required. Click here to read the report.

Our collective voice is strong when we advocate together. I urge everyone - parents, soon-to-be parents, guardians, grandparents, aunts and uncles, teachers, educators and all concerned citizens to take action now!

What You Can Do

Contact your MLA, the premier, the minister of finance, and the minister of education and tell them you are concerned about the under-funding of our public education system. 
Demand better for our children and our society.
  • Email the premier, Christy Clark, at or write to her at PO Box 9041, Stn Prov Govt, Victoria BC, V8W 9E1
  • Email the finance minister, Michael de Jong, at or write to him at PO Box 9048, Stn Prov Govt, Victoria BC, V8W 9E2
  • Email the education minister, Peter Fassbender, at or write to him at PO Box 9045, Stn Prov Govt, Victoria BC, V8W 9E2
  • Email your MLA (likely Mabel Elmore or Jenny Kwan) using the MLA Finder to find contact information for your representative in the Legislature.

The DPAC has posted a form letter that you can use. You can remove the petition piece, and adapt it to your situation (as a parent/guardian/grandparent/student/citizen) and email and/or mail it to the above addresses.

***It helps the Dickens PAC and our overall advocacy on your behalf if you CC whenever you email any government employee (at any level) or any VSB trustee etc
Why?  It gives the PAC knowledge of parent/neighbourhood numbers which we can then use to our advantage when in discussions with these various entities. Please help us help you!***

Thank you,
Andrea Sinclair
PAC Chair, Dickens Main

Sunday, February 1

Resources from Kari Marken - Creating Successful Students

Below are some resources discussed at this past Wednesday's workshop:

Mindset, Success and Motivation
(A story about how our expectations of children can influence ‘successful’ behavior)

Brain Development and what to expect/how to prepare for the tween & teen years (A great way to talk about the brain to children)

Grit (People to talk about with your kids and ask ‘how did they do that?’ what were the day to day actions/habits/behaviors they enacted to accomplish what they accomplished? These are their peers.) (This is one of my favorite examples of the positive result of grit, tenacity, creativity and problem-solving - watch it and ask yourselves, “Are we trying to teach our children to do big, dramatic things in life or are we trying to teach them to simply go from being stuck to unstuck in the messiness of life, and to stick with it to accomplish our own versions of greatness?")

What does Learning look like? What is it for? Three video reminders:

(A powerful answer to the question, “What is education for?”)

PowerPoint slides from Kari's presentation:

Kari Marken can be contacted at: