Friday, May 27

Classroom Basket Deadline Extension - for Dickens Main School only

Thanks to all parents/guardians who've given their donations!

We’ve extended the deadline to Monday, May 30
If you haven’t already, PLEASE SHOP THIS WEEKEND for your Classroom Basket contribution and bring it this Monday!

Here are the Class Themes for these Silent Auction Baskets:

  • Chloe & Peggy - BC Wines
  • Maria / Kimberly & Kim / Jenn - C2 (Coffee & Chocolate!)
  • Paula - The Beach
  • Karen & Jenny / Wendy & Jeanne - LEGO!
  • Valdine - Baking
  • Allan - Sports
  • Cathy & Jeanne / Sheila - Polish Me Pretty!
  • Blake & David - Craft Beer
  • Jody - Afternoon Tea
  • Tami & Karim / Amy - ART
  • Marinda - Outdoor Everything
  • Kelly - Sports
  • Travis - Family Night!
  • Crystal / Jennifer - Date Night


Thursday, June 2 from 4-8pm 

Reptiles are back this year! And what's NEW? 

1) BAG CHECK: Come & check your purchases/winnings or jackets at Jody’s "BAG CHECK" in the Red Court!

2) We'll have a Storyteller, in a classroom venue, for younger kids who need a relaxing break during the event. 

Here's the scoop on class tables at the Marketplace, in addition to Made It, Art Wall, Bake Sale and the Plants Sale.

  • Dickens Annex will be selling hand-crafted Art Cards, hosted by Dickens parent, Carol Duffy. 
From Dickens Main, we'll have:
  • Hotdogs by Tami & Karim
  • Hanging Garden Plants and BAG CHECK by Jody
  • Sunflowers by Laurie Lee & Miranda
  • Paper Baskets and Delicious Drinks by Valdine

Thursday, May 26

Volunteers needed for SPRING FLING!

We still require some volunteers to fill these spots! 
If you're able to assist with any of the following, please contact Mariko at  - Thank You!

  • Cotton Candy: 1 person for 6-8 pm
  • Recycling/Garbage: 2 people for 5:30-7pm, 1 person for 7-8 pm 
  • Storytelling: 1 person for 5-6 pm
  • Face Painting: 5-6 pm (2 people), 6-7 pm (1 person), 7-8 pm (2 people)
  • Silent Auction: 2 people for 6-7 pm

Wednesday, May 25

Memo for Cake Walk at SPRING FLING!

Hello Dickens Families,

Thank you to everyone who has already signed up for bringing a cake to the Cakewalk. 

This event is always a big crowd pleaser, and there are never enough cakes to go around! So, if you haven't considered it, how about baking a cake for the Cake Walk?

See our two posters below, for dropping off info at the Main & Annex. 

Many thanks to all,
Cake Walk team lead

Dickens Main Parents/Guardians:

Dickens Annex Parents/Guardians:

Brief Update on New BC Curriculum


If you were able to attend our last PAC General Meeting on Apr 27, we touched a bit on the curriculum. The takeaway was that, within Dickens, the shift to the redesigned curriculum is a minor one vs other schools where the change may be more dramatic. 

Why? Because we are very fortunate to have a different methodology at Dickens than other schools and our staff are already doing several of the things that are now part of the new upcoming BC curriculum.

On behalf of parents, both Carol Duffy and I attended, together with Anna Maria Niccoli-Mullett, Nik Chiu and Erin Gibbs, the official VSB session regarding the redesigned curriculum last week Tuesday.

I wanted to share some info with you and a PDF presented at the meeting, and to draw your attention to a few key points - see the PDF link at:

This is the first time the province has involved teaching professionals and parents in the redesign of the curriculum - much feedback has been incorporated and has helped shape many areas.

  • Slide #3 - Purpose of the revised curriculum - some good points here.
  • Slide #5 - Concept based - important to understand its foundation.
  • Slide #6 - Some good principles to follow which are guiding principles for this curriculum.
  • Slide #7 - The Education Citizen - my favorite in the deck.
  • Slide #8 - timeline for developement & implementation across K-10.
  • Slide #9 - - the key place for info to parents - review the "What's New" and "What's the Same" tabs - info here is updated regularly.
  • Slide #13 - Core Competencies - key to understanding the curriculum.
  • Slide #15 - Know, Do and Understand (KDU) - another key element to understanding.

Last but not least, PACs can invite the VSB participants conversant in the curriculum to speak at more hands on sessions to larger parent & guardian communities, e.g. at a PAC General Meeting in the fall, if you are interested. We'll keep you posted with updates here on the blog.

Andrea Sinclair
Dickens PAC Chair

Saturday, May 21

PHOTOS, RECIPES & THANK YOU - Staff Appreciation Luncheon

Deb, Mariko and Nicole want to thank Dickens parents & guardians with all their hearts for the wonderful spread provided at our annual Dickens Staff Appreciation Luncheon on Friday, May 13 at the Annex. 

The 65-plus staff attending from both schools thoroughly enjoyed the scrumptious appetizers, main course and desserts some of which can be seen in the photos below.

Your delectable homemade dishes, beverages, cash donations, and hands-on help on the day, made it once again a huge success. Thanks for helping to make our teachers & staff feel extremely appreciated. It could not have been done without your support! 

See two favourite recipes from Deb Copeland, at the end, after the photos :-) 

Click on the photos below to enlarge for viewing - 

Tents and table settings

Buffet style


Appetizers & main course dishes



Door prizes and thank you's 

On left: Sharon and Nicole sport our stylish aprons
On right: Deb hands outs the door prizes 

Root Beer Pulled-Pork
2.5-3kg pork loin (or preferred cut)
4 onions, diced
1/2 head of garlic cloves (whole or chopped)
1 355ml bottle of your favour of root beer
1 bottle of bbq sauce
Salt and pepper

Place the onions and garlic in the bottom of your slow cooker. Sit the pork loin on top of that and season with salt and pepper (alternately, you could use a spice rub! Mmmm!!!) cover with the root beer and cook on low for 8 hours. 

Drain the liquid, keeping the cooked onions and garlic. Remove the strings from the pork loin and begin to break it apart with 2 forks. Cover with as much or as little bbq sauce as you like. Heat it through and serve with yummy coleslaw on fresh buns!

Lemon Yoghurt Bundt Cake
3 cups (426 grams) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 1/2 cups (490 grams) granulated sugar 
2/3 cup (174 grams) plain yogurt
1/3 cup (75 grams) whole milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 cup (227 grams) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small pieces.
5 large eggs, at room temperature.

To make the cake:
  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Butter and flour a 10-cup (9-inch) Bundt pan or 2 loaf pans. 
  • Whisk together the flour, soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  • In another medium bowl, rub the sugar and zest together. This helps to spread the lemon flavor throughout the cake.
  • Whisk the yogurt, milk and lemon juice together.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle, beat the butter on high until smooth, about 1 minute. Slowly add the lemon sugar and continue beating until light in texture and color, about 5 minutes. Don’t skimp on this step, since it is crucial to the texture of your cake.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each.
  • Reduce the speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour. Add half the yogurt. Repeat with another 1/3 flour mixture, followed by the yogurt and finishing with the flour, scraping the bowl as you go.
  • Put the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the surface.
  • Bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.
  • Allow to rest in the pan for 10 minutes.

Not necessary but I (Deb) made an on the spot buttercream to fancy it up a bit! For the buttercream topping:
4Tbsp butter
2 Cups icing sugar
Juice of 2 lemons
Beat the sugar and butter together either by hand or in the bowl of your mixer with the paddle attachment adding the lemon juice until you reach your ideal lemony flavour. Spread over the top of your bundt and chill until firm. 

Friday, May 20

SPRING FLING Facebook Invitation and Silent Auction Sneak Peeks

To invite family, friends & neighbours to SPRING FLING, 
you are welcome to use:

If you login to invite people, the names of guests will not be shown and will remain private - only you and your guest(s) will be able to see your name(s). 

Thanks for helping us to spread the word about our Fundraiser!

The Silent Auction items are coming in from donors! See some SNEAK PEEKS on to get a heads up for bidding on June 2nd!

Save the Date!

Saturday, May 14

It's 2-and-a-half weeks to SPRING FLING!

Time to roll up your sleeves and give what you can - see the pink handout that was sent home with your child!

VOLUNTEERING - we still need helpers for:

  • Set-Up (June 1 or 2)
  • Face Painting
  • Silent Auction
  • Games (gym/outside)
  • Bake Sale
  • Food Tent
  • Recycling/Garbage
  • Games Prize Table
  • Dunk Tank
  • Art Wall
  • Plant Sale
  • Tear Down

Please contact Mariko at if you can assist with any of these areas - Thanks!


  • Services, gift certificates, items for bidding at the Silent Auction. Contact Kas at by Thursday, May 26 if you’d like to donate a service, item(s), gift card(s) or have any questions.

Give us a heads up on what’s coming in! These donations can be dropped off from 12 to 3:30pm at the applicable SPRING FLING table on June 2.

  • Hand-made items: Crafts, jewellery, clothing, linen, jams, jellies, candles, soaps for Made It. Team lead:
  • Cookies, squares, cup cakes, loaves, gluten-free and/or dairy-free items for the Bake Sale (Please add label with ingredients in case of allergens). Team lead:
  • Plants, seedlings, bulbs, young trees for the Plant Sale. Team lead:
  • Items for Classroom Baskets - drop off by  May, 24 (Annex) & May, 27 (Main). Your child’s teacher has the details.
  • Cash Donation to cover expenses at SPRING FLING. Place it in the envelope attached to the pink handout. Give to Viv (Main) or to Patti (Annex).                                                            

* Silent Auction Sneak Peeks! *

Want to get a heads up for bidding at the Silent auction on June 2?
Check out some of our Silent Auction “Sneak Peeks” at

See our SPRING FLING photos on and facebook. We'll have a team of SF photographers at the event this year!

Remember to share your photos with us at our hashtag: #dickensspringfling - we'd love to see them! Note: When sharing them with us on facebook, you'd have to change the status of these specific pics to "public". Any pics on Instagram can be shared with us using the same hashtag too - thanks! 

To invite family, friends & neighbours, you are welcome to use:
The names of guests will not be shown and will remain private - only you and your guest(s) can see your name(s). Thanks for helping us to spread the word about our Fundraiser!

Technology Fundraiser - Thank You!

Thought we'd post this once more, in case you missed this on April 25.

Friday, May 6

Sign Here to Support PAN's Statement re: Adequate Education Funding

Good Day All,
Members of PAN this week crafted an official PAN statement to the BC Government regarding the VSB budget. We believe in addition to all the parent letters/emails to Education Minister, Mr Mike Bernier and MLAs, that we need to send an official statement.

Our goal is simple!
  • To get as many parent/guardian/Vancouverite "signatures" on our statement.
  • To submit the statement with signatories by email on Tuesday, May 10.

Here's what to do! If you believe, as we do, that the BC Government should fund public education adequately, we ask you to "sign" our statement letter.

The statement and the place to affix your name/email is in this shared Google Excel Doc at (See the 2 sheets in the doc).
Please sign as yourself, on behalf of your School PAC or as a citizen concerned for public education. 

It doesn't matter if you are a PAN member or not - it only matters that you believe in what the letter has to say and you feel you can stand with PAN in pushing back to the Minister of Education.

Please share the link with your parent/guardian networks at any Vancouver public schools and we will submit the letter, with as many signatories as we can gather between Friday, May 6 and end of day Monday, May 9.

Thank you!
Andrea Sinclair 
Dickens PAC Chair, on behalf of PAN


Tuesday, May 3

Silent Auctions Update for SPRING FLING

Woo-hoo! Our Silent Auctions donations and gifts are starting to trickle in - Check out some of our SNEAK PEEKS here on our SPRING FLING facebook! And keep watching from now until Thursday, June 2.

Calling all Professionals and Business Owners / Staff:
Are you a Lawyer/Notary, Architect, Interior Designer, Bookkeeper/Accountant, Therapist, Dentist, Nutritionist, Naturopath, Florist, Hair Dresser, Landscaper, Musician, Chef, Baker or another type of Specialist? Can you donate 1-2 hours of your services as a Silent Auction item? Or do you perhaps own a business or work at a business providing services or products that could benefit those in our Dickens community? Then we want to hear from YOU! 

Support our kids by helping us raise Silent Auction funds at SPRING FLING! Contact Kasimir Kish at if you’d like to donate a service / product(s) / gift card(s) or have any questions. 


Join FACE (Families Against Cuts to Education) and PAN (Parent Advocacy Network) and Spread the Word: BC Education is in the Black but Education is in the Red! #BCEDINRED

Chronic provincial underfunding of public education means that many, if not most, of the 60 school districts in BC are facing shortfalls as they prepare their budgets for 2016-17. By law, the districts must balance their budgets, so this means cuts are being planned throughout the province: Programs, services and entire schools are on the chopping block. As of April 27, 2016) there are 27 districts with a combined $77.17 million shortfall and this list is growing daily! 

Email with shortfall information about your district so we can keep track of all shortfalls - Thanks.

We encourage you to SHARE and SPREAD the word with the images below to Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram and any other social media network you're on. Include the hashtag #BCEDINRED - encourage your friends, parents, school communities to share as well. We are also using this hashtag to spread the word about wearing red on the day the budget is voted on in the BC Legislature (exact date is unknown; we will update you).

 More You Can Do:
  1. Use the FACE quick and easy email tool to write to your MLA and the Minister of Education about these shortfalls.
  2. Tweet about these shortfalls and the shortfall in your district using the hashtag #BCEDINRED
  3. Wear RED on the day the budget is voted on in the BC Legislature (exact date is unknown; we will update you).
  4. Make Public Education Funding an issue in the 2017 Provincial Elections. Ask all the candidates in your riding what they will do to address the underfunding of public education. 
  5. Push all the parties to make education a priority again. Click here for some questions you can ask.
Youth in BC - What are they facing? 

The Tyee is doing a series, and needs parent/guardian input:

Katie Hyslop, a journalist with The Tyee, is looking for parents' & guardians' thoughts on what issues their youth (age range 10-24) will be facing as they grow up in BC and how they feel about those issues. For example: Are they concerned about the cost of tuition? The environment? The future of education? Whether they can afford a house? How does this impact their plans for the rest of their lives? Their immediate futures? 

She is looking to capture what youth today are concerned with, in regards to the future of our province. She would love to hear from you all! You can choose to be on record or off the record. Contact Katie Hyslop at