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Blog: Friday, September 27th, 2019

Every Child Matters

Orange Shirt Day, and the poignant story it sprang from, carries a message that students quickly lock on to. And for good reason.  The story is so very sad, almost unbelievable to many children. The mood in classrooms is somber as the facts sink in. But the final message of Orange Shirt Day is one of hope and strength, and as our students at Bradner participated this past week in a variety of activities I was impacted by the high level of engagement of all students.  On the surface, it looked simple; Listen to some stories. Share your thoughts. Colour a picture of a t-shirt, and emblazon it with your own message of inclusion.  Simple, but in reality, an activity that was very compelling. The rich conversations that bloomed between students showed a depth of passion for this concept. “Every Child Matters”.  “Include Everyone”. “I Matter, You Matter”. “Be a Friend”.  “We’ll Do This Together”.  Students showed no end of creativity as they thought up their slogans. They loved the activity, because what is not to love? The process was affirming to everyone.

Building a message of inclusion into our day needs to be the norm. Everybody wants to know they matter. At Bradner, we are committed to growing our practice in ways that allow students to know they matter. We are working hard to ensure that there is a place for everyone in their classroom, and that everyone knows they belong. On September 30, we will all wear an Orange shirt to show we believe that every child matters. Every other day this year, I believe our actions and words will prove it.