News and Updates
December 6, 2017

Successes from the 10th Annual Walk and Wheel to School Week

Working together to create healthy and active school communities

DASH held a successful 10th annual Walk and Wheel to School Week from October 2nd to 6th, 2017, as part of International Walk to School Month (iWalk). This event celebrates the many benefits of walking and wheeling to school, and involves students, staff, families and community members working together to create healthy and active school communities.

We are pleased to announce that this year, we had participation in the event from 166 schools across the province. This is up from 104 schools participating in the event last year, which amounts to an almost 60% increase in participation rates!

To illustrate some of the impacts of this event, we have some stories to share from participating schools:

Queneesh Elementary School, School District 71:

  • Queneesh Elementary School had the highest overall percentage (81%) of class participants.

Ranch Park Elementary School, School District 43:

  • Ranch Park Elementary School had 70% of their students walk and wheel to school over the course of the week.

Kersley Elementary School, School District 28:

  • Kersley Elementary participated in the Walk and Wheel to School event this year by surveying each class for three days in a row.”
  • “The weather was a little chilly, but we still had as many as 38% of our students walking or wheeling to school!”
  • “We even had some [students] who drove part way and walked the rest.
  • “Thank you for encouraging healthy activity!”

South Rutland Elementary School, School District 23:

  • “[South Rutland Elementary School] had two classes that both had over 75% participation.”
  • “Thank you for the wonderful prizes!”

If you participated in this year’s event and would like to share your story, please contact us at

To inquire about next year’s event or to learn more about iWalk, please contact us at

December 6, 2017

Women Deliver 2019 Pre-Conference Event

Celebrating and preparing for the Women Deliver 2019 Conference in Vancouver

In November, DASH attended an event to celebrate and prepare for the upcoming Women Deliver 2019 Conference which will take place in Vancouver from June 3rd to June 6th, 2019. A number of individuals spoke at the pre-conference event, including Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau. They called upon people from all sectors, especially the younger generation, to take action, to shine a light on gender equality and to unite on behalf of girls and women.

The Women Deliver Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality, began in 2007 and has been hosted in England, the United States, Malaysia, and Denmark, with Canada soon to share that honour. This global conference focuses on the health, rights and well-being of girls and women around the world. When Vancouver serves as the host city for the Women Deliver 2019 conference, over 6000 world leaders, influencers, advocates, academics, activists and journalists from more than 160 countries around the world will congregate in the city to generate action and create solutions for lasting change.

Throughout the pre-conference event, the many diverse speakers repeatedly brought up the importance and impact of the younger generation. Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau noted that change happens because people get engaged in the process. She advocated for everyone to get involved, with a particular focus on the younger generation, because there is such a vital need to listen to, turn to and call upon the voices, wisdom and insights of children and youth.

Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau then introduced Adina Williams, a young woman from the Squamish Nation, who reaffirmed the importance of the younger generation getting involved in the conversation, reminding us of the value of the thoughts and ideas of children and youth. She also brought up the need to listen to the usually silenced voices of Aboriginal peoples, particularly Aboriginal children and youth, as incorporating Aboriginal ways of knowing into our everyday lives is important in the creation of lasting change.

After this, Prime Minister Trudeau took to the stage. He remarked that gender equality is everyone’s business, mentioning that he and his wife were not only raising their daughter to be a feminist, but were also raising their sons to be feminists as well. He stated that children and youth have the unique ability to shape the future for the better and that we should be including them in the conversation. He also urged educators to teach students about the girls and women throughout history who were left out of the textbooks and to promote gender equality in the classroom, as he believes in girls and women as agents of change.

Next, Katja Iversen, the president and CEO of Women Deliver, reminded attendees of the importance of changing the narrative of girls and women from girls and women being seen as inferior to boys and men to girls and women being seen as equal to boys and men. She emphasized that, even today, girls and women are often still denied access to the same opportunities in society as boys and men. She then asked attendees to consider what each of them could do personally to encourage the integration of girls and women into the discussions that can help to shape their lives and livelihoods. BC Premier John Horgan also added that real, lasting change starts at the local level, in our homes, in our schools and in our communities and. Finally, Sophie Grégoire-Trudeau noted that it doesn’t matter if you are taking giant steps or baby steps, because even a small change can make a big difference.

In the words of Prime Minister Trudeau, “Women Deliver is a chance for all of us to come together, step up and do our part to make gender equality a reality.” DASH supports all efforts by teachers, educators and school staff to create an awareness of gender equality within the school environment, and encourages communicating the messages and opportunities connected to the Women Deliver 2019 Conference.

For ideas on how to teach gender equality in your classroom, check out a gender equality lesson planning guide hereteaching strategies to address gender equality hereand lesson plans and tool kits to promote gender equality here.

You can find out more about Women Deliver and the upcoming Women Deliver 2019 Conference here.

December 6, 2017

December 10th Is World Human Rights Day

Empower students with learning they can apply far beyond the school environment

December 10th is World Human Rights Day. For children and youth to understand how they should be treated and how they should treat others, they need to learn about equality and human rights. Teaching your students about these topics can also help to increase school connectedness.

When children and youth are exposed to lessons on equality and human rights, they gain an awareness and respect of their own rights and responsibilities and the rights and responsibilities of others; they develop understanding, respect and tolerance for differences and diversity; and they gain knowledge of how to tackle any prejudicial behaviours that they and others are faced with.

Lessons on equality and human rights help to establish a healthier, happier and fairer classroom and school culture. They can also lead to reductions in bullying and other negative behaviours, and improvements in academic achievement and in relationships between students and staff. These outcomes support the focus of school connectedness in creating a school community where everyone feels safe, seen, heard, supported, significant and cared for.

Educating students about equality and human rights empowers them with learning that they will use far beyond the classroom environment. In fact, they will take the lessons that they have learned with them as they venture onto the playground, to their extra-curricular activities, into their homes and into the wider community.

In our ever-changing and continuously diversifying society, it is now more important than ever to educate children and youth about equality and human rights, and to continue to empower them to foster positive and open-minded attitudes.

For lesson plan ideas on equality and human rights that can be utilized in the classroom, click here.

You can find out more about World Human Rights Day here.

December 6, 2017

Resources to Promote Belonging and Inclusion

Advice, tools, and insights to help fight hate and promote love in the classroom, school and school community

Resources to Promote Belonging and Inclusion is a guide created by the Afterschool AllianceEvery Hour Counts, and the National After School Association. Although the resources, advice, tools and insights provided in this guide are designed with afterschool program leaders and summer learning providers in mind, all teachers, educators and school staff are able to gain valuable insights from this guide.

Diversity – seen in many different aspects of life through culture, spoken language, religion, race, ethnic background, gender and sexual orientation to name a few – is something that should be celebrated in all areas of our lives.

Unfortunately, events happening across the country and around the world have young people witnessing and experiencing racism, bigotry and hate in their lives, in their communities and in all forms of media. For that reason, it is particularly important to celebrate diversity in the school community and to help create an environment where students feel safe, seen, heard, supported, significant and cared for.

This guide provides the information necessary to help fight hate and promote love in the classroom, school and school community, including discussion of the important role that current events play in the lives of children and youth, assistance with the navigation of difficult but necessary conversations with children and youth, and help to ensure that children and youth feel protected within the school environment.

Everyone has a role to play in promoting a sense of belonging and inclusion, including advocating for safety and security and supporting peaceful and prosperous places free from bigotry and hate.

You can access Resources to Promote Belonging and Inclusion here.