Savannah Cornwall (left) and Anjali Kular work on their paintings for the refugee scholarship project through the Art Activism class at Robert Bateman Secondary. (Photo by Vikki Hopes/Abbotsford News)

Bateman’s art activism program wins national award

Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning given to Abbotsford school

  • Apr. 6, 2018 12:00 a.m.

Abbotsford’s Robert Bateman Secondary has won a 2018 Ken Spencer Award for Innovation in Teaching and Learning for its Art Activism Program.

The program blends art, English and social justice curricula to take on issues of the day, such as helping new Canadians integrate into society. Students interviewed refugees settled in Abbotsford and then told their stories in five-foot portraits. They then sold the paintings and raised $8,000 for a scholarship fund.

READ: Robert Bateman Secondary class combines art and activism

“Two important elements made this such a powerful learning program: the currency of topic connecting to local and global newcomer and refugee issues and the high level of student ownership in this process,” said Darren Googoo, chair of the EdCan Network, the organization that gave the award. “We congratulate the students, educators and community partners and supporters for making this program such a successful model that will inspire other schools to emulate it across the country.”

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