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Maple Ridge school celebrates identities

Students at Fairview Elementary celebrated their first ever Identity Day

As parents meet with teachers throughout the district, a Maple Ridge elementary school also celebrated its first ever Identity Day.

Staff at Fairview elementary spent all of September and part of October discussing the meaning behind “identity” with their classes from kindergarten all the way to Grade 7.

Students worked both at school and at home with their families, creating ways to showcase their identities.

To describe their identities, students included information on their families, hobbies, sports, culture, celebrations, holidays, and more.

Each class then showcased their identities through art, posters, artifacts, poster boards, dioramas, and electronic device to create PowerPoint presentations.

“The idea behind the day was to encourage students to highlight their identity to reflects who they are,” explained Harjit Chauhan, English language learner teacher at Fairview.

Ayla tied her identity to soccer and described how she feels when she plays.

“Happy when I run fast”, “Included when everyone works together as a team”, and “Strong when my muscles make me run fast”. She added she likes soccer because she enjoys learning new skills, making new friends, being outside, and being part of a team sport.

Jacob, who described himself as Canadian/Thai, displayed photographs from his trips to Thailand, sports he enjoys playing and friends from his previous school in Surrey.

Rayne also identified with her sports team, the Ridge Meadows Pride, displaying a trophy, medal, and photos of her softball equipment.

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She said she started softball when she was five years old and her father was her coach.

“I like softball because it is fun, competitive, I love to hit far into the outfield,” she said in her display.

Others attached pictures of themselves and their families on Canadian flags.

On Thursday, Oct. 19, similar to a science fair, said Chauhan, classes circulated throughout the school while to learn about their peers and what defines their identity.

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“During the rotations, visiting students excitedly made observations and asked questions. Students observed similarities while learning new things. This also gave an opportunity for new students to meet everyone in the school, while staff learned more about their own students,” noted Chauhan, adding the day was a huge success.

And, towards the end of the day, families joined the classes to share in the experience.

“Which further deepened the strong sense of community,” said Chauhan.

Colleen Flanagan

About the Author: Colleen Flanagan

I got my start with Black Press Media in 2003 as a photojournalist.
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