Monday, March 24, 2008

Invitation: Please Attend Think Schools Conference - April 6

How can we turn our public schools into vibrant community hubs?

Think City invites you to attend Think Schools – a one-day conference on how citizens across the city can develop a vision for renewing schools taking place on Sunday, April 6.

According to a Vancouver School Board (VSB) report published in September 2007,our city may only have nine of its 64 historic schools left still standing once the school board's facilities renewal process is complete. In place of these important public buildings, the city's schools may be systematically reduced in size, unique programming that defines schools will be excluded from these new buildings due to space limitations, and valuable community amenities such as daycare, seniors care, after-school care and auditoriums will be cut from these neighbourhood anchors.

Keynote speaker Seattle School Board Building Excellence Program Manager Don Gilmore will share solutions that helped preserve and renew his city's public school buildings.

Lunch and reception are included in the registration fee. Pre-registration is required.

When: Sunday, April 6, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm
Where: Roundhouse Community Centre, 181 Roundhouse Mews
Tickets: $25 regular, register here
Scholarships: Call 604.216.7246 for details.
Childcare: Call 604.216.7246 for details.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Garibaldi Community Fair March 16th

March 16th was a big success with over 500 estimated attendees! The community sent a message loud and clear that GARIBALDI ANNEX needs to stay! Here are a few snapshots of the day!

Randi of CUPE with the street theatre crew!

Gary and Diane of Frog Hollow receiving the Garibaldi PAC Community Award!

The Community came out in support of the cause!

We ran out of hotdogs and hamburgers, I lost count at 500!

Community businesses came out in support!

And community organizations!

And a great band thanks Bonkers!

Thanks to all who made this such a wonderful day! A special thanks to Meike, Ginette, Leanne, Sharon, Robin, Meaghan, Rebecca, Hal, Scott, Randi and CUPE, Gary and Diane and the rest of Frog Hollow, Yoko, Janice and Beth, Vig, Tony, Marco, the children of Garibaldi and surrounding schools, Allen Wong, Allen Blackey, Shane Simpson, the community, Cecil, Seanna, Community Policing, Pomegranate, The local firehouse, the sponsors and everyone else (I am sure I am missing many people who contibuted)!
Thanks to Tony Lee for the pictures!
If you would like to see the rest of the pictures, they will be posted at a later date or simply e-mail

Garibaldi Proposal Submitted

On March 20 the proposal to make Garibaldi viable was submitted to the VSB. We have applied to present the proposal in person to the board and are awaiting word on whether we will be permitted to do so. Rumours are that the board will make a decision around the 7th of April.
The Garibaldi fair was a great success and hopefully the community goodwill that oozed from that gathering will be carried by the trustees in attendance to infuse those trustees not able to attend.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

This Sunday March 16th is a very special time for the Garibaldi Community as we host our Community Fair!

Come out to see children's group BONKERS

Join us for a BBQ and Pot Luck

Reggio-Emelia Craft Area

Face Painters and Children's Games, Including all levels Soccer Game

Visits from Community Policing and the Fire Hall

Community Information Tables and

Local Businesses and Groups

Special Guest, Shane Simpson MLA

Special Surprise Guests and more TBA

Lots of fun for the whole family!
In the case of rain, the event will be held in the gymnasium.

Write your “SAVE GARIBALDI ANNEX” letter and let your voice be heard!

Take action by writing your own letter telling the VSB and Parliamentary Representatives why GARIBALDI ANNEX should stay OPEN.

Some points to help you:

· Think environmental impact: housing density of neighbourhood as a result of the Garibaldi Annex site being developed, further use of cars by parents commuting their children to schools should Garibaldi close;
· Think safety issues: Young children crossing major streets with a long history of fatalities which is monitored by children at present;
· Think loss of community: One less school will only further the school board’s plan to consolidate students into larger schools away from the Annex model. The larger schools will mean children will be traveling greater distances from their neighbourhood, not ensuring children know each other within their immediate community and may ultimately lead to larger classrooms and crowded schools;
· Think finances: We all know that successful children lead to successful adults taking the burden future financial support from society. Children who receive an opportunity for quality early childhood education have been proven to be more successful in the future. This means a financial savings ultimately for the school board;
· Think seismic upgrading: Garibaldi Annex is on the low priority list for the VSB, meaning the facility is much safer than many aging buildings within our neighbourhoods. Further to that, two of the major elementary schools in the neighbourhood are due for seismic upgrading in 2009, which will require over 50% of the school population to be vacated. Where are those children to go? Portables?
· Think opportunity: The proposed theme of “Arts, Culture and Sustainable Community” and the new innovative program components have been developed by the community to address concerns by the VSB will fulfill the financial requirements of the board and Ministry of Education.
· Think partnership: Garibaldi Annex holds strong partnerships with community institutions such as Frog Hollow Neighbourhood House, Canucks Family Education Centre, Pacific Immigrant Resource Society, Vancouver Public Library, Evergreen Community Health Centre
· Think children: Think happy faces, knowing your schoolmates, knowing your community. Garibaldi offers a nurturing environment for young children from Kindergarten to grade four to ensure children are equipped with the right tools for a successful future. These tools include, empathy, teamwork, leadership, kindness, creativity, and a strong value placed on community;

Should you wish to mail trustees directly, please write c/o Vancouver School Board, 1580 West Broadway, Vancouver, B.C. V6J 5K8


Allen BlakeyPhone: 604-433-6844

Ken DenikePhone: 604-889-0564

Carol Gibson (Vice-chair)Phone 604-734-6610

Eleanor GregoryPhone: 604-737-1980

Sharon GregsonPhone: 604-505-5725 (cell)

Clarence Hansen (Chairperson)Phone:

Don Lee Phone: 604-325-9474

Allan WongPhone: 604-437-6074

Shirley WongPhone: 604-897-8389 (cell)

BC Ministry of Education:
Honourable Shirley Bond, Minister and Deputy Premier
Parliament Buildings - Room 248
Mail: PO Box 9045, STN PROV GOVT,
Victoria, BC V8W 9E2

Shane Simpson
MLA Vancouver-Hastings2365 Hastings St E. Vancouver, BC V5L 1V6
Phone: 604-775-2277

Monday, March 10, 2008

New Survey

The new survey is on-line at If you have children and live in the area, please fill out the on-line form.
This survey will collect more detailed information than the first one and will try to capture data for all of the kids in the area around Garibaldi. The data will be used to help justify to the VSB why Garibaldi should stay open. In particular, we would like to show that if Garibaldi offers programs of interest to local parents, we could draw students back into the school and bring the attendance numbers back up to a point that would make it financially viable.