Youth Action Day in the works

The Cowichan Intercultural Society is joining with School District 79 and the CVRD to back a special Youth Action Day on April 22.

It’s a day for young people by young people.

The Cowichan Intercultural Society is joining with School District 79 and the CVRD (Island Savings Centre Division) to back a special Youth Action Day on April 22.

At that time, the Cowichan Performing Arts Centre will showcase the many efforts and projects that involve Cowichan Valley young people.

Youth Action Day is based on an action plan created and implemented by a group of students representing all secondary schools in the district — Frances Kelsey, Cowichan Secondary, Lake Cowichan and Chemainus plus the Cowichan Valley Open Learning Coop.

As participants in CIS’s award-winning Compassionate Leaders Project, the core student planning team has special support there, too.

There are still openings for youth groups to take part.

“We are looking for Success Story Partners: groups, clubs, organizations, programs that promote and provide meaningful opportunities for youth action in the Cowichan Region,” said CIS project coordinator Ray Anthony. “We want them to share their success stories at the event.”

There are many reasons to take part, he said.

“It will help promote your organization, group, club or program and honour your youth participants.”

Stories can be shared through a short presentation, perhaps as a speech, maybe a video or a power point presentation.

Youth Action Day will be a free event with most of the seats going to secondary students from each of the five schools (nearly 25 per cent of the student population at each school), with the rest of the seats going to Success Story partners and other guests.

In addition to success story presentations, the event will feature a special guest band, motivational/inspirational speakers and will hosted by Jon Williams (a deejay from 91.3 The Zone FM).

CIS is delighted to take part, Anthony said, pointing out that since the 2013/2014 school year, the Cowichan Intercultural Society has been partnering with SD 79 in bringing the compassionate leaders project to the secondary schools.

In its inaugural year, the project received a national award of excellence for Best Youth Practice by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation.

CIS is committed to keeping the project going and for the 2015/2016 year has secured partial funding from Coast Capital and from BC Gaming.

Additionally, CIS prepared a district-wide grant proposal on behalf of SD 79 and was successful in receiving a grant from Violence Free BC (Ministry of Justice).

Participating students from each school attend a residential leadership camp at the Cowichan Lake Outdoor Education Centre. They attend a variety of workshops to build self-awareness and leadership skills. Towards the end of the camp, the participants form into school diversity teams and began creating action plans for projects to address the issues they’ve identified.

After camp, the CIS project coordinator meets weekly with the teams over the rest of the school year to help participants complete their action plans and implement their projects. If you want to know more, contact Ray Anthony at ray@cis-iwc.org or 250-701-9568.