Friday, 16 December 2016

Happiest of Holidays

As the holiday season begins, we celebrate with you, our connected community.  Our Campus Calgary / Open Minds expresses so much gratitude to each of you for an incredible 2016!  This year, we celebrated with Calgary 100, 000 students in vibrant community settings.  Now, in our 24th year, we continue to celebrate the passion, the partnerships, and the support that makes this all possible!

Back: Graham Thomson, Genesis Centre; Trish Savill, Community; Sanghamitra Dhar McKenty, CBE; Lorelei Piotto, Chevron; Chris Lough, Community; Leanne Courchesne, Cenovus; Bill Dixon, Community; Travis Robertson, CBE; Jenn Meredith, CBE.
Front: Frank McClernon, CCSD; Ita Kistorma, CCSD.  Missing: Donna Livingstone, Glenbow Museum; Judy Archer, Community.
Thank you to all of our partners for all that you do!

Wishing you a joyful holiday season!  Looking very forward to new adventures in 2017 as we embark on the 2017/2018 school year ahead!

Thursday, 8 December 2016

ROCKstars in creating positive change!

How do we make a positive change?  In ourselves?  In our community?

Ms. English's class has been keen to find out throughout the week, and some of their findings may surprise you.

Investigations began at Ranchlands School and continued into Healthy Living School at Vivo funded by Cenovus.

Healthy Living School coordinator Sara collaborating with the Vivo team and Ms. English for an inspiring morning!
Turns out change involves good people, and lots of them: a community that can be inspired together.  It also turns out that change can be lots of fun!

A group learning about and modelling positive change can also inspire a lasting legacy.  That's exactly what happened at Vivo one morning this week as a class left a lasting mark together, as part of the week's shared experience.
Creating a legacy together!

Be sure to check out artists' work next time you're at Vivo!

Ranchlands students, members of the Vivo team, and a curious public watched to see a lasting change unfold right in the Vivo lobby.  And before the paint could dry, the class was off to experience how together challenges could be taken on.

A daunting climbing wall awaited.  At first, were there nerves and some uncertainty?  Sure.

Here again, the class learned about being better together. With safety at the centre, a recipe for success unfolds: listening to experienced experts, looking for opportunities to explore and encourage one another, starting small, learning from experience, and seeing what becomes possible.

All of a sudden the class is hooked!

"Look, Ms. English!"  Turns out, we have a climbing expert in our group!  A class cheers to see their teacher in a whole new light.

"I'm spider man!"  "I made it to yellow!"  "I didn't think I'd want to try it!"

It feels pretty great to make healthy decisions, to try new things, and to explore possibilities.  It's only lunch and it's not just the class that's inspired.

I feel awfully privileged to have been part of the morning.  I've now lost count of the Vivo folks who have stopped by to offer big smiles and to learn alongside a vibrant, curious crew.

No surprise here.  Vivo is a space for collaboration, for play, and for seeing what's possible.  Ranchlands is learning about positive change with a team of inspired and inspiring experts.

How do we make a positive, lasting, change?

Based on today's rock star crew: together.

Monday, 5 December 2016

Remarkable Photojournalism at Calgary Zoo

This blog entry has been submitted by Dawn Hardy and Andrea Beaty at the Calgary Zoo!  Do you have a story you would like to share? Let us know at:!

Lake Bonavista School’s grade 3/4 students took their learning to a whole new level when they became National Geographic photographers at Zoo School, here at the Calgary Zoo! 

Students were taught how to capture an animal’s life and story through photographs in the hopes that it would motivate and inspire people to care, and perhaps, take conservation action. Not only are these students experiencing how to be photojournalists, but they are also artists in the making. These grade 3/4 students are creating photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell within their community. This venture will raise conservation awareness and money which can be donated towards adopting an endangered animal. These are our wildlife conservation stars of 2016!

National Geographic photographers in action! The giraffes, hippos, red pandas, meerkats, gorillas and snow leopards were all photographed so their stories can be told. Back in the classroom after Zoo School the students have worked enthusiastically to produce a rough copy selecting only their very own photos to use to tell their story.

What they have produced is remarkable…see for yourself and remember these are the rough copies!

The finished copies of the stories will be created on the class computers, where the students are deciding every last detail to make it their own, which is what they are most proud of. Isabella was excited she got to “add in my information and my own photos”. Emma, when asked how she feels to share her story said “It makes me feel good, because I want to help so they (Snow Leopards) don’t become critically endangered”.

Xavian said that when he was at the Calgary Zoo, before he came to Zoo School, he would “run around looking at the animals” and now he “gives the animals more attention and stays and watches” This connection with their animal is spoken about through the classroom; Anneka says the Snow Leopard became her favourite animal “when I got to know them”. It is because of the connection the students made with their animals that they wanted to do something to help and so using their magnificent photos, they have created photo cards on zoo poo paper to sell in school. The goal is to raise enough money to be able to adopt a giraffe, hippo, gorilla, meerkat, red panda and snow leopard through WWF. Lake Bonavista Grade 3/4’s are determined they will reach this goal and raise more money to help Canadian animals too, like the whooping crane, black footed ferret and black tailed prairie dog.

Way to go Lake Bonavista!

After selling the photo cards for an evening at Teacher conferences the students have already raised a huge $330! This is enough money to adopt all 6 of their observation animals from Zoo School. Fantastic!

Budding National Geographic Photojournalist Gallery

Happy Holidays from Campus Calgary Open Minds Coordinators and Operations Team!

We've had a wonderful fall working with teachers, students, and experts at all of our CC/OM sites!
Thank you and looking forward to continuing this month and into the new year!

Back: Donna Kipta, Science School; Mary-Ann Quist, Democracy School; Carmen Paterson, The HUB for Inspired Learning,; Sara Anderson, Healthy Living School; Jennifer Meredith, CBE; Bev Copithorne, Stampede School; Amanda Foote, Museum School, Marnie McCormack, Museum School; Travis Robertson, CBE.
Front: Andrea Beaty, Zoo School; Trish Hubbard, 2School; Ita Kistorma, CCSD; Maureen Luchsinger, Cross Conservation School; Sheila Bean, City Hall School.  Missing: Karen Youngberg, Jube School; Caitlin Reid, Aero Space School; Lois Kokoski, University School; Jenny Petters, The HUB for Inspired Learning.