What Matters for the Future of Calgary? - Evergreen School, grade 3
Evergreen school examined their question through the unique perspectives from the land, the people, and the built environment of our city. Using these stories as a lens, students were able to understand how these factors have been shaped by the past, affect the present and how they might plan for the future of Calgary.
The land taught the students about Mohkintsis, the traditional Blackfoot name for Elbow, referring to the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers. This is the name which we now call the City of Calgary. By acknowledging the importance of the rivers and the land, students began to understand the origins of our city and the ancestors who were here before us, how their lives were shaped by the land and how their stories live with us today.
The built environment, which included architecture, infrastructure, parks and public spaces, taught students about how the urban environment shapes the ways in which we live and services that we can access. Students came to understand how stories about time were told through architectural styles and materials, how roads and sidewalks told stories about what is valued, and how parks and public spaces could leave us in awe and provide us with nature, which we ourselves are a part of.
The people’s perspectives illuminated the care and belonging that is present throughout our communities. Students gained perspectives by hearing about Calgary’s Chinese community coming together to create a rich and vibrant Chinatown, in spite of discrimination experienced in Calgary and Canada. Students also learned about Annie Davidson, who petitioned to get Alberta’s first library built so that the citizens of Calgary could come together in a space to learn. All around our downtown students witnessed community coming together to support each other, which challenged their ideas about what it means to be “in need” and the students wanted to play a part in sharing their kindness with the community.
Evergreen students thoughtfully designed and created hats in their knitting club over their lunch hour, with the intention that they would be left around the city while at 2School, not knowing where they would end up. This random act of kindness highlights compassion and care for our communities and the many people who may be “in need”. It shares the story of how quiet voices and small actions can have big impacts in our city.
So what matters for the future of Calgary? Evergreen classes came to the understanding that what really matters is a deep sense of care and thoughtfulness that everyone’s story matters. By learning from our past, and collaborating and helping each other in the present, we are able to accomplish much more than we can on our own to make the future a better place.
~ Margeaux Montgomery, 2School Coordinator