Call to Action at Beaconsfield


Call to Action is an international effort of the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI) to inspire action around recycling mobile phones. Through these actions JGI is raising awareness about how such efforts can help promote conservation of critical habitats across the Congo Basin and around the globe.

 Many of the metals and minerals used in these technologies are extracted from threatened chimpanzee habitats across the Congo Basin. Control over these resources has also fueled conflict among people — conflict that has resulted in the deaths of more than five million people.

Cell phones contain valuable minerals, including gold, tin, tungsten and tantalum (coltan). Control over the mining of these minerals is fueling a civil war that has killed more than five million people, and is destroying chimpanzee habitat. Canadians create demand for these minerals by frequently upgrading their cell phones. As consumers, we can make a big difference by recycling our phones and reducing the demand for minerals.

Beginning on January 27, 2015 citizens around the globe can participate in Call to Action by gathering used electronics — especially mobile phones ― and sending them to one of JGI’s recycling partners. With one simple action, JGI’s friends and supporters are helping protect chimpanzees and their habitat. 

Bring your used cell phones, batteries and chargers to the specially marked JGI Recycle box located on the 2nd floor Home Learners area to help this worthy cause – and please, spread the word!

Grants Available for Environmental Projects

I just received an email today regarding the TD Green Streets Program.  If there are any parents who would like to take the application process on for a project for the Home Learners, please let Shannon know.  We could do the project with all the students in the Spring.  I have copied and pasted the information sent to me below:

Le français suitGreetings!

Tree Canada and TD Friends of the Environment Foundation are encouragingcommunities nationwide to get innovative with their urban forests, with an offer of  matching grants up to $15,000 for qualifying projects.

Since its inception in 1994, Green Streets has awarded funding to more than 500 recipients, helping to change the landscape of communities across Canada. AsTree Canada’s flagship program,

TD Green Streets supports and encourages innovation in urban forestry. The program is open to all Canadian municipalities and Aboriginal communities, as well as business improvement associations (BIA) in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

The deadline to submit an application for a 2015 TD Green Streets grant is December 12, 2014. Recipients will be announced in March 2015. Grant recipients are selected by a panel of representatives from TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Tree Canada, and regional urban forest practitioners. TD FEF has been the title sponsor of TD Green Streets since 2010.


Click here for more information, or to submit an electronic application for TD Green Streets for 2015. 


Should you have any questions, please contact Tree Canada at or 613-567-5545


Destination Conservation

Calling all GHL grade 4’s and 5’s!  

We have been invited, once again, to join the Destination Conservation Program!  This year the theme is Waste.   Assessing the amount of waste generated at school is great motivation to establish or improve recycling programs, as well as looking at creative ways to reduce waste in the first place, by employing some of the ‘other Rs’ (reduce, reuse, repair, rethink…).  A new organics program is being piloted this year by VSB in a small number of schools across Vancouver.  Following a successful pilot, the scheme will be expanded throughout the district. 

This is an “added bonus” program for our grade 4 and 5’s,  being led by Shannon, so if your student is interested, please let Shannon know asap.  There will be three workshops to attend at the VSB on Broadway where our students will meet with other teachers and students from Vancouver to share ideas, learn, and have fun :  Wednesday, October 2nd (9-noon), Tuesday, January 14th (9-noon), and Tuesday, May 6th (3:30-5:30).

The students involved will gain leadership skills and work on conservation issues surrounding Waste throughout the school year, leading the student body in school or classroom initiatives.  


The Great Nature Project

great-natureNow here is a great way to learn about nature around us, and the earth’s biodiversity!

 National Geographic Kids is hosting  the world’s largest citizen science project. The Great Nature Project is an international attempt to record our world’s biodiversity, and your family can join right from your backyard. Find out how your kids can see their photos on a National Geographic website, and be a part of a worldwide event!

In my own backyard, I will be taking photos of the Painted Lady butterflies that are still visiting my lilac tree, the wonderful striped spiders that seem to have webs everywhere right now (what kind of spiders are they, anyhow?), the finches and chickadees that visit my feeders, the skunk family that lives out back – oh, and – of course! Sam and Sophie – the Wonderdogs that find themselves in so many of the adventures your children hear about every school year!

What a great way also  to fulfill curricular requirements in Science and Social Studies!!

Let’s get started!

Excellent Resource!

Here is an excellent resource which recently came my way:  Geography! The Adventure in Your Community.  Written and distributed by the National Geographic Society, this adventure geography booklet offers children a series of  “missions” they are challenged to do.   The missions cover all aspects of the curriculum and are a fun and creative way to study neighbourhoods and communities!

Missions cover everything from invasive species, plant growth and development, transportation, ecology, space and shapes, etc.  Wonderfully  cross-curricular!

This resource is US based, and does include links to search for specific information – also US based.  However, all the info on their suggested searches is available on Canadian websites for you and your child also.


Rock Primary School, Uganda


In preparation for teaching workshops in Uganda, I packed along a photo of our class.  I hoped the teachers there would be interested in seeing what a Canadian class looked like and that the photo would serve as a nice ice-breaker into deeper conversation.  I was deeply touched when I noticed our class photo being passed from teacher to teacher at the first workshop – with much discussion among the teachers and many questions to me.  Most of the participating teachers there chatted with me at some point about what education in Canada is like and shared their experiences about teaching in Uganda.

I was elated when one teacher in particular approached me to ask if our class might be interested in becoming pen pals with his class.  Arriving at school this week to get everything set up, I noted an envelope addressed to me from Uganda – of course it is the first piece of mail I have opened!  Enclosed was the photo I have posted and a lovely letter from that teacher, Mr. Tumusiime.  He has included all the names of the students that have joined the environmental club he formed as a result of our workshop and is hoping that we can match students who can then build a long distance relationship.  What a great way to build cross-cultural understanding.  This approach will be perfect for us, as he has students participating from K through grade 7.

If your child might be interested in being a pen pal, please let me know and I will match our students with  his.  We will write some class letters (or send pictures), cards, holiday greetings, etc. throughout the year. Whether children are directly matched or not, everyone will have the opportunity to participate.

Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

Join the Garibaldi Home Learners’ kick off to the school year with a hands-on learning activity!  We will be joining thousands of Canadians from coast to coast to coast taking part in the annual Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup event to remove shoreline litter from ponds, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.

This year The Shoreline Cleanup has an ambitious goal to remove over 100,000 kg of harmful litter.

The Home Learners’ are signed up to clean the Mitchell Island Beaver Pond – at the west end of the Michell Island. This is the perfect location for learning and helping the environment with its high density of wildlife including a beaver dam, river otters, wild ducks nest sites, eagle nests, hawks, cormorants, harbour seals, salmon and sturgeon.

Our cleanup event will be on Thursday, September 22nd at 1:00 p.m.  Mark your calendars!

More information, directions, supplies and carpooling info will be disseminated closer to the event date.


What Represents Canada?


The Canadian Wildlife Federation has just launched their of 2011 Reflections of Nature Photo Contest.

Next year marks 50 years of conservation for the Canadian Wildlife Federation and they want to start celebrating early! Set your sights on moments and photos that represent Canada’s past, present or future; it could be an owl perched on a century old pine, a chipmunk storing food near an urban center and everything else in between that reminds you of how Canada once was, is or might be someday. Since the winning photos from the contest will be featured in a 10-page spread in their magazines in January 2012, they thought it would be a perfect way to kick things off.

They will be judging all high resolution photos that feature flora, fauna, landscape or urban wildlife.

Prizes include a year-long magazine subscription to Canadian Wildlife, CWF goodies from their online store,   Photo printers from HP, a poster of your photo courtesy of Photojack and so much more!

So start snapping today! You have until October 31, 2011 to capture and submit your winning shot!

Participation in this type of project is a great way to incorporate curriculum areas such as community, Canada, weather, science, social studies, fine arts, even language arts!  What a great way to get us all thinking about all the things that represent Canada – and the things we cherish as Canadians!  Enjoy!

Jane Goodall

I am pleased to announce that our class – the Home Learners – has been selected to attend a special Dr. Jane Goodall event on October 20th being hosted by Science World and the Jane Goodall Institute.  This opportunity is being offered to only a select group of Metro Vancouver students and teachers.  We are truly fortunate to have been selected to attend and meet Dr. Goodall.

If you would like your child to participate, please ensure you complete and sign a field trip form – in your folder – and place in Shannon’s folder prior to October 20th.  Only students who have submitted their field trip forms by October 19th will be able to attend.

The event will take place at Science World in Vancouver.  Transportation to and from Science World is on your own.  Please arrive before our 9:15 check-in.  Our group will convene outside the front entrance.   This event is for registered students only.  Sorry, no parents or siblings.  Below is the itinerary for the morning:


9:15      Arrive at TELUS World of Science, check-in

9:30      OmniMAX Theatre

Welcome and Introductions

Dr. Jane Goodall

9:50        Watch Jane Goodall’s Wild Chimpanzees

10:30     Simon Jackson (Spirit Bear Youth Coalition)

10:45    Q & A with Dr. Jane Goodall

Opportunity to purchase Jane Goodall Institute merchandise

BC Green Games

Roots and Shoots

11:45     Leave TELUS World of Science

In preparation for this event, we will be learning about Dr. Goodall, her work with Chimpanzees, and Gombe, Africa from now until the event.  Following the event, we will debrief and perhaps embark upon a Roots and Shoots program or line of inquiry the children wish to pursue.

Felted Mittens for the homeless

Starting Thursday, November 19th, Home Learners will be making felted mittens for the homeless during knitting time.

Donations of used 100% woolen products (sweaters, scarves, etc.) will be greatly appreciated for this project.  If you don’t have any around the house, they can be purchased at thrift shops (I will be sleuthing these out at the Sally Ann this week.)   The condition of the items doesn’t matter.

Please wash the items in hot water and dry in a hot dryer before bringing them to the classroom.

Thank you!

Earth Gauge

I found and checked out a great new science website designed for Intermediate students – but I think Primary students would really enjoy it as well. It is called Earth Gauge and focuses on a new Weather-Environment theme each month.  Students can find fun facts, activities, an interactive quiz and links to “cool tools” and games.  November’s theme was Migratory Birds and December’s theme is Winter Weather.  The Earth Gauge website is a project of the U.S. National Environmental Education Foundation.  Using the monthly themes of Earth Gauge might be a fun way to learn new science topics and stay engaged with science learning!