For the seventh consecutive year a celebration of diversity has been enjoyed at Selkirk College in Castlegar… this year on an excitingly massive scale. With all kinds of action jammed into just a couple of hours, students whom have chosen a career path involving childhood care and education got a chance to learn by doing.
The event was titled “Celebrate Diverse Ability: Reframing Disability.”
The CCSW (Classroom and Community Support Worker) students from Selkirk College hosted a free regional event on Wednesday, March 20 from noon to 2 p.m. in Castlegar at the college with help from ECCE (Early Childhood Care and Education) and TT (Transitional Training) students as well as Selkirk College’s Student Access & Support Team.
People are different – in the way they think, move and feel. Often this leads to challenges – or the perception of challenges – when in fact those diverse abilities or different ways of knowing and being in the world are long overdue for celebrating.
Celebrating Diverse Ability: Reframing Disability offered a fun annual celebration that was unique, creative, educational and supportive for our communities.
This event is part of the Classroom and Community Support Worker program at Selkirk College, based in Castlegar. Students in the CCSW program take a planning course where they learn to plan by planning a major event. According to instructor Jane Green, who has seen seven different groups go through the process “Each year it’s different. The learning is profound and adds to graduates’ toolkit as they enter the workforce. They are more confident and aware that they can pull off something big, in collaboration with others. This year’s event was magical – people had such a great time. We’re so grateful to everyone who came out!”
Student Lori Hess described the event this way… “Not only was it event planning, but it was a chance to use what we’ve been learning about inclusion and put it into practice in a really hands-on way. I am doing my practicum in Trail at the Trail Cooking Program and the group took on some big challenges – they learned the song True Colours in sign language and performed it on stage with the CCSW students and others. Their instructors overcame scheduling and transportation challenges and everybody had a great time meeting and socializing with other members of the community!”
Over 150 people from the region (Grand Forks, Nelson, Trail, Salmo, and the area) braved winter roads and joined together for an amazing two hours of thought-provoking interactive activities. Free refreshments, laser, mouth and foot painting, wheelchair scavenger hunt, service animals, storytelling, signed singing, and a lot of fun! The stage was a busy place with door prizes and spontaneous entertainment.
Connection within the community was “a blast” according to many who participated. We celebrated diversity and reframed the experience of being different together! All ages were welcome. Support from Community partners and sponsors including CBT, PPWC and Selkirk College helped to make this all possible – we’re grateful!