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Teacher Newsmagazine Volume 17, Number 1, September 2004

Yours for the asking

Green street…helping the planet… one classroom at a time

Visit Green Street to discover opportunities to enhance your classroom and challenge your students to think critically about environmental learning and sustainability, and to support them in making the leap from ideas to action.

Green Street is a national program, managed in English by the organization Learning for a Sustainable Future. We aim to deliver credible, accessible and affordable programs that are relevant to students’ concerns, curriculum-linked, encourage a sense of personal responsibility for the environment, foster a commitment to sustainable living, and promote an enduring dedication to environmental stewardship. All programs are curriculum-aligned, action oriented, and require minimal teacher preparation.

The program links schools in Canada to reputable environmental education organizations across the country.

To browse our selection of programs and to register online, visit www.green-street.ca and go to Approved Programs. Or contact Allison Freeman at afreeman@green-street.ca or call toll-free at 1-877-250-8201. Also available in French at www.marueverte.ca.


Obsessive compulsive disorder with primary obsessions

The Anxiety Disorders Unit of the UBC Hospital is conducting a treatment study for people who suffer from recurrent, unwanted thoughts, images or urges called obsessions. They are typically sexual, violent or blasphemous in nature and it was previously thought to be untreatable.

Researchers are seeking participants for a study that compares the effectiveness of two different therapies to treat OCD with primary obsessions. An OCD subtype, the disorder accounts for about 20% of all OCD patients.

If you think that you are suffering from obsessions and would like to find out whether you qualify for free psychological treatment from experts in anxiety, please call 604-822-7676.


Youth and engineers without borders

Engineers Without Borders (EWB), with over 6,600 members from 23 Canadian universities, believes it is important for every individual to develop a sense of social awareness and responsibility.

The high-school outreach program offers interactive and educational workshops for Grade 8–12 students on global issues such as health, sanitation, and nutrition. Last year, our Water for the World workshop taught nearly 750 students about water filtration and the wide impact of clean water: from increased agricultural productivity to improved maternal health.

The two workshops prepared for 2004–05 academic year are Food for Thought (new!) and Water for the World. Presentation kits for schools outside the Lower Mainland are also available. To learn more about EWB, visit the national web site www.ewb.ca. To book a workshop or for more information, contact Neha Bangar, n_bangar@excite.com, 604-816-6237.


CNIB sourcebook

A Strong Beginning: A Sourcebook for Health and Education Professionals Working with Young Children who are Visually Impaired or Blind, can help early intervention specialists, occupational therapists, preschool teachers, nurses, speech language pathologists—anyone who works with preschool-age children with vision loss.

The sourcebook covers different eye conditions, how a blind or visually impaired child learns and plays, and how parents and professionals can work together to enhance a child’s learning, social and emotional development.

Almost two years in the making, over 230 professional clinicians and front-line community service providers, including CNIB staff, contributed to or reviewed this sourcebook that was funded by the Population Health Fund of Health Canada.

Available in English and French, the sourcebook can be ordered for $39.95 (Cdn) through any CNIB Technical Aids Centre. Visit www.cnib.ca for office listings.

Resource looks behind the pandemic

Behind the Pandemic: Uncovering the Links Between Social Inequity and HIV/AIDS is a resource kit to help educators explore the pandemic, and demonstrate how Canadians can take part in the global response. It is ideal for high school social studies and global issues classes.

The kit, which was developed by two Canadian organizations—USC Canada and AIDS Vancouver—in partnership with the Interagency Coalition on AIDS and Development, is being made available in both print and PDF formats free of charge.

Many Canadians still view HIV as strictly a personal health issue. Behind the Pandemic is divided into three modules designed to walk students through from a basic understanding of the pandemic to exploring how to help.

An extensive background information section is included in the kit. The teacher guides students through an exploration of the issue, so the teacher is not cast as the source of all knowledge on the subject.

Behind the Pandemic addresses many of the prescribed learning outcomes in the Grade 11 Social Studies curriculum. It is also suitable for locally developed sociology and global issues classes.

To order your free print copy, send an e-mail to Pandemic@usc-canada.org, or check USC Canada’s web site at www.usc-canada.org for an electronic version.


Improve heart health

A research project combining a prototype report card (with letter grades), in conjunction with tailored lifestyle counseling, will help people become actively involved in improving their cardiovascular health.

To be eligible you must live in Fraser Health Region, which spans from Burnaby, east to Boston Bar and south to the Canada/U.S. border. In addition, you must be 45–64 years of age, and at moderate or high risk of future cardiovascular disease because you have two or more risk factors (smoker, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) or if you have already experienced some type of cardiovascular disease.

Counselors will work with project participants to reach attainable targets based on evidence-based guidelines.

If you are interested in participating in the project, please call 604-412-6492 for details.

A resource for Planning 10: Finances

This new resource contains a teacher binder of lesson plans and activities, a poster describing types of investments, a video on DVD describing the investment process, and a web site for teachers and students.

The British Columbia Securities Commission (BCSC), an independent provincial government agency responsible for regulating trading in securities in B.C. and protecting investors, held focus and discussion groups with teachers and students from different parts of B.C. to determine their needs and interests. A teacher advisory group reviewed the draft materials.

Michael Lesnik, a principal and teacher in School District #73 (Kamloops), assisted in the development of the BCSC resource. "The BCSC materials are unbiased, with no strings attached," he says. "There’s no agenda, other than promoting financial life skills. Teachers can feel confident their students are getting sound, reliable information."

Lesnik was one of 40 B.C. teachers, representing CAPP, business education, consumer education, counselling and career education, who were instrumental in developing the materials.

The result is a comprehensive and easy-to-use resource. It covers topics like budgeting, savings, credit and debt, insurance, taxes and investing. Students also prepare a personal financial plan—a document they need to meet their graduation requirements.

According to Doug Hyndman, chair of BCSC, "Today’s high school graduates will face a far more complex financial world than did past generations. Financial services and products are multiplying. This new world offers more opportunities but also more pitfalls, and con artists are using new and creative techniques to prey on inexperienced consumers. This means that youth need practical skills and knowledge to support financial decision-making, both in the short term and throughout their lives. That’s the gap we’re trying to fill with the new resource."

The resource is available free to teachers in B.C., see the advertisement on page 14 of this issue for details.

Challenging Homophobia in Schools

The 2nd edition of Challenging Homophobia in Schools includes many new and revised practical lesson plans from K–12 as well as a rationale on why schools need to teach about sexual orientation. A comprehensive background section on homophobia and heterosexism includes information on negative myths perpetuated against lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people, coming out issues, counselling ideas, violence prevention strategies, dealing with antigay slurs, and how to support students by starting gay—straight alliances in schools.

Teachers are provided with lots of concrete, practical strategies and lesson plans written by classroom teachers. The resource section provides a wide range of age-appropriate classroom resources from K–12 as well as parent and professional resources. Community groups and support services for LGBT people and relevant web sites are also listed.

To order copies, mail a cheque payable to GALE-BC for $26 CDN (includes postage) or $21 US per copy to GALE-BC, Box 93678, Nelson Park PO, Vancouver, BC V6E 4L7.

You can view the new table of contents online at www.galebc.org, click on the resources icon on the home page to find it.

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