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Eastern Manitoba Schools Engage with “Seeds of Hope”

By Maureen Brouwer, Winnipeg


Sunrise School Division is one of the largest (7,180 square km) in Manitoba, east of Winnipeg, extending north to Lake Winnipeg, east to the Ontario border and south to the TransCanada Highway and beyond. It is comprised of 13 schools both English and French and six Colony (Hutterite) schools, with a total population of 4,648 students. 

From September through the end of November, both English and French versions of the “Seeds of Hope: Visions of sustainability, steps toward change” exhibition were hosted by eight Sunrise schools, including one Colony school. Some schools hosted the exhibit for two weeks to give students more time to engage with it.   

The initiative began with SGI, in partnership with Peace Days Winnipeg. Based on the experience there, SGI member, Glen Brouwer, a principal in Sunrise, spoke with principals and program consultants for Education for Sustainable Development that led to commitments to host the exhibits at the various schools. Glen also provided the schools with links to teaching materials for each grade level and communicated with them throughout the process. A small team of SGI members was engaged to assist with transport and set up as well. 

More than 2,000 students, kindergarten to grade 12, engaged directly with the exhibits in a variety of subject areas. Feedback from principals, consultants and teachers was overwhelmingly positive. 

Following the success of the exhibits, a report was sent to Peace Days Winnipeg and the Manitoba Department of Education outlining the suitability of the “Seeds of Hope” exhibition as a means for students to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals. 

There are already requests to expand student exposure to “Seeds of Hope” throughout the division next year, including the Colony schools.