"All humans are storytellers with their own unique point of view. When we understand this, we no longer feel the need to impose our story on others or to defend what we believe. Instead we see all of us as artists with the right to create our own art." ~ Maya Angelou
Every culture throughout the world has a history of teaching through story. For some cultures this was the only way of keeping traditions alive, since no language exists. Stories can share important historical events, beliefs, traditions and events with those who were not there to participate. This can be stories of a country, town, family or an individual. STORIES ARE IMPORTANT BECAUSE THEY ARE SHARED, NOT BECAUSE THEY ARE WRITTEN DOWN.
Each of you has important stories to share. Every day you experience events that are funny, sad, interesting, and important. Taking the time to share stories as a family is a way to share what you value and believe with those you love. Can you remember stories you heard as a child? I remember a few of the books I was read as a child, but I clearly remember the stories that my Dad and I created each night before bed. Some of those stories began with real events and added some imagination, but the ones that have stuck with me are the stories he shared about his life as a child when my grandparents were young and fun. Have you shared the stories you heard as a child with your own children? Have you talked with them about what your life was like when you were their age? Have you shared the stories of their ancestors? Have you told them about how you (or your parents or grandparents) felt when you left the country you were born in and came to Canada - or when you moved to Calgary?
We are so very lucky to have had the opportunity to work with many gifted storytellers at Douglas Harkness School. This year, through the Special Performances fee, supported by a very generous donation from the IODE, all of our students are able to work with Karen Gummo, who is a celebrated storyteller. Students have been enthralled with her stories and are learning to use voice and song to tell their own stories. Every year Karen is an integral part in organizing Calgary's involvement in World Storytelling Day. This year's event was about Strong Women.
The video below is of Calgary's World Storytelling Day 2014 where the stories were about Dragons. Due to the quality of the video, it takes time to load, so please be patient. It is worth the wait. You may recognize Jeff Stockton, who worked with our students and families a few years ago. Karen appears at 4:17.
Your children will be sharing their stories at a Storytelling evening from 6:00 - 7:30 on Thursday, May 5. Please plan to be there to spend an exciting time hearing their stories, along with one from our artist, Karen Gummo.
On Friday we sent home a letter asking that you let us know whether your children would be returning to Douglas Harkness next year. If you haven't returned it, please do so, as it helps us with planning for the 2016-2017 school year.
Changes for 2016-2017 School Year
This week we will be sending home a notice with some important information and a survey regarding our next school year. Please take a few moments to review it and send in your feedback. We want to hear from you.
CBE schools have been asked to ensure that we plan approximately 961 instructional hours for the next year. This will mean that daily school hours for next year will be extended by 6 minutes to our mornings. Making this change will allow us to maintain the same dismissal times on Friday mornings as the rest of the week.
It is significant to note that most research advocates "later start times" for junior high and high school, research findings show no significant change in the achievement of younger students whose day begins earlier. Although certainly not a complete list, here are some examples of that research -
At DHS our own experience is that the best learning time for our students is in the morning. Therefore, we are proposing a change to our school day as follows:
Our school projections this year predict a significant decrease that will mean some restructuring of classes and staff. This will have significant impacts on our school for next year. Please watch for an important notice and survey coming home this week that will seek your opinion on a number of issues, including the changes to our school times.
Thank you to all of the families who attended Makerspace Evening with their children. The event was a huge success and lots of families commented that they had learned a lot and had a great time! If you weren't able to join us, please ask one of your neighbours about the experience.
Remember to check out our school website - http://schools.cbe.ab.ca/b347