An initiative has launched in the 100 Mile House area to attract new teachers to the region.
Spearheaded by the Canadian Parents for French South Cariboo, a non-profit that promotes bilingualism, the project has been more than a year in the making, volunteer Kim Vance-Lundsbye tells the Free Press.
“In October 2017, as a parent group, we organized a meeting with the superintendent of the school district to discuss our concerns about teacher recruitment,” she explains. “One of our teachers said when she was a grad in New Brunswick, there was a school district in Alberta that was giving out toques, and that it was a really effective recruitment strategy.”
The group spent the next year researching options and formulating a game plan; they settled on bright green, multi-purpose tube scarves that can be worn a variety of ways.
In October they held a contest for all of the French immersion students in 100 Mile House to come up with a slogan in French to be imprinted on the scarves that would capture the essence of the region. Grade 11 students Jordan Sass and Julia Mosher created the winning slogan,“Prets pour l’adventure?” and will be getting a free scarf as contest winners.
“There were probably five or so entries that were all really good,” Vance-Lundsbye says. “But we eventually decided on theirs because the main goal is to get potential teachers to look further into our area – the lifestyle, housing prizes – and the slogan really piques interest.”
The product was carefully chosen to fit the group’s budget and also appeal to a wide range of supporters – the scarves can be worn biking, skiing, hiking or simply as a fashion accessory.
The group also purposely included the English version of the slogan, “Ready for adventure?” to appeal to teachers outside of the French immersion sector, and made sure the imprint was specific to 100 Mile House, and not the entire school district.
“Anyone can support the project,” Vance-Lundsbye explains. “We are calling them school spirit scarves, but they aren’t just for students or parents. Anyone who supports education or further recruiting teachers to the area can support this initiative.”
Scarves are being sold for $10 each to cover the cost of the ones that will be given out at teacher recruitment fairs across the country in the new year.
If you’d like to buy one, email email@example.com.