Ten Years Ago, Morden Collegiate Teacher Jennifer Bates-Legae was involved in contributing to Western School Division's Diversity and Equity Policy. Since then, a day was created, called Diversity Day, and each June 7th, the division sets one day aside to celebrate each student in the division and to learn more about those around them.  

Bates-Legae said her grade 11 Family Studies class has been working with Maple Leaf Elementary School on diversity projects and yesterday, they each were assigned a group of students to tour around the school's bulletin boards to look at them, read them, and talk about the different posters made by each student and to share the similarities and differences they have with them. 

She outlined what the day is all about.  

"We recognize the diverse aspects of our division and also look at what we bring and recognizing that we all come from different places, backgrounds, but we all have something to bring to the table, to our learning, and to our school community as well." 

Rowan, Rajbir and NameeraRowan, Rajbir and Nameera

Nameera is a grade three student from India. 

"Diversity is when we celebrate other people coming from different countries and we welcome them to this country. Diversity Day is the tradition of food day, their clothes, what language they speak, what religion they're from. We should not make fun of anyone's religion. We should welcome everyone because we're all one." 

Rowan was born in Canada and is a grade three student at Maple Leaf Elementary. 

"Diversity Day is about other people's languages, countries, religions, and ways they live life, and we should all respect the ways they live. I like doing days like this because it just feels right to let everyone know they're good to be here and we give them a warm welcome." 

Grade Three student, Rajbir Singh Dhaliwal has recently moved to Canada.  

"You should respect everybody from other countries and do not hate them and treat them like they're from the country you are from. Be kind to them and don't be rude. I'm from Punjab, India. My family is from India too, but we lived in Hong Kong." he had this advice for everyone, "Be kind to everybody that came from another country." 

Darra Waddell facilitating the conversation about the Diversity PostersDarra Waddell facilitating the conversation about the Diversity Posters

Grade eleven student Darra Waddell said she thought the younger students are very open to accepting others' and are very kind, which, to her, is exactly what Diversity Day is all about.  

She explained what she did as she toured the students around the school.  

"I tried to engage them by like asking, 'Is there is anything in common with you and the person's poster?' and they'd say the holidays and the foods. Those are the two ones I've heard so far. They're like the most common ones as well as Christmas and tacos."  

She said this day is valuable for all students. 

"I think like days like this really help students acknowledge that they need to be kind, and that other people do exist too, and that they're different than each other."  

Teachers Jennifer Bates-Legae and Tara Routhier Teachers Jennifer Bates-Legae and Tara Routhier 

Bates-Legae agreed.   

"We're all diverse people. We all have something to bring to the table. We have different views. We have different backgrounds. But when we come together, recognize our differences, recognize how we can use our differences to help each other, then that is diversity and that is promoting a positive school environment."