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Photos: Island Pacific School shows off its Pride

IPS hosted a Pride Parade and meetup last week to celebrate the start of Pride Month

It happened on Bowen!

This was the first ISABC GSA Pride meetup for 2022 (in person!) hosted by Island Pacific School on Bowen Island on Wednesday, June 1, 2022.

It was a fun filled day with many schools joining us participating in activities, performances and music, with lots of opportunities for the Independent Schools Association of BC (ISABC) Gender & Sexuality Alliance Club (GSA) students to connect.

Leading the event was Kari Marentette (she/her), Island Pacific School’s Grade 6 homeroom teacher. Kari also teaches Language Acquisition French to our Grade 6-9’s and Individuals & Societies to our Grade 6’s. She worked behind the scenes with the Gender & Sexuality Alliance club (GSA) and ISABC in creating this awesome day.

How IPS is honouring the LGBTQ2S+ movement:

This year, Island Pacific School is celebrating Pride Month to honour the LGBTQ2S+ members of our community. Pride Month provides us a chance to recognize and celebrate the diversity of our community in our student, faculty, and family population. This is an opportunity to reflect on the challenges that this community has faced over time and implement new ways of supporting our LGBTQ2S+ community.

As part of our commitment to supporting the LGBTQ2S+ community in our school, we created a GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) club in the 2020-2021 academic year. This club hosted events such as a Pride Halloween dance and Pride trivia.

We made pronoun buttons available to all students, and have put a Pride flag at the entrance of every classroom as well as a Progress Pride flag in the front of the school. Our communications team created an official Pride logo which can be seen on much of our community outreach and media.

Our educators diligently explored their curriculums to look for opportunities to include LGBTQ2S+ history and stories, for example, in our Grade 8 French class, we explore a variety of French music from LGBTQ2S+ artists. Our library has revamped their offerings, including many new books with LGBTQ2S+ stories.

This year, the Pride Celebration event we just hosted with other ISABC schools’ GSA clubs drew independent school students from Vancouver and surrounding areas.

The event included speeches about the importance of celebrating Pride Month, and an opportunity for students from many schools to hear each others’ stories and have fun together.

We would like to thank everyone in our Island Pacific School community for their support with these initiatives.

Editor's note* Activities at the Bowfest Field included a makeup station, cookie decorating, games such as spike ball, parachuting, volleyball and hula hooping, painting stations for kindness rocks and Pride flags, button making, and a reading station set up and attended by the Bowen Island Public Library.

Marentette says six other school GSA clubs and about 150-170 students and staff took part.