2012 - 2013
2011 - 2012
"Literacy involves a continuum of learning in enabling individuals to achieve their goals, to develop their knowledge and potential, and to participate fully in their community and wider society".
~ UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)
We, the 2011 First-Year Learning Communities Peer Mentors, have learned that volunteering makes a difference, not only to our community, but also to us as individuals. We have also learned that many of the inequalities in the community of Saskatoon (and beyond) stem from a need that U of S students can help to fill - the need to enable literacy.
For instance, consider that 42% of Canadians lack the basic literacy skills that are necessary to their economic success. In Saskatchewan it's 1/3 of our population and 65% of those individuals are employed. Consider also that 12-15,000 people receive food baskets every month from the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Center and that studies show that instruction and skill enhancement in the arts accelerates positive social, linguistic and cognitive development in young people.
Therefore, we organized this Paint the Future project to address the inequalities that challenge our city and inspire equality on campus and beyond. We've partnered with Saskatoon Community Youth Arts Programming Inc, the Saskatoon Open Door Society, READ Saskatoon, the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre, Frontier College, and Big Brothers Big Sisters of Saskatoon to spread the word that there are organizations in place to address the literacy needs in our community and there are volunteer opportunities with each of them to get involved.
The way this painting took shape represents the relationship between individuals and communities. Each of the 216 squares was painted by an individual who took the time to contribute his or her part to a larger whole. The communal image represents the progression toward a brighter future where everyone has an opportunity to flourish, and where there is an abundance of opportunities; the individual squares represent each person’s contribution to that future.
One side is painted in muted colours to represent our community’s current state, where many of our fellow citizens lack the literacy skills needed to flourish. In an ideal society, everyone would have the skills needed to learn, grow, create, and contribute to the world around them. The brighter side of the mosaic represents the future: the birds representing the freedom of choice that is enabled by equal opportunities to gain valued skills, and the tree representing how our community could grow through individual efforts and collaborative initiatives.
~ The 2011 First-Year Learning Communities Peer Mentors
2010 - 2011
THAT...just happened events
learning communities making it happen in the community
Flash Mob Thursday - 1 minute, 1 can of food
in support of the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre (2 December, 2010)
The Heart of Fashion Friday - 1 minute, 1 clothing donation
in support of the Canadian Diabetes Association (18 February, 2011)
If you are from a community organization, interested in engaging first-year students with your cause, please contact us at email@example.com.