Refugees: Positive News

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Reuters

There has been a lot of news about the refugee crisis over the last year both in Europe and  here in Canada. We have seen terrible images of babies washed up onto beaches and been impacted by the surge of terror that seems at times insurmountable. However, there are also stories of amazing generosity, innovation and inspiration amid all of chaos that need to be shared. Continue reading

New Book Arrives!

Passport Project Book - Premiere Edition

I am so excited to announce the arrival of my new book: Passport Project! The premiere edition was launched at TEDxYYC and on the CBC Eye-Opener.  It has been exciting to hear about people using the book with their families, as team-building with their co-workers and on their own to explore their city!

All too often we think that we can only have an adventure if we go away to an exotic location.  It is easy to feel depressed or bored when we aren’t learning or growing or meeting new people.  This book was created so you could explore right in your own city and have amazing adventures and experiences that would remind you that life is awesome!  There are so many exciting and inspiring people and places to see and meet.  By expanding our worldviews we can break down barriers, misunderstandings and stereotypes and build bridges towards peace. I hope that by completing these challenges you will be inspired to share your positive stories. By sharing our positive stories we can combat mental health issues and become inspired to make positive change in our communities.

If you would like to purchase a copy of the book it is available for purchase at Shelf Life Books in Calgary.  We will have a limited number of books available for purchase as we travel across Canada as well.  If you would like to make a bulk order of the books please send us an email and we will arrange to have copies shipped to you.  For educators and youth leaders please enquire by email about our classroom and school license to receive special discounts on large orders.

 

Flooded with Hope

I have collected these images throughout the last two weeks to show the amazing things that can happen in the midst of very difficult situations.  Throughout my time volunteering in Calgary and on the Siksika Nation I have been amazed at the resiliency of people and the way that communities have come together.  Below are some of my favorite moments!

Good News from Calgary’s Flood

   On our last day of school some of my students were able to share with me their positive stories from the Calgary Flood.  Most places in Calgary did not allow volunteers that were under 18 and yet these 13-14 year olds still had stories of how they had made a difference.  They shared with me what they and their families had experienced that gave them hope.  There were many stories so I chose to highlight four of them here.

Speaking at TEDxYYC

 I always encourage my students to take a step out of their comfort zone and be okay with taking risks.  I even have broken track and field hurdles up around my classroom to remind them that it is okay to run at life’s obstacles at 100%.  If you fall, I remind them, it’s okay, just remember to get back up and keep going.

Somehow, when I have to take that advice myself it gets a lot harder! I was invited today to speak at TEDxYYC.  I’m honoured, excited but mostly nervous!  This talk will be an amazing opportunity to share positive news with a new group of people and to honour those who participated in Worldviews Project. There’s a part of me though that still always feels scared.  What if no one is interested?  What if I mess it up?

I guess I’m also nervous that I’ll be branded as “Positive Story Girl” instead of Kate. I’m not positive all the time.  Sometimes I’m angry and I want to punch people or yell or scream.  I just try to work really hard to control those feelings and act in a better way.  I’m scared that somehow giving this talk will make people think I have it all figured out, which I don’t.  I’m just trying to be brave enough to say that my intention is to be positive.

I’m not so different from my students, taking that first step and staring that obstacle in the face is hard.  I’m determined to do it though.  I want to be the kind of person who approaches these kinds of challenges with courage rather than fear.

I will need all of you supporting me in this journey.  I need to know when I step on that stage on June 14th that there is a community of people behind me cheering me on.  Because, ultimately it’s not about me at all.  I’m giving this TED talk because I believe that we need to share positive news.  So even if I’m not the perfect ambassador for this message I’m going to give it my best shot.  Keep your fingers crossed for me!  Or better yet, buy a ticket and come be a friendly face in the audience!

 

Radio Girls Podcasts!

  Working in colaboration with my Gr.8 students we have created 16 podcasts about our  journey to discover new experiences in Calgary! Come and hear the podcasts and share in our unique experiences April 11, 2013 at Alice Jamieson Girls’ Academy!

Inspirational Monday: Culture Hub

  Tinto Tintero is a cultural hub in Medellin, Colombia.  I was so impressed to hear how Dave, a former teacher has, with the help of his partner, Monica, started a business model that is not only financially successful but is also making their community a better place!  They have found a way to merge their passion for art, culture, literature and music all within one location.  Through their efforts, they are transforming their community by providing opportunities for culture and offering a diverse array of options for entertainment throughout the week.  But it is not only culture they are offering but also a public space devoted to building a strong sense of community.

Inspirational Monday: Passing the Puck

 I believe that sport has an amazing ability to teach where lessons and talks fall short.  For me, sport has often been a metaphor for understanding greater concepts and has helped me to learn how to live in community with others.  Whether it was playing Rugby, running in Track, or just getting people together for a game of frisbee I believe there is an amazing power to learning through games and fun! See how Alejo from Colombia is bringing a new sport to his city and how it is uniting people and building leaders!

Inspirational Monday: Creating Great Public Space

 This week I met with Calgary author, Chris Turner who is making his city better by writing and speaking about the importance of great public spaces.  He is a unique voice in the world of urban development and climate issues since he focuses on hope rather than the doom and gloom ,choosing to emphasize positive change.  His solutions, success stories and insights into the ways that individuals and small groups can make positive change in their communities provides hope for improving cities!

Inspirational Monday: WINS Thrift Store

  WINS Thrift Store is a social enterprise that uses they money it makes to provide resources including a free referral program for household needs and clothing as well as learning opportunities for families. Its environmental program, employment skills program and collaboration with the community help make Calgary a better city! Get involved by visiting their website.