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Education Advocacy 2019 2020

By May 25, 2020June 7th, 2021No Comments


Committee Meetings:

The committee met at the BCRTA office in Vancouver on October 24 and December 3, 2019 and on February 4, 2020.  Zoom meetings were held on May 8 and June 9, 2020.  Considerable business has been conducted via email and telephone.  Committee members are to be commended for their willingness to adapt as the 2019-20 year unfolded.

Communication with Members:

Throughout the 2019/ 20 year, the Committee endeavoured to provide fulsome communication with members and others.  We wrote articles that were published in PostScript Magazine and BCRTA Connections.  An archive of all Golden Star Award winners is now posted on the web site, covering all years since the award’s establishment in 2010.  The Golden Star Awards Application Form has been revised and updated on the BCRTA website and offers both an electronic and printable version for submission to the Committee.  We appreciate very much the assistance we received from BCRTA staff members Kristi, Laurie and Tim.

Golden Star Awards:

The Golden Star Awards are made to public school programs that feature the interaction between students and seniors, in the belief that such programs connect the generations and add to the learning, understanding and appreciation of the skills and experiences of both groups.  The BCRTA also works with the Royal Canadian Legion to recognize the work that students do with Legion members and veterans and to provide a BCRTA/Legion Award to a deserving school.

Province wide school closures in mid – March due to COVID–19 restrictions resulted in far fewer applications than usual.  Schools remained closed and in person interactions between students and seniors were prohibited.  However, while the quantity of applications was reduced, the quality was excellent.  The Committee is pleased to announce that two Golden Star Awards for 2020 have been awarded to the following:

Tecumseh Elementary School, Vancouver:  Tilia Prior and Marion Collins implemented the Intergenerational Project involving grade 5 and 6 students and seniors from Shannon Oaks Seniors’ Home.


Thetis Island Elementary School, Thetis Island:  Genny Redman implemented the Intergenerational Learning program involving students from K to grade 6 and seniors from the Thetis Island community.


A cheque in the amount of $1500 has been sent to each school.  Monies will be used to purchase materials for each program.  Presentation events have been put on hold due to COVID–19 restrictions.  We will deliver the Golden Star Award trophies to the schools and Certificates of Excellence to the teachers and seniors’ groups involved.  Our hope is that this can be done in person when circumstances permit.  Pictures and articles for both winners will be published in PostScript Magazine.  A summary of each program will be posted in the Golden Star Archives on the BCRTA website. A power point presentation celebrating the winners will be shown at the 2020 BCRTA AGM.

The committee thanks Branch presidents, BCTF and its Locals, BCPVPA, BCSSA, BCSTA and BC Yukon Division of the Royal Canadian Legion for their support in publicizing the Golden Star Awards Program. Although there were no winners of the Golden Star/Legion Award this year, we look forward to continuing collaboration with the Legion in the future.  Thanks also to the editors of PostScript Magazine and BCRTA Connections for including coverage of the Golden Star Awards Program.

Intergenerational Day 2020:

The Committee was successful in bringing the following motion to the Board:

That the Excellence in Public Education Committee recommend to the Board that the President of the BCRTA write a letter to the Provincial Government asking that June 1st be proclaimed Intergenerational Day in perpetuity.


The following announcement was posted on the BCRTA web site:

Intergenerational Day – June 1 – is recognized annually in Canada and abroad as a day to focus on promoting intergenerational programs and learning opportunities, and to assist in developing rich and sustainable connections between generations. During this time of social distancing and isolation, contact between the generations is more important than ever and requires a different approach. As individuals, we can all participate in Intergenerational Day.

Our members are using Zoom, WhatsApp, Skype, FaceTime, email, Canada Post and telephone calls to connect with grandchildren, family and friends. On June 1, make connections. Enjoy!

BCRTA wrote to David Eby, our Attorney General requesting that June 1 be declared Intergenerational Day. Two other organizations also made the same request and a positive response to them was shared with us. Check out the i2i Intergenerational Society ( and the Canadian Network for Prevention of Elder Abuse (


Support for Public Education:

The Committee was successful in bringing the following motion to the Board:

That the President send a message of support and encouragement to BC’s public school teachers, principals, vice- principals and support staff who are working in unprecedented challenging conditions.

The following message was sent and was widely circulated by the recipients to their members:

“A special message of support to active school staff from Gerry Tiede, President of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association:

Dear Teachers, Administrators and Support Staff across British Columbia,

On April 22, the Executive of the BC Retired Teachers’ Association took time to reflect on the unprecedented circumstances faced by our friends and active colleagues in the school system.

I am writing on behalf of our 17,000 members to express our concern for your well-being and to express our confidence in all of you. We know that however challenging it is to work with students in the new ways that the COVID-19 pandemic demands, that you bring the characteristics always shown by teachers, support staff and school and district administrators. When faced with challenges great or small, you have always stepped forward to meet the needs of students through creative problem-solving and good-will. Your students know it now more than ever, and so do we.

We are so very proud to be part of the same history and fraternity as you. Although we are required to be physically separated right now, we want you to know that we are cheering you on from the sidelines!

We wish you good health. Your work is appreciated by your retired colleagues.

Thank you and stay well.”

Respectfully submitted:  Caroline Malm (chair), David Brown, Terry Green, Cheryl Halsted, Margaret Sutton, Grace Wilson.