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Free diversity programs available for kids in Squamish

The Inclusive Culture Club and Pride Squamish are working to teach local students big lessons in kid-friendly ways.
Inclusive Culture Club
New programs aim to foster an increased appreciation of diversity in Squamish.
Three free new Squamish programs offer children lessons about the value of diversity.

Little Diverse Storytime, Books for Change, and the Kid Artivist Program, are being put on by the Inclusive Culture Club and Pride Squamish.

The first program, which was funded by The United Way Local Love Fund, is online and intends to connect kids aged two to five with big topics in kid-friendly ways. Topics include race, ability, gender, love, community, family, acceptance, self-care and more.

Books for Change, funded by the District of Squamish via Squamish Community Foundation Community Enhancement Fund, is intended for local students from kindergarten to Grade 12. It asks them to determine what types of new books they believe could foster inclusion, bridge cultures, and strengthen the connection of Squamish's youngest citizens.

"Students feel empowered and valued when they see themselves represented in literature, so who better to help select these books than them? When students and teachers have access to books that include perspectives from diverse cultures, genders, and races, our teachings around empathy and kindness take root and positive change grows," said Tina Sherlock, the Don Ross Middle School librarian in a news release.

Finally, the last program, funded by the Province of British Columbia Multiculturalism Grant, is intended for kids aged six to 12. It offers badges for those who work on projects that combine art and activism.

“We are overwhelmed by the support and excitement for these programs from both a funding and community perspective,” said Julie Wilkins, the Inclusive Culture Club’s founder, in the news release.

“We feel this speaks to a desire for strengthened cultural connections in Squamish. Because each program is quite unique, we hope to engage a variety of young community members across them all.”

Each project will be completed between now and March 2022 and are currently in varying stages of progress.

Anyone who is interested in being involved in bringing these programs should connect with the Inclusive Culture Club.

Follow @inclusivecultureclub and @pridesquamish on Instagram for details and updates.

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