By Tom Read
“We may be small but we’re mighty.” That’s Texada School Principal Carol Brown’s apt description of our community’s little (28 students this year) but vigorous school.
The Texada Island community has responded warmly to Ms. Brown’s leadership, enthusiastically supporting the school in many ways. Just to name a few, community volunteers provide hot meals one day a week, give kids extra academic help, conduct ongoing workshops on social and historical topics, and contribute funds for extra-curricular activities, including field trips. Yesterday (Friday), the school formally thanked the community of which it is a part, and Linda and I were privileged to attend the festivities.
And what an abundance of festivities! Not one, but two very talented youth jazz groups from Powell River gave a concert to be remembered. Community volunteers (mainly husbands of local teachers) put on a delicious picnic lunch barbeque. A much-anticipated mural unveiling took place — an art piece designed and created by students with the help of a local artist that interprets our island’s industrial heritage of mining and logging.
While I enjoyed the entire event, the most meaningful part for me was the one-on-one reading session that started the afternoon. I got to sit with a student named Austin while he read to me from some of his favourite books. In the end he departed from the program a little by asking me to read a few stories to him. I know that parents do this routinely, but as a non-parent I found the experience an unexpected pleasure.
Maybe that’s what healthy communities do best — help connect people who otherwise might not learn to appreciate each other.
And the weather on this special day? Perfect!