This year on National Philanthropy Day, Island Pacific School was nominated for a Giving Hearts Award for Outstanding Youth Philanthropist. The Association of Fundraising Professionals recognize individuals and groups that make a difference in their communities. We are honoured that Covenant House chose our students as important change makers.

Community Service is one of the foundations of our programming at Island Pacific School aimed to inspire middle school students. Each grade has a different focus. The grade 6/7 classes volunteer on Bowen Island; from the BI Children’s Centre to Collensia Community Farm. Grade 8 students individually choose an organization that they want to contribute to by fundraising or action. Grade 9 students work with Covenant House Vancouver by hosting Sleep Out Student Edition which raises awareness and funds for homeless youth. Over 5 years, IPS students have raised over $40,000. Just before we break for winter holidays the school dedicates a day where the juniors bake and cook for the Bowen Food Bank and the seniors volunteer at Quest Food Exchange in Vancouver putting together holiday hampers for families.

On a more global scale, IPS has a relationship with an orphanage and school in Ghana, West Africa. Students have been writing penpal letters for 10 years and have raised about $55,000 to send students to senior high school.

We hope that this involvement at a formative time in a student’s development, will make a lasting impression and they will grow to into people who help make positive change in the world.