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the. i can. project. educate the heart. “we must ask for a balanced education that puts importance on educating both the mind and the heart”. - narrated by Shane Koyczan.

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i can


educate the heart

“we must ask for a balanced education that puts importance on educating both the mind and the heart”

- narrated by Shane Koyczan

Two years ago began a cross-district professional partnership involving teachers from 5 schools in the Comox Valley School District.


What brought them together? A shared concern about student engagement; providing our learners a greater sense of meaning and purpose in school.

they identified a project inquiry question

and a framework to support their inquiry

they found a link to performance standards

Exercising democratic rights and responsibilities

shows a sense of community and an interest in making the world a better place; tries to follow through on planned actions

and found their inspiration

Early in our partnership, a teacher involved in our collaboration shared a link to the TED talk 'Kiran Bir Sethi teaches kids to take charge' for us to view.   

Kiran’s words and stories filled us with inspiration. Suddenly we had a project… an 'i can' project. 

Kiran Bir Sethi is Founder/Director of the Riverside School in Ahmedabad, India.  She is also Founder of a world organization called Design for Change. 

Kiran Bir Sethi reflecting on the journey so far

“You don’t have to be rich, or strong, or powerful to make change happen.”

the how and why of the SD71 i can project

a glimpse of student work

We started an incredible journey of shifting people's mindsets… both young and old...  

Students organizing countless projects… collecting food for the food bank, visiting Seniors at seniors’ homes to play games with them, organizing play events for younger children, raising money for local charities…. the list goes on and on…

One student’s post-reflection on the Valentine Heart Food Bank Walk.

At first, how did teachers feel about the project?

Social Responsibility Performance Standards pre- and post-assessment findings after year 1 (n= 46)

2013 partnership project inquiry question

Last summer we came across a song called ‘We Can’ written by an American singer songwriter named Jesse Ruben.

We decided to share his song in our schools.  

Upon hearing our stories, Jesse Ruben decided to come here... and witness the ‘i can’ movement in person.

“Elementary kids so passionate,... so incredibly dedicated to making a difference...”

meanwhile, the project...

i can

students going through an inquiry process

each year we include a public audience post-celebration

a film documenting the thinking of students from

4 schools during year 2 of the ‘i can’ project

What about older students?

Lake Trail student advocates with Courtenay council for homeless shelter

Student artwork for sale during a charity art show aimed at helping the Comox Valley’s Homeless

Rachel Jancowski’s “Gimme Shelter” project

advocating and raising awareness for homelessness in the Comox Valley

students use the Performance Standards to self-evaluate

Social Responsibility Performance Standards pre- and post-assessment findings after year 2

an inspired Raffi inspires others

we are now part of a global partnership

35 countries

200 000 schools

25 million children

something to think about...

“First World problems are not problems.”

join the movement...

DFC 2013 Global Promotional Video

thank you

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