Participants, organizers and the new Board of Directors are celebrating yet another successful year at the Atlantic Summer Institute on Healthy and Safe Communities! This year the theme was on Literacy and how it links to Health, Safety and Crime: Reading Between the Lines: Health, Safety & Literacy. The ASI was held August 19-22, 2008.
Victorin Boudreau, keynote speaker at this year's Institute shared an inspiring and moving presentation about his personal journey through literacy. His message reminded the audience to help others who were less fortunate than themselves and helped to set the tone for the week of learning. In the next 4 days the Institute managed to pack in curriculum workshops, social events, and interesting plenary speakers that got the participants and the media thinking! The town hall session, 'What's Next in Community Literacy?' went on with a storm of ideas coming from around the table, and a special welcome was given to the participants who joined the Institute for Atlantic Day, a special one-day registration which celebrated all the innovative work that is happening in Atlantic Canada.
COWS T-shirts, a cricket game, a visit from the Word Monster, German folk dancing and a fusion of music as east met west carried the participants through the Institute with fun, diversity and multiculturalism.
The grand finale was the participants of the Children's Program performing their “moment of fame” where they acted out the Robert Service poem The Cremation of Sam McGee with the help and assistance of actors and actresses from the Confederation Centre for the Arts. This final performance was closed with beautiful singing from Roseanne Sark of the Mi’kmaq Confederacy. Participants left with the song, the sunshine, 1 or 2 balloon animals and thoughts of next years Institute!
The theme for next year’s Institute is “Resilient Communities” and will be held in the early month of June. Visit the ASI website for post-Institute news, photos and updates, and we’ll see you all next year!