Harmony Day to become official

The Central Okanagan School District is getting in touch with diversity this month.

Amber Cardenas performs the Okanagan Song at the Living Library workshop for the Harmony Day 10th anniversary at the Hollywood Road Educational Services building in Rutland

Amber Cardenas performs the Okanagan Song at the Living Library workshop for the Harmony Day 10th anniversary at the Hollywood Road Educational Services building in Rutland

The Central Okanagan School District is getting in touch with diversity this month.

This year is the 10th anniversary of Harmony Day, a day where Canadians celebrate their diverse backgrounds.

“It’s just a way to celebrate diversity in our community and all the different cultures that we’re so lucky to have around us,” said chair of Harmony Day Leigh-Ann Yanow.

In preparation for the day, the district held a Living Library on Thursday which featured stories, performances, and speeches by presenters from around the Okanagan and the world.

The presenters worked with groups of students and shared stories with them.

“Living Libraries is a person’s story… and what they’ve gone through in their life. They’re at a great age to be influenced by different people in the community,” said Yanow.

Presenter Rawle James, from Trinidad and Tobago, shared two poems with the students.

“It’s to give them a different flavour of different cultures. I think it’s important to show our diversity, it shows how similar we are,” he said.

His aim is for the kids to have fun and enjoy the stories.

“To not highlight our differences, but our commonality as humans, to me that’s very important, so I applaud the school district… I think people in general just want to hear stories.”

Around 150 middle school students and 18 presenters filled the gym at the Hollywood Road Educational Services building in Rutland for the event.

Every middle school in the district attended with around 15 students from each school.

Each school is doing something different for Harmony Day, said Yanow.

Harmony Day is held on Wednesday, Feb. 15.

The theme is “High Ten for Harmony” which will have students reaching their hands up to “High Ten” their neighbours in celebration of Harmony, according to the district website.

For more information visit the Harmony Day website.

Harmony Day will be brought to Wednesday’s Central Okanagan School Board meeting to officially declare Feb. 15 as Harmony Day as part of Human Rights Month.

Pink Shirt Day, Feb. 22, is also set to be declared.

Kelowna Capital News

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