Vancouver school board trustees launched a new advocacy campaign on October 18 during a press conference and introduced their first "fan" Chief Constable Jim Chu of the Vancouver Police Department.
Chairperson Patti Bacchus said "Today we're launching our Be a Fan campaign as a positive, fun and inexpensive way for us to celebrate and share our successes, and talk about the role Vancouver public schools have played in the lives of so many in our communities."
The campaign will use the district's website and social media Facebook and Twitter to start a conversation about the importance of public education.
"So much of what the public hears about via the news media is about our financial challenges. Headlines don't tell the good news- but sometimes they do. As trustee I get to see firsthand what is happening in schools - the daily triumphs, both large and small. I get to see that transformational power of education," she said.
Chief Constable Jim Chu, a 30-year veteran with the Vancouver Police Department described himself as a product of Vancouver public schools.
Chu attended Vancouver public schools from Kindergarten to Grade 12. He attended Grandview Elementary from K-4, General Wolfe from grade 4-7 and Sir Charles Tupper Secondary from grade 8-12.
At General Wolfe Chu participated in the school's first band and was part of the school safety patrol helping fellow students to safely get to school. In Tupper Secondary Chu participated in many extracurricular and school activities including school band, rugby, wrestling and tennis.
Chu emphasized the importance of education and literacy by quoting a statistic that 8 out of 10 people who enter a correctional facility have not completed schooling.
In addition to Chief Chu, the campaign will also feature former Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who graduated from Prince of Wales Secondary; former Supreme Court Justice Frank Iacobucci who's a Britannia graduate; and businessman Jim Pattison who graduated from John Oliver.
The district's website will be the primary location for information about the fans and their thoughts about public education. Digital postcards, biographies and a Q&A with the fans will be included on those pages.
A Facebook page was built specifically for this campaign as a location where everyone can join the conversation about public education. Through this page, anyone can become a fan of public education, sharing their personal stories about the impact it's had on their lives.
Here are the ways you can follow the campaign: