Twenty-eight Bayview Grade 4/5 students along with Bayview teacher Mel Bailey took on the issue of homelessness in Vancouver head on with a recent class project. The class researched homelessness and prepared group oral presentations. Then, on Saturday, February 1, the students and their parents volunteered their time to serve breakfast at the Kitsilano Community Center Breakfast/Shower program for the homeless. Each student presented a wrapped gift of a toque and two pairs of socks to each person who attended the breakfast.
On March 7, Bailey invited Mayor Gregor Robertson and VSB Chairperson Patti Bachus to attend a Bayview assembly. During the assembly, students lined up at the front of the gym and presented the results of a fruitful project on homelessness. Students explained to their friends and their special guests the difficulties and hardships the homeless face each day through oral presentations, poetry and a power point presentation.
After listening to the students, Mayor Robertson was invited to address the students, staff and parents on some of the steps the city has taken to find shelter for the city's most vulnerable people. The mayor highlighted how the Bayview students' presentation had humanized the homeless, a very important first step.