By Camille Aubin
camille@columbiavalleypioneer.com

The B.C. Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association (BCPVPA) Partnership Awards acknowledge the valuable support provided to Principals, Vice-Principals, teachers and students by individuals and groups who have, over an extended period of time, shared their time, energy and expertise to support schools. Partners are nominated by the BCPVPA’s local Chapters. Lisa Tenta is the chapter president for the Rocky Mountain Principals and Vice Principals. She had the opportunity to give the award to the Summit Youth Hub.

In the nomination letter, Tenta explained why the Summit deserves the award, “Over the past year the Youth Centre has supported 163 youth through the Food Insecurity Project. Youth attending the Summit Youth Centre identified a need for a program that would support their food-related needs after school, on weekends, and through the summer months. To support this initiative, Youth Centre staff reached out to the Columbia Valley Food Bank, parents, schools, and community volunteers. They received so much support from the community through in-kind donations, volunteer hours and grant funds that they were able to provide summer lunches and after school meals to children and youth across the Columbia Valley.” and “This year, mental health initiatives have been the main focus of the Youth Hub. The staff at the Youth Hub collaborated with local schools to provide an eight-week mental wellness series to students in Grades 4-7, across the Columbia Valley.”

“We are humbled to be nominated for this award. Providing our support inside schools is so important. It means that students receive information and services from the Youth Centre right at school! This reduces barriers, such as transportation, that prevent youth from accessing support at the Hub. Youth Workers will be able to connect with youth and build trust and healthy relationships, while teachers will benefit from the expertise of our Youth Workers. We know that working in partnership with schools increases students’ success. When students see their larger community working together to support them, they see their value and they benefit from a network of caring individuals.” said Kelsey Prichard, Award recipient and centre director at the time.

The Partnership Award print features an owl and eagle. The artist Bill Bedard explained that the eagle travels between the physical world and spiritual world and signifies focus, strength, peace, leadership, and prestige. The Owl reflects the wisdom and the world of educators and their supporters because “the work does not end when the students go home, but requires many nights of hard work and reflection as we strive to prepare our students for a better tomorrow.”

A short period of time after their reopening, due to the updated COVID-19 provincial restrictions, the Youth Centre has been required to close until Dec. 7. The Centre has planned some interactive online activities for the next few weeks to keep in touch with the youth. Visit invermeresummityouthcentre.org/ for more information or contact the Centre by email at summit.centre@gmail.com.