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Organization: The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (SACSC)
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Postal address of organization/institution

11010 142 Street, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada  T5N 2R1

E-mail address of organization/institution


Website address of organization/institution


Telephone of organization/institution


PRIORITIES: All of the organization's domains of culture of peace activity


TOP PRIORITY: The organization's most important culture of peace activity


PARTNERSHIPS AND NETWORKS: What partnerships and networks does your organization participate in, thus strengthening the global movement for a culture of peace?

SACSC sends information about projects and resources through the Alberta Teachers' Association (ATA) school mailing service. This allows us to reach 1,950 schools and school boards across the province of Alberta. In addition, SACSC frequently  contributes articles and advertisements  about projects, resources and conferences to  the ATA News. With a circulation of 42,500, The ATA News has the largest circulation of any educational newspaper in the province of Alberta. It is sent to teachers, school administrators, trustees, students in the faculties of education, government employees and retired teachers.

Resources and information are also distributed through the SACSC  website, which currently receives about 500,000 hits per year. The Society’s newsletter, Niska News, is published three times a year and is available to download from this website. This newsletter is also sent electronically to all of the Society’s contacts and members, including approximately 1,800 schools, 67 School Boards and 1,500 educational, government and community stakeholders in Alberta.

Project information is also sent to the Alberta School Boards Association (ASBA) and the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta (PSBAA). ASBA reaches 67 School boards, their superintendents and approximately 600 trustees, and PSBAA reaches 35 public school boards and approximately 300 trustees.

SACSC projects also frequently  involve partnerships with other organizations dedicated to violence-prevention and the promotion of a culture of peace. The Diversity Education Policy Development Toolkit (see below) was developed through extensive consultation with: multicultural/ parent community groups, school administrators, school trustees from various Alberta school boards, and a steering committee composed of a cross-section of education partners, as well as representatives from the Alberta Teachers’ Association, Alberta Education, the Alberta Home and School Councils Association, the College of Alberta School Superintendents, Edmonton Public School Board, Northern Alberta Alliance Against Race Relations, Public School Boards’ Association of Alberta, Suddards Consulting Inc. and United Nations of Canada Edmonton Branch.

From 2005-2009, SACSC was also involved in a partnership  with the Canadian International Development Agency and has established a working partnership with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, Center for Race Relations and United Nations Association, Edmonton Branch.

ACTIONS: What activities have been undertaken by your organization to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence during the ten years of the Decade? If you already made a report in 2005, your information from 2005 will be included in the 2010 report.

In 2006, SACSC, with the financial support of the Canadian Heritage Multiculturalism Program and the Alberta Human Rights, Citizenship and Multiculturalism Education Fund, undertook a project that would support Canada’s democratic ideals in public schools by creating a research-based Diversity Education Policy Development Tool kit. This toolkit outlines strategies for educational leaders to use when developing policies that help schools sensitively and effectively address diversity issues, and it acts as a guideline for creating safe, caring and inclusive school environments.  

From 2005-2009, SACSC undertook four consecutive one-year projects funded through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). The first project, entitled "Becoming the Change We Want to See" united the programming efforts of the Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities, the Alberta Teachers’ Association , and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet). This project involved developing  unit and lesson plans based on CIDA themes and developing  and delivering  a leadership training institute/conference for students and teachers in Edmonton. During this conference, all the resources developed in this project were shared, along with successful practices in global education from across the country.

Three additional CIDA-funded projects were implemented from 2006–2009. These utilized the SACSC Youth Action process, which engages students in conducting research and developing projects designed to bring about positive changes in their schools. The projects were designed to help achieve the United Nations Millenium Development Goals by helping students appreciate different worldviews and expanding students’ and teachers’ knowledge about international development. By partnering with various non-government organizations and participating in a variety of activities, students increased their awareness of global issues and developed strategies to help them positively impact their school communities  and the larger global community.

The following professional development workshops were also developed and delivered to educators during the course of these projects: "Addressing Global Issues through Youth Action (pre-service teachers)," "Our Circle and Beyond—Becoming Global Citizens in Elementary School," "Our Circle and Beyond—Becoming Global Citizens in Secondary School,"  "Global Citizenship: Target 2015," "Opening Pandora's Box—Addressing Controversial Issues,"  "Global Issues: Non-government Organizations," and "Addressing Global Issues through Youth Action (Secondary Teachers)."  The ATA has committed to continuing to offer these workshops to teachers across Alberta through its professional development program. Along with the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights, the ATA also partnered with SACSC in the development and delivery of the 2009 conference "Integrating Global Citizenship into Alberta's Secondary Curricula."

Students from an Alberta school with Niska, the SACSC mascot.

PROGRESS: Has your organization seen progress toward a culture of peace and nonviolence in your domain of action and in your constituency during the second half of the Decade?

Since its development, the SACSC  Diversity Education Policy Development Tool kit has been accepted into policy by the Alberta Teacher's Association as a recommended resource for schools. It is our hope that this resource will guide policy makers, advocates and educational leaders, both at the school and school board  levels, through the challenge of setting  policy for dealing with diversity issues and ensuring that schools in Alberta are welcoming places for all students.

In a phone interview/survey conducted after the implementation of the 2005-2006 project "Becoming the Change We Want to See,"  teachers who piloted the resources in their classrooms indicated that their knowledge about Canada’s roles in international development increased greatly as a result of their participation in this project.  Some of the areas in which teachers indicated that their knowledge increased include: the number of Canadian NGOs and the work they do, the range of areas that they cover through their work, and the development of greater worldviews and understanding of issues. Student knowledge increased in the areas of: the scope of Canadian NGOs, how they can become involved, Aboriginal peoples and their Treaty Rights, and how NGOs work with the United Nations.Teachers also reported that their students have been more focused on the positive aspects of global education and have a better understanding of the human impact of world issues.

Our three CIDA-funded Youth Action projects met with similar positive feedback, and our 2009 Global Citizenship conference was extremely well-received by the practicing and pre-service teachers in attendance.

OBSTACLES: Has your organization faced any obstacles to implementing the culture of peace and nonviolence? If so, what were they?

As a not-for-profit organization, we rely on grants and donations. Our biggest challenge continues to be securing the funding necessary to continue operating and delivering projects and resources to Alberta's schools and communities.

PLANS: What new engagements are planned by your organization in the short, medium and long term to promote a culture of peace and nonviolence?

We are anticipating hosting a second Global Citizenship conference in conjunction with the Alberta Teachers' Association and the John Humphrey Centre for Peace and Human Rights during the 2010–2011 school year. In addition, we are currently involved in three-year projects in partnership with the National Crime Prevention Centre of Canada and Alberta's Safe Communities Innovation Fund to deliver Stop Now And Plan (SNAP) projects  at educational sites across Alberta. SNAP is a research-based cognitive-behavioural strategy designed to help at-risk youth make positive choices and avoid violence.

GLOBAL MOVEMENT: How do you think the culture of peace and nonviolence could be strengthened and supported at the world level??

In order to promote peace, early and ongoing character education is essential. We need to give youth the information, attitudes, values and behavioural competencies they need to resolve conflicts without violence and build healthy, supportive relationships.
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Organization: The Society for Safe and Caring Schools & Communities (SACSC)

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