4 July, 2018

Olds High School - 2017 Fair Trade School of the Year

Olds High School
by Ian Brown, Fairtrade Canada

We recently announced the winners of the 2017 Canadian Fairtrade Awards. This is the first in a series of posts looking at each of the winners in more detail. The 2017 winner of Fair Trade School of the Year is Olds High School in Olds, Alberta. 

This Award recognizes Fair Trade Schools that highlight awareness of Fairtrade through the different program requirements and create successful engagement opportunities for Fairtrade products.

With an active six-member steering committee of staff and students, the school’s commitment to Fairtrade was very apparent to our panel of independent judges. Some highlights of the school’s activities:

  • Classroom instruction on fair trade topics is available to students in grades 9,10 and 11, and there are a number of extracurricular clubs which cover fair trade issues.
  • A wide range of Fairtrade certified products is made available in the school, including coffee, tea, sugar and hot chocolate every Fair Trade Friday. Additional products such as chocolate, bananas and ice cream are used in special events throughout the school year.
  • The school is committed to other Fair Trade Programs; it has been working with other community schools to become designated and it collaborates with the Olds Fair Trade Town committee. The school hosted an Indigenous Youth Gathering with was a designated Fair Trade Event and it is also encouraging Olds College to become a Fair Trade Campus.
  • The school is also a UNESCO Associated School, and includes discussions of the Sustainable Development Goals in the classroom and clubs.

“Olds High School is a school that leads by example and sets the bar high. We look beyond our walls and into our community and the world in an effort to help our students and staff become informed, engaged and innovative global citizens.  Our school is an integral part of our community and school division.  As a member school of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network and a Fair Trade School, we see our mandates as a challenge to exceed expectations.  The connections we have made have afforded us authentic learning and a new depth of understanding. Being a Fair Trade School has deepened our commitment to our UNESCO ideals and themes.  It provides a mandate for those who need a goal to work towards and enables us go past charity into social justice.”

The Canadian Fairtrade Awards recognize exceptional Fairtrade supporters and are an opportunity to celebrate all of the great work done in the year by businesses, organizations and individuals. The Fair Trade School Program is about educating Canada’s young leaders of tomorrow to understand the connection between the food they eat and the farmers and workers who grow it.