The crest of Sir James Dunn Academy reads, in Latin, “No success without labour,” and the school’s work on the You Can Play project has paid off in a big way. The St. Andrews, New Brunswick school has set a bar for schools across Canada.
From the school’s statement: “Our mission at Sir James Dunn Academy is ‘to ensure that all become lifelong learners in a safe and inviting environment.’ An inclusive education at our school means that regardless of your race, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or religious faith, you will be treated with respect and provided equal opportunities to be successful.
We decided that if we wanted to effectively promote this initiative, we would use a “family” mentality to open up the minds of students, staff and community members. At every practice, game, production, activity or school assembly, we took the opportunity to make this “family” work.
Through team sports and other activities, our students learn to believe in one another, become great teammates and realize that a team is not about winning. A team provides opportunity to develop skills, build self-esteem and confidence. To carry this further, we extend the “you can play” motto to participation in all other activities available at school.
Students planned and recorded this video over a three month period. The Director (Liz Matheson, GSA Leader, Co-Glad Class President and member of senior soccer and basketball teams), members of our grade 12 leadership class, middle school/high school athletes, GSA members, student council members, culinary/drama students and administration/staff all worked together to ensure the success of the project. At SJDA, no matter who you are, we want you on our sports teams and in our other activities. At our school, who you are matters. Having students who appreciate themselves and their peers, everyone wins. If you can play, you can play."
Everyone at You Can Play is grateful to the students, faculty for their work on behalf of You Can Play and proud of the work they do supporting each other.