Barrie's Innisdale added to unique list
Innisdale Secondary School students, front from left, Isabel Alonso and Lexy McKenzie, and bananas Natasha Pearson, left and James Gray, were celebrating the school's Fair Trade School designation on Thursday. IAN MCINROY/BARRIE EXAMINER
Innisdale Secondary School has become the 16th Fair Trade School in Canada and the third in Ontario.
The program to promote the fair trade movement and strive for Fair Trade School designation began in 2015, as an initiative of Grade 12 students in the equity and social justice class taught by teacher Eleanor Alexander.
The drive has carried on with the enthusiastic participation of the students of the social justice club and their lead staff advisor Tracey Aylesworth.
Students wearing giant banana costumes have organized displays in the school hallways to promote fair trade. Staff have enjoyed fair trade coffee, tea and hot chocolate during events organized by the social justice club. Banquets organized by students in hospitality classes also feature fair trade coffee so visiting community members can also enjoy support fair trade.
“Congratulations to Innisdale Secondary School students,” said Canadian Fair Trade Network executive director Sean McHugh. “The school is educating the community on the importance of gender equality, fair wages, and safe working conditions for farmers and producers across the globe.”
Essential to the success of the school’s efforts has been collaboration with the local advocacy group Fair Trade Barrie, he added.
“Devoted campaigner Bruce Morton has visited the school on numerous occasions to support educational efforts and work with student leaders. Future plans for the school’s fair trade steering committee include working to expand the variety of fair trade products offered within the school.”