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1997, through a Manitoba-Germany student exchange, River East Collegiate made
contact with an ASPnet school in Hamburg. Gareth Neufeld, a German
teacher at REC, began a dialogue with the teachers at Helene Lange Gymnasium, Germany’s
longest-standing “UNESCO-Schule”, to learn what he could about the
ASPnet. His goal was to involve REC in the Canadian chapter of the
organization. When he contacted the Canadian Commission for UNESCO (CCU)
in Ottawa, he discovered that Canada was not participating in this project, due
to lack of resources.
the following three years, much effort was made by Neufeld, as well as
Linda Mlodzinski (MECY Social Studies Consultant, and currently provincial
ASPnet coordinator for Manitoba) to promote Canadian participation. These
- Ms. N. Fall, UNESCO (Paris)
representative to Canada visited REC twice (1999)
- Contact with the United Nations
Association of Canada (Muriel Smith) and External Affairs (Lloyd Axworthy
- Two meetings with David Walden,
Secretary General of Canadian Commission UNESCO (January and December 2000)
- A number of informal discussions with a
succession of Ministers of Education in Manitoba
the Spring of 2000, Mr. Walden attempted unsuccessfully to have ASPnet included
in agenda of Council of Ministers of Education Canada (CMEC).
the unsuccessful attempt to include CMEC in development, Mr. Walden suggested
to Neufeld, that Manitoba’s Minister of Education be asked to present the
project to CMEC. Neufeld met twice with Mr. Harry Schellenberg, MLA for
Rossmere, who agreed to set up a meeting with Mr. Drew Caldwell, then Minister
of Education. In January 2001, Neufeld, Dr. L. Cartwright (principal of
REC) and Ms. C. Lintott (Assist. Superintendent of RESD*) met with Mr.
Caldwell, Mr. Schellenberg and assistants, to discuss the ASP. At this meeting,
Mr. Caldwell agreed to introduce the project to the CMEC at the April meeting.
the April meeting, the CMEC supported the initiative, leaving it up to each province
to decide the extent of their involvement. With this green light from
Canada’s Education Ministers, the CCU wasted no time in proceeding. In
late April, 2001, the CCU invited provincial representatives to Ottawa for an
all-day consultation. Present were delegates from Manitoba, Alberta,
Ontario, Quebec and Nova Scotia. Manitoba (the only province represented
by a formal delegation, with a Department of Education staff member) was
represented by Linda Mlodzinski (MECY), Gareth Neufeld (RESD*) and Darryl Toews
(Teacher, Western School Division). Comments by Mr. Walden at the meeting
made clear that initiatives in Manitoba, and the efforts of Mr. Caldwell, were
the deciding factors in reaching this point in the development.
action plan was generated at this consultation, which included the following
- Agreement to move forward
- Upcoming months would be used to gather
information from other national projects
- CMEC agreed to appoint contact persons
in each province
- Identification of partnerships was seen
as a priority, to assist in meeting the funding needs.
on these discussions, the Manitoba contingent returned to Manitoba to move the
project forward. Initially, the following Manitoba divisions expressed
interest: River East*, Winnipeg, Western, Seven Oaks, Fort Garry*.
Mlodzinski took responsibility to keep Mr. Caldwell up to date on
developments. She also assumed the role of ASPnet Provincial Coordinator,
a critical leadership function she has continued, as the network has grown and
was also made with Ms. E. Hartmann, the ASPnet National Coordinator for
Germany. She agreed to be available as a consultant to the Canadian
network, having considerable experience at the international level. In
this capacity, Ms. Hartmann participated in an all-day consultation in
Winnipeg. Based on this day’s work, the Canadian process for designating
an ASPnet school was developed.
ASPnet is Launched in Manitoba
January 2002, the Canadian ASP Network was launched in the Legislative Building
in Winnipeg. Present were David Walden (CCU Secretary General), Drew
Caldwell (Minister of Education), as well a number of interested school
division superintendents, principals, teachers and representatives of
post-secondary institutions. "The Canadian Commission for UNESCO is
pleased the Province of Manitoba has taken the initiative and launched the
first network of Associated Schools in Canada," said Walden.
"UNESCO has played an important role on the global stage for many
years," said Caldwell. "By becoming involved in this program,
Manitoba youth will have an excellent opportunity to develop a global
perspective and enhance their understanding of world issues."
that launch 10 Manitoba schools joined the pilot project, five of which have
now attained status as National UNESCO ASPnet schools:
- Brock Corydon School
September 2006, eight additional schools joined the Manitoba ASPnet as
- Al Hijra Islamic School
- Bairdmore Elementary School
- Collège Pierre Elliot-Trudeau
- Collège Silver Heights Collegiate
- École Régionale Saint-Jean Baptiste
- St. Emile School
- St. James Collegiate
- Stevenson-Britannia Adult Literacy