I was born in Hong Kong and I moved to Canada with my family when I was 10. I had a tough transition. As an immigrant-settler, I had a hard time fitting in and I did not see myself represented in the media, literature and politics. Fortunately, I found strong mentors in the music and creative writing programs at school—or rather, they found me. I know first-hand how impactful these programs could be for young people.

Now I have two little rugrats of my own who are both in the public school system. While there are some great updates in the curriculum on socio-emotional development and reconciliation, music, arts and culture have been pushed to the margins. Outdoor education lags behind compared to even other districts in the province, a huge shame considering the natural beauty available to us in Vancouver. The worst is that our most vulnerable students are often falling through the cracks. If our kids are coming to school without breakfast or lunch, what good will universal music lessons do?

If physical education classes are compulsory, so should music and outdoor education. We need to make these programs accessible to all students, and ensure that all our children have the supports they need to thrive.

If you like what you see, why not donate to support my bid to become a Vancouver School Board Trustee?