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Sherwood Park, AB. — Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary is the latest Canadian school to receive a fair trade designation. The school was granted the Fair Trade School status by Fairtrade Canada and the Canadian Fair Trade Network (CFTN) on September 21.

The prestigious designation is granted to schools throughout the country who have made a commitment to supporting and educating their school communities about fair trade issues—fair working conditions, prices and terms for global farmers and workers, most often living in developing nations.

“After all our hard work, we are so excited to see our school become engaged with the concept of fair trade,” says Nancy Skorobohach, a student at Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary and a student leader of the school’s Teens Against Violent Oppression (TAVO) club. “We feel as though this small change in consumer habits is a practical way for our student body to make a difference. And, by getting the word out, we’re a part of something much bigger.”

To earn the designation, students involved in the school’s TAVO club launched a fair trade education campaign. The club—which also focuses on other social justice issues, particularly human trafficking—spent the 2016-17 school year raising awareness about fair trade issues: speaking at school gatherings and assemblies, partnering with teachers to share information, sourcing fair trade products for school events and displaying various educational advertisements throughout the school. A school favourite was a food fair where TAVO students sold frozen fair trade bananas dipped in fair trade chocolate.

“The dipped chocolate bananas were certainly enjoyed by all, and, also had an important educational component to it,” says Cindy Christensen, an educational assistant at Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary. “People asked the question: ‘Why do we buy regular bananas when we can buy fair trade bananas?’ That’s the whole point. Overall, the campaign was completely student led and student driven. Now, thanks to their efforts, we join a group of schools nationwide that are demonstrating leadership in fair trade and social sustainability.”

Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary is one of 18 schools in Canada to share the fair trade designation, which includes more than 20,000 students who are strongly committed to the issue. Within Alberta, Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary is the fourth school to earn the Fair Trade School status and the first to do so within Elk Island Public Schools.

“Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary is the latest school to join the fair trade movement and to show solidarity with children in poorer countries,” says Mélissa Dubé, the outreach and marketing manager at Fairtrade Canada. “By teaching and raising awareness about the impact that fair trade has on millions of people’s lives in communities of the global south, we’re helping to shape the citizens of tomorrow. Congratulations to everyone involved. You should be proud!”

Looking ahead, Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary plans to continue its efforts around fair trade and to further raise awareness.

Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary serves more than 580 students in grades 7 to 12 offering instruction with a Christian perspective. Located in Sherwood Park, the school is one of 42 schools within Elk Island Public Schools. For more information about the school visit www.scasecondary.ca.

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For more information contact:
Jon Elzinga, principal, Strathcona Christian Academy Secondary 780-464-7127
Laura McNabb, director, Communication Services, EIPS 780-417-8204 cell 780-405-4902