Children and teachers gather for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children and teachers gather for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

School PAC buys orange T-shirts for every student at Bernard Elementary in Chilliwack

285 Chilliwack kids given orange T-shirts to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

The field at a Chilliwack elementary school turned into a sea of orange as children and teachers gathered outside for a group photo on Thursday.

Every single Bernard Elementary student was given an orange T-shirt on Sept. 29 to commemorate National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, and it was all thanks to the school’s parent advisory council (PAC).

Earlier this year, the PAC decided to buy an orange T-shirt for all 285 kids at the school.

“Every student at Bernard Elementary was given an orange shirt to wear to be reminded of the impact residential school had on families and to raise awareness of the residential school system in Canada,” said Bernard principal Brad Johnston.

Bernard Elementary principal Brad Johnston speaks to students as they gather for a group photo outside the school on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Bernard Elementary principal Brad Johnston speaks to students as they gather for a group photo outside the school on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children gather for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children gather for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

The idea came about in May when PAC chair Katie Crompton and PAC vice president Jessica Fairweather made a motion to buy a T-shirt for every child. They purchased more than enough – 325 shirts for the school’s 285 kids.

Fairweather bought the design online – which features a large, black handprint with “Every child matters” written on it – and had it printed at Mark’s Work Wearhouse.

The total cost of all 325 shirts was $2,200.

Justin Williams drums and sings with children outside Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The drumming and singing happened as children arrived that morning, just before the whole school gathered for a group photo with their new orange T-shirts given to by the parent advisory council. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Justin Williams drums and sings with children outside Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The drumming and singing happened as children arrived that morning, just before the whole school gathered for a group photo with their new orange T-shirts given to by the parent advisory council. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

As kids arrived at school on Sept. 29, Justin Williams was outside the front entrance drumming and singing.

Shortly after the students got to school, they all gathered in the field with teachers for a group photo in their new T-shirts.

“We felt having each student wear an orange shirt will help make them feel like they matter and are cared for,” Johnston said.

Kids who attend Strong Start at Bernard also received shirts. Strong Start is school-based, early-learning program for kids aged zero to five at no cost to families

RELATED: Reconciliation-based powwow starts with walk Friday from Chilliwack Secondary School

A child gets help putting on an orange T-shirt before a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

A child gets help putting on an orange T-shirt before a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children disperse after posing for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)

Children disperse after posing for a group photo at Bernard Elementary on Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022. The school’s parent advisory council bought an orange T-shirt for every single student at Bernard. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)


 

Do you have something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Chilliwack School DistrictOrange Shirt DayTruth and Reconciliation

Be Among The First To Know

Sign up for a free account today, and receive top headlines in you inbox Monday to Saturday.

Sign Up with google Sign Up with facebook

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Reset your password

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

A link has been emailed to you - check your inbox.



Don't have an account? Click here to sign up
Pop-up banner image