Letters from Educators 1

February 2, 2007

To Whom It May Concern:

It is with pleasure that I write this endorsement letter for Michelle Todd and her one woman play, “Deep Fried Curried Perogies.” As one of the guidance counsellors at Ross Sheppard High School and a sponsor of the school’s club Project R.E.D. (Rejecting Racism, Embracing Equality, Demanding Diversity), I assist students in promoting a greater understanding of multicultural inclusion at the high school level and Ms. Todd’s play did just that.

Ms. Todd performed at our school during our Peace Week celebration on October 6, 2006 to an audience of approximately 130 students from 8 different high schools across the city. She quickly captured the audience’s attention immediately with her energy, enthusiasm and wit. Her memories of what life was like growing up in a multicultural family gave students a better appreciation of how unique it is to be “Canadian.” For those who did not grow up in such a diverse household, it shed light on issues that they never thought about before. Ms. Todd’s many anecdotes of life in Edmonton helped all students reflect on their own ethnicity and cultural background which allowed them to see the similarities in each other, while celebrating the differences.

 


More than ever before, there is a need for cultural understanding and acceptance. Ms. Todd’s play provides a unique venue for students to share their feelings and experiences living in a multicultural society. It also presents an opportunity for students to challenge their own beliefs about diversity and find ways to embrace it. More importantly, this play encourages students to transform a school culture by offering the chance to talk about cultural differences in a non-threatening environment. Students were given a chance to learn more about other students’ heritages as well as develop pride in their own. As a result, students can become more knowledgeable, more understanding, and more tolerant with one another. Ms. Todd’s play was a stand-out among our many activities held during Peace Week. With its extremely humourous reminiscences of the past, it is a great way to open the doors of cultural communication for the future.

Sincerely,

Gina Chan, School Counsellor

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