On December 13th, as part of their annual holiday social, the UBC Classroom Services team joined ESL learners in a first ever, festive carol sing-a-long, at the Learning Exchange. While the team brought seasonal goodies to enjoy as part of the get-together, it was their good cheer and willingness to meet new people—just beginning to learn English—that really struck a note. After only a few songs the ice was broken and the room was filled with conversation. By the end there were even some hugs shared, reminding all that strangers are friends we have yet to meet.
The UBC Classroom Services team also pooled their resources together to make a generous contribution of art supplies—easels and charcoal—for a new drawing workshop for residents in the Downtown Eastside. The workshop will be co-facilitated by Pedro (pictured, first row, 4th from the left), a volunteer with the ESL Program and a newcomer to Canada, and Laura (not pictured), a UBC Anthropology student. In the spring of 2012, staff from Classroom Services and Pedro plan to connect back to hear how the drawing workshop went.