Vancouver students climb highest African mountain

vancouver-students-Mt.-Kilimanjaro

Vancouver Streetfront students on the summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in March, 2015
Photo courtesy of Streetfront Alternative Education Program

Vancouver students climb highest African mountain
Adapted from cbc.ca by Nancy Carson
Level 3

Some students in East Vancouver
are in a special school at Britannia Secondary School.
This school is called Streetfront.
Students take classes in math, science,
Social Studies and English.

They also go camping and hiking.
They must be in a running program.
Every year students train for two big races.
In November, they run a race in Seattle.
In May they run a race in Vancouver.

A marathon
A marathon is a long-distance run.
Runners complete 42.195 kilometres.
Most men complete this race
in about 4 hours 30 minutes.
Most women finish the marathon
in about five hours and ten minutes.
For the past fourteen years,
Streetfront students have run
more than 125 full marathons,
and 30 half marathons.

Streetfront students often go hiking Photo courtesy of Streetfront

Streetfront students often go hiking.
Photo courtesy of Streetfront Alternative Education Program

Street2Peak (S2P)
Trevor Stokes is a teacher at Streetfront.
He wanted a new goal
for his students.
He wanted the world to notice.
Andrew Schofield, Britannia’s former Vice-Principal,
had an idea.
Schofield is originally from South Africa.
He said the students could go to Africa.
They could climb Mt. Kilimanjaro!

Kilimanjaro
This mountain is in the country of Tanzania.
Tanzania is in East Africa.
Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa.
This climb would be a new kind of marathon.
The Street2Peak project (S2P) was born!

Map of Tanzania in east Africa, showing Mt. Kilimanjaro/ by ed-web3.educ.msu.edu

Map of Tanzania in east Africa, showing Mt. Kilimanjaro Map by ed-web3.educ.msu.edu

The climb
Mt. Kilimanjaro is 5,895 metres above sea level.
It is very cold near the top.
Sometimes there are high winds.
The climb can be difficult and dangerous.
All climbers will be uncomfortable.
Most climbers will be short of breath.
They can have headaches.
Or they can feel sick.
Some will have all of these conditions.

Elephants go back to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro/ https://flic.kr/p/pzFnmb/  Photo by Diana Robinson/CC, Flickr

Elephants go back to the foothills of Mt. Kilimanjaro./ https://flic.kr/p/pzFnmb/
Photo by Diana Robinson/CC, Flickr

Getting to Africa
How do you prepare for a trip like this?
For over a year, students and volunteers
raised over $100,000.
The cost for this trip was $5,400 for each student.
The cost was $130,000 for the entire group.
The youths trained very hard.
They ran long distances.
They hiked on Vancouver-area mountains.

Street2Peak participants trained to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with long-distance runs and hikes on Vancouver-area mountains.  Photo by Barry Skillin/VSB

Street2Peak participants trained to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro with long-distance runs and hikes on Vancouver-area mountains.
Photo by Barry Skillin/VSB

Streetfront students
Most Streetfront students live
in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
And many live in poverty.
With this trip, they would see the world.
They can share their stories
of struggle and success with others.
They can share their pride
with other students in B.C.
They can become future leaders.

Street2Peak group and supporters at the Vancouver Airport, ready to leave. Photo by Barry Skillin/VSB

Street2Peak group and supporters at the Vancouver Airport, ready to leave.
Photo by Barry Skillin/VSB

Off to Africa
In March 2015, the group of 15 students
and 10 adult supervisors left Vancouver.
Two days later, they began their special marathon.
They climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro!
Later, in Serengeti National Park, they met
local people and saw Africa’s famous animals.
Two weeks later, they returned to Vancouver.

Streetfront students toured Serengeti National Park in Tanzania Photo courtesy of Streetfront

Streetfront students toured Serengeti National Park in Tanzania.
Photo courtesy of Streetfront Alternative Education Program

A life lesson
What did the S2P students learn?
This was the first Canadian school group
to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro.
Stokes wants student to learn:
It doesn’t matter where you come from.
It matters where you go.
There are many more S2P trips planned.

***Map of Africa showing Tanzania on the east coast Map by GMS 6th Grade Social Studies

Map of Africa showing Tanzania on the east coast
Map by GMS 6th Grade Social Studies

Slideshow of the Mt. Kilimanjaro climb:

Vocabulary:

  1. marathon: a long-distance running race; an event or activity that lasts an extremely long time or that is very difficult or tiring.
    Our meeting turned out to be a marathon.
  2. peak: the pointed top of a mountain; the highest or most important point or level.
    The traffic is at its peak at 5:00 p.m.

Links:

  1. Vancouver School Boards’s Streetfront Program
  2. Street2Peak students conquer Mt. Kilimanjaro
  3. Street2Peak project
  4. Read about the oldest couple to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro
  5. Vancouver Marathon

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