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General News · 28th July 2022
Kiera Tsakonas
Cortes Island Academy Update

On behalf of the Cortes Island Community Foundation, thank you Cortes Island! It is with a great deal of appreciation (and relief) that we announce that the Cortes Island Academy (CIA) has achieved our fundraising goals for the 2022-2023 pilot year of our program. This success was thanks to a grant from the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, a partnership with the Cortes Island Radio Station, the Mark Torrance Foundation, School District 72, and numerous donations from people who believe in the importance of diversity and innovation in education on Cortes Island. It was really touching to see how many neighbours gave to this project, from $50 to $10,000. It all made a difference and we met our goals! Because of this we are able to pay our local facilitators and administrators and cover all those other associated costs like insurance, renting boats and paying honorariums.

We have finalized the dates for our program, which will run from September 7th 2022, to February 1st 2023, with winter break and holidays. During this time there will be almost 20 teenagers on the island taking part in the program. These teenagers come from as far away as Germany, Indonesia, and Edmonton but most come from the surrounding islands: Cortes, Quadra, Reed, Sonora, and Vancouver Island. We even have a couple mainlanders! We are working with PYE global and Peggy Taylor to create a Power of Hope informed approach to help ensure that while the students are having a powerful academic experience they are also being nurtured as individuals.

Our semester is divided into four blocks and guided by the themes: Our Oceans & Elevating Youth Voices. The four blocks and facilitators for each block will be: Outdoor Adventure Leadership facilitated by Kai Harvey and Tosh Harvey. The second block will be: Our Oceans Aquaculture and Stewardship facilitated by Savanna Jaye, Sarrah Claman and Kiera Tsakonas. The third block will be: Creative Tools for Truth Telling, facilitated by Manda Aufochs Gillespie with support from Odette Auger, Rex Weyler, Cortes radio station staff and numerous other guests. The fourth and final block will be Film Making with Reel Youth, facilitated by Mark Vonesch and Erica Kohn.

The Cortes Island Academy is special because this place and the people that live in this place are special. We are thrilled to be able to create a truly unique, place and project-based educational experience. Throughout the semester there will be opportunities for you to meet up with students, play together on the soccer field or pickleball court, and to come interact with their projects. We will do our best to keep you updated as to what is happening. You can also visit us on Facebook and Instagram at: cortesislandacademy

Thank you for helping make truly exceptional education possible on Cortes Island.

Call to Action!

We are still looking for Homestay parents, adults to provide respite to the homestay parents, housing for families coming with their students (and a facilitator) coming for some or part of the 5 months of the Cortes Island Academy. Homestays will be needed for 10 to 20 weeks, starting September 6th, 2022 or November 14th, 2022 to February 1st 2023. As a homestay parent you will receive compensation from $700-$900 a month depending on whether you have a part-time or full-time student. If flexibility around travel off island and holidays are a barrier for your participation as a homestay parent please contact us, we have host “parents” willing to provide respite for these instances.

Click here to learn more about the Cortes Island Community Foundation:

Click here to learn more about the Cortes Island Academy: