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Eye on Education: FACES Education

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Written by Superintendent Darryl Seguin
Reprinted with permission of The Lethbridge Herald

I began working with Livingstone Range School Division (LRSD) as the G.R. Davis school principal in 2005. It was a growing experience for my family as I was learning the ins and outs of a new school division, my wife was working on her degree at the University of Lethbridge and my boys, in grades two, four, and six, were missing old friends, making new ones, and enjoying having extended family a lot closer. The staff at G.R. Davis was very welcoming to myself and my family. My children especially enjoyed the staff family Christmas parties, playing basketball in the gym, and singing Christmas carols in the library with music teacher Rick Bullock. Fast forward to the summer of 2011 and, although I was no longer at G.R. Davis school, I would once again have a child singing with Rick Bullock, this time sitting around a campfire at FACES (Facilitating Awareness and Character-building Experiences for Students).

FACES is a for-credit, locally developed high school course that was created by Bullock with the support of LRSD in 2000. In 2008 Dave Orr joined Bullock as co-owner of FACES Education. Filled with adventurous outdoor activities, such as canoeing and rock climbing, together with intuitive and introspective personal growth opportunities for students, this unique summer camp program has grown significantly, evolving from one summer session with 24 LRSD students to multiple summer sessions involving more than 400 students from all across Alberta.  On their website: you will find the FACES mission statement, which says:

“FACES creates an opportunity for students to explore a new and exciting world. This new world is created as they are challenged to see themselves and their situations with new eyes, and with changed hearts. FACES is an experiential opportunity for students to discover their inherent and infinite personal worth. It is also filled with opportunities to grow their personal power.”

In both my professional life at LRSD and my personal life as a parent of two FACES students, I can say with great confidence that Bullock and Orr, along with the LRSD FACES principal, many highly trained and qualified session leaders, counsellors and returning student leaders work very hard each year to successfully fulfill the design of this mission statement. 

Sadly, due to COVID, FACES was cancelled for 2020, however, we are very pleased to announce that summer 2021 FACES will be up and running once again. It will look a little different than in the past following a three-phase approach dependent on the government health restrictions at the time of each session. Phase one will be primarily online with students doing meaningful outdoor activities with family. Phase two will blend online activities with two outdoor daytime adventures, and phase three will be an in-person, overnight session with daily outdoor activities and course projects.  As with all FACES programming, safety will be of paramount importance. Sessions this year will be six days long and will run from July 5 – August 27. Registration for LRSD students begins March 29, 2021 and opens for all Alberta Students on April 12, 2021.  

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