Cisco Commemorates Canada 150 with Fundraising Initiative to Help Grow Connected North Program
“The Next 150” aims to generate $300,000 by the end of 2017 to expand the reach of the award-winning program
Digital Business, Cisco Canada, Education, Smart and Connected Communities, Collaborations
TORONTO – As Canada commemorates its monumental 150th anniversary of Confederation, Cisco Canada today announced that it is taking a forward-looking approach and setting out to shape The Next 150 years in our country’s history by establishing a lasting digital legacy that will directly impact future generations of Indigenous peoples in Canada. In support of the groundbreaking Connected North program, Cisco Canada is setting out to generate $300,000 to help expand the scope and breadth of the program, with the goal of further fostering student engagement, building confidence and promoting positive mental health and wellness outcomes in remote Indigenous communities.
Building on the initiatives leading up to Canada’s 150th anniversary, The Next 150 campaign will also serve a parallel purpose in helping to accelerate the growth of Connected North and ensure that it continues to be a link for Indigenous communities across Canada to unique educational and health and wellness opportunities, co-developed in collaboration with schools and communities, and grounded in Indigenous knowledge and culture.
“This program is a breakthrough in Canada as a powerful means to reach schools in remote communities with resources otherwise unavailable and to strengthen resilience in students,” said Willa Black, Corporate Affairs Director, Cisco Canada. “It truly is a new digital model for learning, training, and capacity building in the North; more than just a network to deliver 21st century learning opportunities, it is a network of hope.”
“We are grateful for the opportunity to work together in partnership with community leaders, teachers, elders, and students from the Yukon to Nunavut,” said Jennifer Corriero, Executive Director, TakingITGlobal. “Their support and collaboration keeps us all focused on what is most important - creating opportunities for students to develop their talents, and realize their dreams, hopes and aspirations for the future.”
“We were very fortunate to be among the first schools to join the Connected North network and enable the students and teachers of Mine Centre School to experience the benefits first-hand; it’s truly outstanding to see the program continue to mature across the country,” said Heather Campbell, Director of Education, Rainy River District School Board. “Reaching the goal of this campaign will have a huge impact on expanding the range of opportunities available to our students – helping them to share and celebrate their culture, as well as take control of their learning journeys.”
Originally launched in 2014 by Cisco Canada and now led by TakingITGlobal (TIG), Connected North uses Cisco TelePresence videoconferencing to link students in remote Indigenous communities to a range of virtual education and youth mental health promotion, virtual field trips, educators, Indigenous mentors, and peers across the country. The program, which recently celebrated its expansion into a Toronto-District School Board (TDSB) school for the first time this past May, will grow to a total of 30 schools this Fall.
Due to the unique curriculum requirements of the program and the high demand for adoption in schools across the country, Cisco Canada is uniquely positioned to lead the charge in helping TIG to generate the necessary funds to grow the Connected North program and continue to add robust content digital offerings and experiences across the Connected North platform. Collectively with TIG, the end-goal is to build capacity in the schools to help move them to sustainability, and bring this new model for real-time, experiential learning to the many communities that are eager to join the network.
To learn more about the initiative or to donate towards the cause, please visit the dedicated The Next 150 campaign page here.
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TakingITGlobal is a Toronto based charitable organization founded in 1999 that designs and delivers community based youth engagement programs that leverage the power of technology and creativity to enhance engagement in learning and in life.