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News Release
Indigenous Dedication of Building and Land Held for VITA Elementary School, Featuring Local Tribal, Civic, and District Leaders - 09/21/23

Indigenous Dedication of Building and Land Held for VITA Elementary School, Featuring Local Tribal, Civic, and District Leaders

Project-Based Learning School Now Open in Vancouver

For immediate release

September 21, 2023 - Vancouver, WA - Vancouver Innovation, Technology, and Arts Elementary School (VITA, for short) is now open to students and an Indigenous Dedication of the building and land was held on Wednesday, September 20th at 1:30 p.m.  The dedication honored the Indigenous People of the land on which the school is built and was led by Sam Robinson of the Chinook Nation.

Sam taught a Chinook song, did some drumming, and spoke about the history of the land.  VITA students will also be learning about related topics so the event’s themes and history will be part of the lesson plan in the classroom.  Students and attendees also learned more about the Confluence Project, an ongoing educational effort celebrating the coming together of multiple cultures along the Columbia River. 

Arts Block teachers Erik Smith and Wendy Thompson will be leading an integrated arts project that explores how Indigenous artists represent culture and community in the arts. The students will then create their own community art to be presented on Indigenous Peoples' Day in October along with guests from the Traveling Day Society Drumming Group.

From the City of Vancouver, Mayor Ann McEnerny-Ogle and Mayor Pro Tem Ty Stober were in attendance, along with Stacey Donovan, Cultural Services Manager, Vancouver Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeff Snell, and other VPS administrators and teachers.  Of course, the event also featured VITA students.

About VITA Elementary

VITA is a K-5 project-based learning school with a focus on innovation, technology, arts and the development of downtown community partnerships that enhance student learning. Students will develop 21st-century learning skills: critical thinking, collaboration, creativity, innovation and communication. It is one of two new Elementary Choice schools that opened in Vancouver Public Schools for the 2023-24 school year.


Video footage is available here: 



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