Past CAP Projects

Community Action Projects (CAP) are conducted by sixth year post-baccalaureate degree students in VIU’s Education program.  CAP’s are designed to respond to a tangible and valuable need or desire within schools and/or local communities.  You can browse projects from past years at the links below

CAP-ECAP Summaries 2014-2016


COWICHAN – The Hub Library

CAP Question: What can we do to create a community library at Cowichan                                                      Station’s HUB and inform the community of the availability of the books?

CAP: Initiate and communicate information about the library at the HUB                                                                    at Cowichan Station

Rationale: To promote literacy and build a sense of community

Link to Cowichan News Leader bulletin:

LADYSMITH – Wet Paint – A West Coast Youth Community Project

CAP Question: What can we do to improve and promote community spirit and enhance the appearance of the community mural in Ladysmith?

CAP: Help build community connection and engagement by repainting the Ladysmith Community Hall mural (Frank Jameson Community Center, Ladysmith).

Rationale: Promotes group building and community involvement by creating community spirit and connectivity by creating a community event and by improving the appearance of the community.

Link to Wet Paint Weebly and Video:

NANAIMO – Children of the Woods – “Wonder without Walls”

CAP Question: How can we promote nature education and play within our community?

CAP: Tackling Nature Deficit within our Nanaimo community – in partnership with the Boys and Girls Club.

Rationale: Nature deficit is becoming a problem in today’s society and is an activity that can be done with any budget, connecting with the Boys and Girls Club, and provide an essential service they may not have the resources to do otherwise.

Link to Wonder without Walls weebly:

NANAIMO – Community Outreach Day

CAP Question: How can we help to increase awareness about homelessness and poverty issues within Nanaimo and directly help those who need support?

CAP: Helping the homeless of Nanaimo through a collaborative “street store” event in partnership with a group of social work students.

Rationale: We are continuing to hear about the shockingly high statistics of poverty and homelessness at our local level. We feel this is a crucial areas that demands focus and attention and any way we can help out will be well worth it.

NANAIMO – Planning an Outdoor Education Area at Departure Bay Elementary School

CAP Question: How can we help support Departure Bay’s Eco-school initiative by utilizing an existing outdoor play area that encourages outdoor education, play, and community?

CAP: To share our ideas with the principal of Departure Bay Elementary in the form of a plan, so discussion can begin as to which features may be feasible to implement.

Rationale: Departure Bay Elementary is an Eco-School. Enhancing the primary play area so that it invites students to play in an outdoor setting, with eco-friendly features, will support the school’s eco-vision while being on display for the community to see and enjoy.

Link to Outdoor Education weebly:

NANAIMO – Project Butterfly

CAP Question: How can we assist the organizations at the Boys and Girls Club reach their goals of creating a new library and re-decorating their interior space?

CAP: Assist with the renovation of the Girls and Boys Club in Nanaimo

Rationale: The building owned by the Girls and Boys Club on Fifth Street now houses four community groups: The Girls and Boys Club, Nanaimo Aboriginal Centre, Nesi’ka Kum’tuks Elementary, and the Mid-Island Metis Nation. The center will re-configure a storage cupboard to become a Vancouver Island Regional Library in-house library. The centre already plays a key role in the community. The leadership team is looking to increase community outreach and introduce new ways to support student learning across all ages and is beginning to make the building more aesthetically pleasing and inviting place to be…. Much of the work that has already been done has been by volunteers and they would welcome our input, ideas and enthusiasm to work with them in co-creating the community space they desire for their groups.

NANAIMO – Community Bike Drive

CAP: Refurbish bikes – in collaboration with Oak Bay Bicycle shop – and donate them to John Barsby Community School – Operation Generation Bike Club – in Nanaimo

Rationale: We have a few avid cyclists in our group and connections to Oak Bay Bicycles in Nanaimo and to John Barsby’s bike program. There is a big need for refurbished bikes; Many youth just don’t have the money for bus passes and in some cases, bikes are the only way for them to get around. Operation Generation relies on community volunteers who work with students to repair donated bikes. In exchange for their volunteer time, high school students get a free bike, helmet, bike lock and lights

VIU New Release:

Link to Community Bike Drive Video:


NANAIMO – Strengthening the Roots of Foodshare’s Community Roots Gardens

CAP Question: How can we strengthen Community Garden initiatives at Fairview School and Foodshare?

CAP: Work with both Fairview Elementary School and Foodshare in Nanaimo to help bring awareness and expand existing Community Garden initiatives.

Rationale: Fairview Elementary expressed an interest for us to help bring awareness and expand their Community Garden initiative. The initial interest was sparked by an existing need at a school/community level.


NANAIMO – Bottle Drive for the Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Youth Safe House

CAP Question: How can we help to raise funds and awareness (without asking for cash) for Tillicum Lelum Aboriginal Youth Safe House?

CAP: Initiate a bottle drive

Rationale: British Columbia – and Nanaimo in particular – have very high poverty rates. By spearheading a bottle drive we help to raise awareness and funding for Nanaimo’s Youth Safe House – without asking for cash. A bottle drive also helps the environment.

OUT OF REGION – The S.S. P.B. Mentorship: Students Offering Support

CAP Question: What can we do to create a greater sense of community in the Post Bacc. Program and set up the year 5 students for success?

CAP: Provide Year 5 PB students at VIU (Faculty of Education) with relevant support and guidance – that we feel would have been beneficial as year 5 students.

Rationale: We hope to provide ongoing peer-support through the entire year; especially provide a stronger sense of community within the program with the hopes that this endeavour will benefit all those involved.

*OUT OF REGION – Teaching Food for Thought

CAP Question: How can we, as educators from around British Columbia, promote healthy eating and wellness for our students and our community?

CAP: Create Weebly Website for Educational Resources for Student Nutrition. Our website will help teachers meet the needs of Health and Career Education, K to 7 which is designed to help students maintain, reinforce, and develop skills and attitudes that enhance personal well-being throughout their lives and prepare them to deal with a world of complex, ongoing change. This curriculum recognizes the inter-related areas of intellectual, human/social, and career development in creating healthy & active citizens.

* Refer to page 6 (2015) for ongoing CAP contribution

Rationale: Eating a balanced, whole food based diet improves our quality of life in almost every imaginable way! When we consume multiple nutrients across all of the food groups and avoid harmful ingredients we allow our nervous system, including our brain, to function at its best.  When our nervous system is in top notch shape we benefit because this system influences how we feel, how we think, how we look and how well we do things. Before we can compel youth to care about what they put in their mouths we must understand and believe in the connection between diet, nervous system health and quality of life.

Link to Nutrition Weebly:

Other CAP Project: Poverty in the Classroom (CAMPBELL RIVER)


COWICHAN – KidSport – “So all kids can play

CAP Question: How can we help increase awareness of Kid Sport Cowichan and promote the services they have developed for children of the CVRD?

CAP: Promote and support Kid Sport Cowichan – “So All Kids Can Play”

Rationale: Without the support and work of Kid Sport Cowichan, children of the CVRD might not otherwise be able to participate in sports. Sport and physical activity provide invaluable opportunities for kids to learn teamwork, fair play, dedication, and perseverance. Staying physically active encourages children to develop and maintain healthy lifestyles in their lives.

CHEMANIUS – Reclaiming History through Story & Art

CAP Question: What is something in a student’s past, in their family background, or their country’s background, that has been lost?

CAP: Reclaim history through Story and Art; Create a resource with a First Nations’ focus on recreating memory. Re-create the image of the old Big Dance House at the Halalt First Nation through drawing.

Rationale: The Halalt First Nation’s history is rarely heard of outside of other First Nation communities in the Cowichan Valley.

NANAIMO – Take Me Outside Nanaimo

CAP Question: How can we promote healthy living in Nanaimo?

CAP: Create website & poster campaign promoting a localized version of Take Me Outside Day 2015

Rationale: Students are spending less and less time outside. We want to promote healthy living using Take Me Outside Day as a jumping off point. We will provide local Nanaimo activities but also resources so that anyone can find ideas for spending more time outside rather than in the classroom.

Take Me Outside Weebly Link:

NANAIMO – Our Heritage Garden (at Fairview Elementary School)

CAP: The main goal of Our Heritage Garden was to create something which will allow students to experience Aboriginal culture in an outdoor setting. Each member of our group was assigned a task to complete for the project in addition to creating the garden together collaboratively. Together, we created a garden at Fairview Elementary School which has a variety of indigenous plants to Vancouver Island.

Heritage Garden Weebly Link:

NANAIMO – Being You – Inclusive Classrooms

CAP Question: What tool can we create to help all members of the classroom feel included in a discussion on diversity?

CAP: Create a short documentary on the theme of Diversity.

Rationale: To provide a tool to open discussion on diversity in the classroom with the goal

Link to Documentary: 

NANAIMO – OAK: the Outdoor Education Kit

CAP Question: How can we combine classroom experience with the natural world to help students forge a meaningful connection to the outdoors while addressing the rising issue of Nature Deficit Disorder?

CAP: Creation of a portable O.A.K (Outdoor Action Kit) classroom, at minimal cost using (as much as possible) recycled and/or repurposed materials.

Rationale: Students spend too much time indoors, disconnected from the natural environment. The O.A.K will allow teachers to conduct their classes outdoors (topic & weather permitting).

NANAIMO – Covered Head to Toe

CAP: Collect donations of clothing and footwear from the community of Nanaimo and equally distributing the collections to six different schools, including Fairview Elementary, Brechin Elementary, Park Avenue Elementary, Georgia Elementary, Bayview Elementary, & Nanaimo District Secondary School

Rationale: 1 in 5 children in Nanaimo are impacted by poverty. When we first started this Community Action Project (CAP) we quickly discovered the need that schools have for supporting students with new or gently used clothing for all ages. According to the 2014 Child Poverty Report Card, British Columbia’s Child poverty rate has increased from 15.5% to 20.6% in the last 23 years, putting it above the national average. Considering the increase in these rates, it came to our attention that awareness needs to be brought to this issue in a way that we can each make a contribution towards change

Link to Covered Head to Toe Weebly:

NANAIMO – After School Fall Fun

CAP Question: How can we build community through healthy lifestyle practices using nutrition & sports?

CAP: Fall Fun Day – After school activities, games, and healthy snacks at Georgia Avenue School

Rationale: Poverty is very high in B.C.; Nanaimo is the highest level of poverty and at-risk students. Harewood Schools may have inequitable access to resources and recreational activities. This CAP project will create opportunities for at-risk learners for healthy choice activities to do after school.

 NANAIMO – Teacher S.H.A.R.E

CAP Question: How can we provide the education community with resources that will increase productivity and reduce time spent on lesson planning?

CAP: Create a Teacher S.H.A.R.E website

Rationale: Lesson planning is time consuming. With this website it can provide the Education Program Community with a quality-one stop shop-resource based website to aid in lesson planning while on practicum and in the future (after graduation)

Link to Website:


CAP Question: How can we ensure that young children get nutritious breakfasts if they are not provided at home?

CAP: Create a Breakfast Program at Oceanside Elementary in Parksville

Rationale: The PAC at Oceanside Elementary has wanted such a program because many students come to school hungry.

OUT OF REGION – The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup

CAP Question: How can we promote environmental consciousness and stewardship within our learning communities?

CAP: VIU campus Clean Up & Challenge to others

Rationale: We (humans) are inextricably interconnected with the world’s ocean(s). By promoting a campus clean-up we hope to raise awareness of human impacts on natural systems, while encouraging others to consider joining the GCSC (Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup).


*OUT OF REGION – Creating Community: A Healthy Relationships Resource

CAP Question: How do we promote, support, and model healthy relationships inside the classroom and out in the community?

CAP: Create a healthy living website resource, spotlighting healthy relationships.

* Refer to page 3 (2014) for initial CAP contribution

Rationale: This website will compliment an existing CAP resource created last year which focused on healthy eating. Our hope is with this website we can encourage others in the future to add to these healthy living website series.

OUT OF REGION – Wellness Workshops

CAP Question: What can we do to promote wellness for VIU’s High School students?

CAP: Develop effective Stress Reduction strategies for VIU’s High School students.

Rationale: The principal of VIU’s High School identified Mental Wellness as a focus for the international students (in response to language, location, culture, loneliness). Many students feel stressed during their high school years – and the international students at VIU in particular – and it is important for them to learn effective stress reduction techniques.


CAP Question: How can we inform and engage the general population (with a focus on youth) to cast a vote in upcoming elections?

CAP: Y.O.V.O. (You Only Vote Once) campaign at VIU. Website and face-to-face presence on campus. The Y.O.V.O. initiative seeks to inform participants about political parties and local candidates, and provides information about how youth can register to vote.

Rationale: Youth voting in previous elections has been alarmingly low. This has seemingly set the trend that the less young people vote, the less political parties reach to them meaning that this particular demographic is becoming disengaged. We want teens to become involved in politics and to peak their curiosity and instill a will in them to vote.

Link to Y.O.Y.O weebly:

Link to VIU press coverage:




CHEMANIUS – Chemanius Community School: Sustainable Breakfast Program

ECAP Question: How can we support the CCSA (Chemanius Community School Association) to promote food security and healthy eating in a sustainable way?

ECAP: Support CCSA food program with additional ideas, resources, and volunteering in order to enhance the organization’s success and longevity.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: CCSA supports students who may arrive at school without breakfast or lunch. They have expressed the need for more volunteers and resources so we decided to get involved and do our best to support them.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Eradicate poverty as an ethical, social, and environmental imperative; Guarantee food security – sustainable livelihood.

*NANAIMO – Deepening Community and Cultural Understanding

ECAP Question: How can we provide opportunities for families to deepen their cultural understanding and sense of community?

ECAP: Lead the Nanaimo Aboriginal Center’s family nights, with each session having a focus on cultural relevance, early literacy skills, and building/fostering community.

*Spring 2017: Former CAP member(s) continue to volunteer at Nanaimo Aboriginal Center and recommend this location as an ongoing CAP project. If interested contact Ivy Richardson (irichardson@nanaimoaboriginal and/or Kairis Gingerysty (

Community Relevancy/Rationale: We learned that the Nanaimo Aboriginal Center was looking for students to lead their family nights. A large population in Nanaimo is First Nations and it is important to provide culturally relevant opportunities that bring people together.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Respect and care for the community of life in all its diversity– 3a/b

NANAIMO – Composting at Seaview Elementary

ECAP Question: How can we promote leadership and environmental awareness through the implementation of a composting program in a school community?

ECAP: Establish a Composting program at Seaview Elementary School, Nanaimo.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: Seaview Elementary is excited for the opportunity to have a composting program at the classroom level to promote sustainable practices and community building.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Respect and Care for the Community of Life; Transmit values to future generations, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle; 7a

NANAIMO – A Cleaner Future

ECAP Question: How can we increase student awareness and educate our local community about the impact that littering can have on our oceans and beaches?

ECAP: Great Canadian Shoreline Beach clean-up at one of Nanaimo’s many beaches.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: As we live on Vancouver Island it is of great importance that our young people recognize that keeping our beaches and oceans clean is everyone’s responsibility and everyone should so their part to help.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Care for Community of Life with understanding, compassion, and love.

NANAIMO – Butts on the Beach

ECAP Question: How can we involve area/community experts and the city of Nanaimo in an effort to reduce litter on an ongoing basis?

ECAP: Work at Departure Bay Eco-School to create signage for the beach related to cigarette litter; Student designed and researched signs that educate the local community about the effects of cigarette litter at Departure Bay Beach.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: This was an identified issue directly from the local community & school.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Strengthen local communities, enabling them to care for their environments, and assign environmental responsibilities to levels of government where they can be carried out effectively. “Strengthen community” by empowering students through an issue they are interested in.

NANAIMO – Sex Ed Survival Guide

ECAP Question: How can we promote, encourage, & educate youth about sexual health effectively and safely?

ECAP: Create a Sex Ed Survival Guide for teachers in an EBook format.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: It is very important to educate students on sexual health, their bodies, and all differentiations that occur.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Acceptance and knowledge surrounding sexual health for all students; Eliminate discrimination in all its forms, such as that based on race, color, sex, sexual orientation, religion, language, and national, ethnic, or social origin; …. Ensure universal access to education, health care….

NANAIMO – The Most Magnificent Thing

ECAP Question: How can we promote alternate view of garbage and show its potential?

ECAP: Develop a workshop on Environmental Stewardship: Recycling Awareness workshop for a grade 3 class at Cole Tyee Elementary school (Mr. Deger’s class).

Community Relevancy/Rationale: This workshop is relevant to the BC Education Plan principles. Sustainability is particularly important as we are on an island.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations; Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth’s human and ecological communities.

NANAIMO – Glean up Your School

ECAP Question: How can we create a sense of community through the selling and sharing of produce? How can we model the importance of nature and sustainability as part of our school system? How can we use a “free” food source to feed/provide funds for Forest Park Elementary?

ECAP: “Glean up Your School” – Create an everlasting connection between Forest Part Elementary and Nanaimo FoodShare operation; Food sustainability with help of “Gleaners”!

Community Relevancy/Rationale: To provide produce to Forest Park Elementary – a needs-based school/students – and promote awareness of food sustainability. Without sustainability, the Earth will run out of resources and many humans will not be able to survive.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Secure earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations.

 NANAIMO – Team MAD (Make a Difference)

ECAP Question: How can we bring awareness on protecting the environment?

ECAP: Introduce Mrs. Sen’s grade 2 class (Fairview Elementary School) to the water and environment unit they will be working on through the year. Educate about and promote the importance of keeping our environment clean & healthy.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: This grade 2 class is partaking in a year-long unit learning about water and environmental responsibility/action/care. They have started a class-wide recycling and composting program.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Provide all, especially children and youth, with educational opportunities that empower them to contribute actively to sustainable development; Prevent harm as the best method of environmental protection and, when knowledge is limited, apply a precautionary approach; Prevent pollution of any part of the environment and allow no build-up of radioactive, toxic, or other hazardous substances.

NANAIMO – Outdoor Classroom Day

ECAP Question: How can we build on the school garden and environmental initiatives already in place at Frank J Ney Elementary school and surrounding area?

ECAP: “Outdoor Classroom Day”: Enhance the biodiversity in an area of the city of Nanaimo park land and adjacent elementary school property (Frank J Ney Elementary) by adding food plants (donated by West Coast Seeds) to the school’s community garden and doing restoration work on the creek that runs behind the property.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: Frank J Ney Elementary school had previously established a school garden (in 2015). The principal confirmed that they wanted to continue to develop their learning about the garden and surrounding forest/stream.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Recognize that freedom of action of each generation is qualified by the needs of future generations; Empower every human being with the education and resources to secure a sustainable livelihood, and provide social security and safety nets for those unable to support themselves.

 QUALICUM – Breaking Barriers to Composting

ECAP Question: How can we accommodate the education of composting and environmental responsibility in order to promote sustainable practices in our schools?

ECAP: Promote composting awareness and education in our schools (sd69). Continue efforts at Arrowview School; Secure a collection partner to assist schools with disposing of collected compost; Develop a resource for District Resource Center.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: Currently, there seems to be a lack of composting in our schools, yet we are required to do so in our homes. We feel that there is a clear opportunity to take initiative towards its promotion.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Respect Earth and life in all its diversity; Integrate into formal education and life-long learning the knowledge, values, and skills needed for a sustainable way of life… (et al) Sustainability in local communities; Present & future generations


ECAP Question: How can we inform and inspire citizens of the Comox Valley about the variety of opportunities to live sustainably, participate in the Earth Charter values and make a difference in the community and beyond?

ECAP: Design a website for the CV GRID – Sustainable Living in the Comox Valley. Offer links to a variety of organizations and individuals that serve to inform and inspire citizens of the Comox Valley to sustainable ways of being.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: There are many organizations and people in the CV that promote sustainable living but are not well known or publicized. Our target audience is those new to the Comox Valley and those wishing to find more ways of living and participating in a local, sustainable community.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Our ECAP website represents ALL principles.

PORT ALBERNI – A Case for Natural Play

ECAP Question: How can we reconnect children with nature to create meaningful learning and natural play-based opportunities?

ECAP: Website Design: Natural playground benefits; Why and How to support community members’ goal of creating a natural playground/outdoor learning area. The website will document the process and provide all relevant information for other districts/communities to implement a natural playground.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: Our project is a response to reading “The Last Child in the Woods” book. It is important to reconnect children with nature so they have the connection and are more likely to pass it onto the next generation. People are more likely to value the things they are connected to.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Secure Earth’s bounty and beauty for present and future generations; Transmit to future generations values, traditions, and institutions that support the long-term flourishing of Earth’s human and ecological communities.

 OUT OF REGION – Welcoming Newcomers to our Communities

ECAP Question: What resources are available to refugees, their families, and the schools responsible to support their rights to inclusion and successful learning?

ECAP: Provide support and resources for refugees in our classrooms; Support for students and their families; adaptations in schools/district.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: In our future classrooms we will have students from many different backgrounds; some of them refugees. We will gather knowledge and resources to support these students and share our knowledge with others.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Ensure that communities at all levels guarantee human rights and fundamental freedoms and provide everyone an opportunity to realize his or her potential; Promote a culture of tolerance, nonviolence and peace; Encourage and support mutual understanding, solidarity, and cooperation among all peoples and among all nations.

OUT OF REGION – Human Trafficking both Local and Global

ECAP Question: How can we assist current and future educators to increase awareness of human trafficking, and promote understanding of the effects of this crime on both a global and local level, using a variety of resources?

ECAP: Human Trafficking both Global and Local – Film night for educators to provide understanding of the problem, and ideas/resources for how they can bring this into their classrooms.

Community Relevancy/Rationale: This topic is relevant to everyone in order to understand the horrors of modern slavery and hos this is now an incredibly important global issue and devastating from of transnational crime. However, we also want students to understand that is also a local problem right here in BC, and that it does have an impact on the lives of Canadians. Furthermore, as a majority of the PLP group are going to be working in rural communities we would like to tie in the idea of internet safety and the dangers of trafficking within our country. This links to aspects such as the ‘Highway of Tears”.

Related Earth Charter Principe(s): Treat all living beings with respect and consideration; Uphold the rights of all, without discrimination, to a natural and social environment supportive of human dignity, bodily health, and spiritual well-being, with attention to the rights of Indigenous peoples and minorities.