Ashoka Canada announces first Changemaker Schools

Story bubbles on world map
Source: Ashoka

Ashoka Canada is thrilled to name Rose Avenue Public School and The Mabin School as the first Changemaker Schools in Canada.

The Ashoka Changemaker Schools designation recognizes schools that do an outstanding job of cultivating empathy, teamwork, leadership and problem solving in kids. Changemaker Schools are continually innovating and influencing their surrounding community. And the schools are led by a team of entrepreneurial leaders who enable a school culture where all students see themselves as changemakers.

Ashoka is an international community of leading social entrepreneurs, including two Nobel Laureates, whose systems-changing new ideas are fostering a world where everyone can be a changemaker. A changemaker is someone who is improving lives in their communities, schools, cities and countries and inspiring communities to also create positive change.

Ashoka was started in India in 1981 by Bill Drayton. The organization is named in honour of Ashoka, the great Indian leader who unified the Indian subcontinent in the 3rd century BC. He renounced violence and dedicated his life to social welfare and economic development. For his creativity, global mindedness and tolerance, Ashoka is recognized as the earliest example of a social innovator.

The Mabin School and Rose Avenue PS are the first schools in Canada to receive Ashoka’s designation as Changemaker Schools. The honour recognizes both schools’ work to teach students the skills they need to contribute to solving social challenges and thrive in our rapidly evolving world. Specifically, the Mabin School and Rose Avenue PS were selected for serving as models for cultivating empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem solving.  The schools will join a network of more than 200 Changemaker Schools across 15 countries. 

About The Mabin School

Founded in 1980 by outstanding educator, Gerry Mabin, The Mabin School is a small, progressive, independent school located in central Toronto whose mission is to create the next generation of original thinkers, adaptive leaders, and caring citizens. Mabin focuses on developing confident, independent learners through a child-centred approach to education. All aspects of a child’s development—intellectual, emotional, social, and physical—are considered, given equal importance and nurtured.

Achieving academic excellence and honouring student interests are always at the centre of an inquiry-based approach to learning in the Mabin classroom. Students are encouraged to ask questions and seek solutions, while teachers provide guidance with both open-ended and structured experiences. Mabin delivers an exceptional social curriculum that includes character education, leadership initiatives and community outreach. Caring, empathy, collaboration, and a commitment to helping others are essential values at Mabin.

 About Rose Avenue Public School

Rose Avenue PS is the first public school in Canada to receive Ashoka’s designation as a Changemaker School. The honour is a recognition of the school’s work to empower students with the skills they need to be changemakers in our rapidly evolving world. Specifically, Rose was selected for serving as a model for cultivating empathy, teamwork, leadership, and problem solving.   

Rose Avenue PS is truly the heart of its community and has important partnerships with the George Brown Daycare, Community Matters, Inner City Angels, Mariposa in the Schools, and Manulife.  The school is located in the vibrant downtown centre of the St. James Town community in Toronto. Much of its diverse student population is drawn from 22 apartment towers, housing over 27,000 people in one of the most densely populated and multicultural communities in North America. The school has a student population of more than 650 students, with some 85% of those students having English as their second language, and representing about 50 language groups. The school offers a strong instructional focus on literacy, numeracy, the arts, and the environment.  Rose Avenue PS is part of the Toronto District School Board’s Model Schools for Inner Cities program and is proud to be an Eco-platinum school."