Back in 2017, the New Brunswick Women’s Institute began a letter-writing campaign, letting the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development our schools need Home Economics classes. The initiative was called “Bring Back Home Ec”.
Not every school has access to space or equipment to teach Home Economics.
Our campaign opened the door to working with the New Brunswick Community College to present a professional development session to teachers. We learned that some schools offer unique and wonderful programs, but each is unique. Unfortunately, there are some schools where they do not have the facilities or programming in place at all.
As fortunate recipients of the full program of home economic courses in the past, our members have experience that could greatly enhance and inform current programs. Project leader, WI member, and Past President Angela Scott reached out across the province to compile reflections, specific skills and lessons learned from Home Ec experiences. Members who attended school 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, or even 70 years ago, shared the lessons that made a lasting impact.
“There is a strong chance that skills learned in days past may be as useful today as they were then.”Angela Scott
Women from around New Brunswick sent in their suggestions. Angela’s next step was to organize and refine the ideas. Once compiled in a brief, Angela could return to the school boards with a concrete outline in hand, a standard for Home Economics skills and abilities important to any middle school student.
Chandra Smith, a retired nutritionist who had worked with the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, agreed to collaborate with Angela on the project. To refine the ideas, Chandra and Angela ventured into the community to facilitate a workday, hosted by the Berwick-Mount Middleton Branch in the Sussex area.
Competency is Confidence
From the workday, Chandra and Angela were able to put together a list of over 130 aspects of Home Economics to standardize education. Their brief, titled “Competency is Confidence,” was compiled and submitted to the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development for review.
However, with the abrupt end to the 2019/20 school year, consideration of the “Bring Back Home Ec” project has been put on hold. The ladies hope to return to the officials in the next school year to continue the discussion around this important programming.
“We’d like to help teachers implement a standardized curriculum and from there, assist more schools in providing Home Economics education in their communities.”Angela Scott
To learn more about Bring Back Home Ec, contact NBWI offices at 506-454-0798 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to do your Home Ec at Home? Download our FREE checklist of skills for yourself or a young student!