Assignment #2 Week of March 23

Dear Division 16,

Tuesday in class we worked on the “Me on the Map” project where we discussed the factors that make for a positive and healthy community.

Charles Montgomery cites research in his book Happy City that shows that when people feel good about seven parts of their lives they are generally happy.

These are the seven factors he identified:

1.  Their basic needs are met – food, shelter and safety

2.  They experience pleasurable experiences more frequently than painful ones

3.  They are healthy – or feel healthy

4.  They experience income equity – the sense of being treated fairly

5.  They experience feelings of mastery or being good at something

6.  They have freedom to make decisions, express opinions and move around

7.  They experience meaning and belonging.  They feel connected to family and friends

For your blog assignment this week, please choose one of these factors that you experience in your community and explain what structures or supports in our community help you to feel that way.  For example, I might choose #5 and say that being a part of the Dickens community and having three year relationships with students and parents where I receive feedback helps me feel like I am good at being a teacher.  Please include whatever details you feel are necessary to help others understand your point.  In general, it should probably require about 3 sentences.  Please edit your work for spelling, punctuation and make sure it makes sense.

I look forward to your responses!


  1. Scarletcat

    #1 I don’t have any personal experiences with homeless shelters or food banks, but I know that there is quite a few in the dickens community. In the dickens area there is a homeless shelter, a local food bank, and a women’s shelter. So if you are struggling financially or you are without food or a home, there is always help in our community. At our school we hold a food bank drive a couple times a year to help people in Vancouver and the dickens community. If you live in the dickens neighbourhood you will always be in a few blocks reach to: food, shelter and safety wherever you go.

    • dickensdiv16

      Scarletcat, I really like how you thought about the availability of security being a community effort. Having access to food is an important part of community happiness, and you’ve found a way to express this that reflects on more than just the person receiving the food. Do you think that the community members contributing to the food bank also feel happiness in their community?

  2. balloongirl123

    1 our school we’ve had some food bank drives for the people around Vancouver who need it the most

  3. reader

    #1 in the dickens community we have food banks that help the homeless that give the homeless something to useful to eat but, we don’t have much safety but we do have crosswalks so people don’t get hit bye cars or cycles. so there’s only one thing that’s missing and that’s the safety issue.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good point, reader. The creation of crosswalks is, I think, a municipal, or city-wide decision, not one that comes from within the community, although I know of situations where communities have lobbied for crosswalks at certain intersections. You’ve made a connection to the ways that communities are part of the larger city and province! Well done!

  4. ginger

    5. They experience feelings of mastery or being good at something. At Charles Dickens, there are many extracurricular activities which might help find a subject you excel in. One example is Student Council, which encourages fundraising and donating to local and worldwide campaigns in order to help others. As a member of student council I have participated in public speaking events, helped to plan fundraising and donating activities, and have used my artistic skills to make posters, banners and flyers about upcoming events. There are many other extracurricular activities at Charles Dickens that offer a wide range of activities to suit everyone’s different skills and interests.

    • dickensdiv16

      Great work, Ginger. I like how you’ve brought up extra curricular activities at the school. I’m so happy that you’ve had the chance to develop mastery in many areas. It’s great that your ability to achieve mastery helps connect you the skills that support other contributors to happiness!

  5. PointyHedgeHog11

    I feel like I live in very diverse community.
    the focal point of my community is Prince Edward park at Livingston school.
    Many people walk there dog or play with there child in the playground .
    I think it is essential to have parks and open areas in citys so people don’t have to drive to take there dog for a walk .

    • dickensdiv16

      It’s true, PointyHedgeHog11, the availability of parks and open spaces means a lot to communities, including that people need less use of their cars and can meet with others. I think this kind of space is very important for parents too! You raise an interesting point with your comment on diversity within a community. This wasn’t one of the 7 points from the research but it should have been!

  6. Subway2go

    #3 I feel healthy because my community is physically and mentally healthy. For example, if anyone in our community gets sick they tell all their friends and neighbours that they are sick. So people have a warning and will avoid them and remain healthy. I also feel healthy because all my friends and I are fit because we all enjoy playing sports. We get together on the weekends and after school and usually play soccer. We always play for fun so no one feels discouraged. This is what makes me feel healthy in this community.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good point, Subway2go, we do take care of ourselves and each other in this way, by protecting one another from illness. I like how you made the connection to fitness and healthy living. Do you think the example you gave about soccer is a good example of a sense of mastery as well?

  7. Jr.fruitcake

    my community is very spread out, I love all parts of it, in my dickens community I feel like I get better because of the amount of one on one time with teachers and students, I see their reactions and it helps make me better at the presentations and writing that are involved. In my soccer community I feel good at soccer because I have been playing for several years and now have a lot of experience, I am encouraged by those around me and I have worked my way up to quite a high level. Accomplishing things is very important to my happiness and I love the pushing I receive to be better, That’s always been my goal, to be better.

    • dickensdiv16

      Jr. Fruitcake, you’ve done a really nice job here talking about mastery of skills, as well as the feelings of belonging. I think that these things are absolutely connected and I appreciate that you see those connections among the different “spread out” aspects of the community!

  8. petrinied4000

    #5 I think that this community is good for trying new things. There are so many things to do and so many things to get good at.
    I think that i am pretty happy in that area because i can ski and snowboard and a whole bunch of other things. Unfortunately sports, for example are sometimes quite expensive but the city is set up for biking and rollerblading as well. It feels really good to be good at something but there is always space to improve.

    • dickensdiv16

      petrinied4000, it’s true that many sports are expensive and that not everyone can participate, but you’re right, there are a lot of free sporting activities that anyone can participate in throughout the city. I know how important winter downhill sports are to you, and it’s a great example of the kind of mastery that combines different kinds of happiness, such as having space to move in, making decisions and being with friends and family.

  9. TeeHee

    I choose #5 because of the mount Pleasant neighbourhood house, I have been there for 4 years and I still am Today.I feel the need to choose this be cause the neighbourhood house has always supported me and I have always supported them back by volunteering there and helping in all the ways I can. The mount pleasant neighbour hood house is a very fun and fair place to be. I love it there!

    • TeeHee

      The mount pleasant neighbour hood house makes me feel good about helping there and it helps build my self confidence.

      • dickensdiv16

        Great example, TeeHee, That sense of belonging you’re talking about comes from being helped and helping others. Confidence is an important part of mastery!

  10. coolschoolscout

    #6 I think that a very important part of a community is the right to make free speech and decision. I think that anyone who comes to the dickens community will feel happy to express their opinion and to know what they want to do. In the decade or more that I have ived here, I have always been able to do this. This is one of my favourite things about the dickens community.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good connections, coolschoolscout. I’m glad that you feel this kind of freedom at Dickens. Do you think these two things, freedom to speak and freedom to make choices are connected?

  11. cheese curds

    I like the fact that we don’t have letter grades at our school. because it makes me feel less stressed to get good grades . I also like that we can call our teachers by there first names. these things make me feel very happy in my community these things I think are good for a school community.

  12. gigatool2_is_a_girl

    I choose #4 because of the church I go to. I chose church because of the fairness of God. Jesus and God love everyone fairly for them to be blessed, unless you betray God, therefore he can punish you. Jesus sacrificed himself for us because He love us, for his death he wash away all of our sin.

    • dickensdiv16

      Interesting perspective, gigatool2_is_a_girl, Do you think that the freedom to worship and practice your religion should be on the list of factors that build happiness?


    #1 i think that are school helps in multiple ways with the food bank because of all the opportunities we have for donating. I think that a of bunch people including myself feel that is great for the dickens community to be doing all this stuff all the time. Sometimes its just for fun like heart month. There are still some problems that the community dose not have a lot of help with is the safety.

    • dickensdiv16

      Good points here, all of them. It’s interesting what you say about there not being help with safety. What kind of help do you think would make a difference and build towards happiness?


        I think the safety would be not being hit by cars if there sleep walking etc.

  14. who gets money

    At Charles Dickon’s Elementary I feel belonging and a connection to my family and friends. One structure that I believe helps to make me feel this way is mixed grade classrooms and mixing to do projects with other classes. This helps me make friends and so I feel belonging in every class I go to. Public parks and public events help to make me feel belonging in the community by giving me a place to hang out with other people.

    • dickensdiv16

      That’s great, who gets money, I’m glad to hear that some of the structures in place at Dickens contribute to your feeling of belonging and connection to family and friends. Do you find that those opportunities to build new friendships in class affect how you use your free time outside of school?

  15. The awesomest

    #1. In the Charles Dickens neibourhood I think almost everyone has basic needs but for the people that don’t we have food banks and homeless shelters. I think that these things are very important because if you do not have them you might not live a safe and healthy life. I think that it is very important that schools have food bank fundraisers to help people that dont have all their basic needs.

    • dickensdiv16

      The awesomest, the need for food and shelter for our community members is an important factor for people for sure! Are there any other ways other than food banks we can use to support those in our community who don’t have the basic needs?

  16. fireboltseer21345

    I think that having people who appreciate you in your community is really important, because that way you feel more like you are part of your community. In my neighborhood, I have friends really close to me and so it’s way easier to get together and do things as a group, I also have a school in my neighbourhood and that’s awesome because you meet so many new people at places like school and parks. 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    • dickensdiv16

      True that, fireboltseer21345, being appreciated by your community is super important. I like how you connected the public spaces and schools, which represent other kinds of happiness, with your sense of belonging. Well done!

  17. Aldwyn2000

    #3 I find that I often feel healthy. The things that make me feel healthy are…
    pools, capoeira, track ‘n’ field, cross country and playing in community playgrounds. These are my different ways of feeling healthy. Although there are plenty more like doing gym class, but that is only at school so it does not offer the felling of community that I think that I need to feel to feel healthy.

  18. cool sketcher

    #2 I experience more pleasurable experiences than painful ones because I know basically everybody in my community and everybody in my community is very nice. Plus charles dickens is not as stressful as some other schools and is more chill and that’s why i like my community.

    • dickensdiv16

      Wow, cool sketcher. that’s great that you have such a connection to your community and that your community is supportive of you. I agree that Charles Dickens is a very chill place.

  19. Mario02

    #1 I Think Our community Has a lot of great things but we need to make more things like homeless shelters and Food for homeless people. Vancouver needs to Put more Of those in the city for example Downtown has lots of homeless people but needs more care for them and shelters The tax money should be going to making more shelters because there are a lot of homeless on the streets and not to many shelters for them around the city but more Downtown. But In Our Dickens community Everything has a very great feeling and we have every thing sorted out our community is a very happy community and very welcoming and generous.

  20. Cheeseman ABC123

    #7 because I live less then a block away from Charles dickens a lot of families move into this area because there’s a school close by so a lot of my friends live close so I feel like I belong and I feel really safe around this area . the school makes one community but all my friends and family make another one

  21. monster meatball

    #4 Because at Dickens all of the students are treated with the same respect and equality.For example if one student are being treated better then everone else the other students will exspect to be treated with the same respect sooner or latter and if they dont well, we would probobly complain because if you havent noticed by now Dickens always trys to either be fair or come to a good conclusion.

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