Riverside Secondary has a large International student program, and works hard to include them in the culture of the school.

I am very proud of all the hard work that we have put into supporting the international students.
Ms. Catherine Yamamoto

“Riverside Secondary’s Welcome Event. Students are playing a bingo game and asking questions to each other”.

Many programs are offered to International Students. A student can take a full year program which consists of a 10 months to as short as one week. Riverside Secondary’s international student program or also known as the Multicultural Leadership Class is run by Ms. Catherine Yamamoto. Yamamoto has been teaching the class since 2008, and is very passionate about the program that she leads along side her leadership students. “As you can tell, I am very proud of all the hard work that we have put into supporting the international students,” said Yamamoto. Riverside’s program has excellent opportunities for international students. “It provides opportunities for international students to get volunteer hours, as they are not allowed to work during their study time in Canada,” said Yamamoto. The leadership students receive four credits towards graduation as well as volunteer hours while helping with the activities and events that are planned. Throughout the year; for example, bowling and in years past a welcome event. “There previously used to be a dinner, but now we have over 230 international students, so it is too much to try to have a dinner event,” said Yamamoto. An open gym is provided to students after school, where students can play badminton and basketball. A New Year’s and spring festival is put on every year in honour of the many different ways to celebrate New Year’s from a variety of cultures. Many festivals and shows are put on, as well as a fashion show. The leadership students do a very good job at helping with the planning of events. “I am very proud of my leadership students. They are the best, most thoughtful and creative students who mentor and support EAL and international students to feel comfortable and accepted, and a part of our Riverside community,” said Yamamoto. A special and favourite event of the students is the Night Market.

This year is the 10th Night Market, where students will make and provide international foods from various countries, such as Ukraine, Italy, Thailand, Vietnam, Korea, Japan, China, India, and many more. More activities include martial art performances, music groups, singers, dancers, and storytelling. Riverside is a very open and welcoming community, no doubt influenced by a teacher who loves teaching and leading the program. “My favourite part of running a Multicultural Leadership class is when the students really begin to understand about leadership, and try to challenge themselves, rewarded by the new friendships and appreciation from the new EAL and international students,” said Yamamoto. The program is extremely valuable because of the inclusiveness and learning values it brings while showing off Riverside itself. Amazing teaching and leadership is helping students gain confidence in a second language and the different culture of Canada.