A dedication to heritage and history has made Gibson Elementary librarian Grace Yan one of Delta’s two 2018 Friends of Heritage award recipients.
“Ms. Yan’s work has inspired students to make a personal connection with history,” Mayor Lois Jackson said at the Feb. 19 council meeting, where Yan received her award.
The Friends of Heritage certificate is awarded to individuals or organizations who have contributed to heritage awareness, conservation and preservation in the community.
Yan was nominated by Gibson Elementary PAC president Razia Khan for her dedication to bringing history into the library.
During Yan’s time as a librarian, she has brought in outreach kits on historic topics, using resources at the Royal BC Museum, the Canadian War Museum and the Delta Museum. With hands-on activities, she allowed students to explore indigenous culture, and five years ago she started Gibson Elementary’s heritage fair.
Importantly, Yan brought in a number of speakers and presenters to bring history to life. These included Yukon Dan, who spoke about the gold rush; Jay Powell, the last remaining speaker of Chinook; and John MacDonald, a North Delta author with expertise on the Kennedy Trail.
During her speech, Jackson quoted a statement prepared by one of the Delta Museum staff members about Yan: “Grace Yan is probably my favourite teacher in Delta.” At that statement, the audience made sounds of support and clapped.
When she received her certificate, Yan was smiling, but humble.
“I’m receiving this reward because Razia [Khan] has nominated me,” she said. “But I feel a lot educators actually deserve this award because there are many teachers out there who promote heritage.”
The Delta Farmland and Wildlife Institute was also awarded the Friends of Heritage certificate at the Feb. 19 council meeting, for its dedication to preserving the natural heritage of Delta’s land.