My Experience at the International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child

The Literacy Coalition was pleased to sponsor an educator to attend the recent International Summer Course held at the Universite de Moncton entitled Early Childhood and the Right to Education: Toddlers and Their Rights. We recognize the direct connection between literacy, education and human rights and are pleased to work in tangent with the NB Child and Youth Advocacy as we promote our common goal of improving the lives of children and families in our province. Below is a report from Linda Gould , the individual who attended the Course via our sponsorship. Read on to learn more about her experience:


June 24-29, 2018

“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men.”

~Frederick Douglas

I had the opportunity to attend the 2018 International Summer Course on the Rights of the Child thanks to the sponsorship of the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick. This was the seventh annual session held to provide a forum for international knowledge sharing and capacity building towards children’s well-being, development and the protection of the rights of the child.

Hosted by the Universite de Moncton and the New Brunswick Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, along with their partners, the course ran from June 24th to 29th and provided presentations and panel presentations from a wealth of provincial, national and international presenters.

Each of the days, save Wednesday June 27, was dedicated to workshops, round table discussions. The first morning workshops of each day were dedicated to presentations on the “Introduction to the Convention on the Rights of the Child”. Gavin Kotze and Christian Whalen, both from the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, walked participants through (specifically) Articles 28 and 29 of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child. These presenters analyzed the UNCRC, delving into Measures of Implementation, the Rule of Law, ratification and review of reservations.

I participated in a wealth of workshops and panel discussions which informed and furthered my knowledge on:

  • International early childhood education policies including socio political atmosphere, analysis of inequities and growth in specific countries
  • Working with child’s rights
  • Paris Principles
  • Early Years program at Elsipogtog
  • NB Child and Youth Advocate,
  • Global Child Project at the University of Victoria
  • The Children’s Health Profile and Trajectory in NB and PEI, and
  • Social Pediatrics including toxic stress, cumulative effects of children’s environments and the genetic imprint

Wednesday brought us out of the classroom and into nature.  Our day began with a bus ride to Sussex where we would spend the morning at Tir na nOg forest school.



Jane Bertrand from the Margaret and Wallace Family Foundation welcomed us.






Theresa Casey, Past-President of the International Play Association from Scotland, provided a heart-warming keynote presentation grounded in Irish lore and tales of perseverance and persistence. The remainder of the morning provided us with the opportunity to participate in workshops held in the outdoors.





Beverly Dietze provided an inspirational workshop on how one educational institute (Okanagan College) is redefining their Early Childhood Education program to provide a mentorship option which will provide graduates with an ECE diploma with a specialization in outdoor play.


Paula Gallo and Heidi Campbell provided a hands-on experience to play and learning in child-friendly, nature focused outdoor spaces.



Wednesday afternoon saw us travel to Hopewell Rocks where we participated in a wide range of games initiated by Get Outside! NB followed by a tour of the ocean floor.


The week was intense, inspiration, informative and eye-opening!

I truly appreciate the opportunity I was provided to attend the 2018 International Summer Course on
the Rights of the Child and look forward to using this knowledge in my work and sharing it with others in
the future.

My sincere thanks to the Literacy Coalition of New Brunswick for making this all possible.

Linda Gould
Early Childhood Education Advisor
Miramichi, NB