Seneca Christie

Nearly 400 people suggested names for a forthcoming elementary school near downtown Vancouver. From the 800 suggestions, one rose to the top: Vancouver Innovation, Technology and Arts Elementary School, or VITA.

The name was recommended by a student, Seneca Christie, who noted that the acronym, VITA, is the Latin word for “life.”

“Isn’t the main point of school to bring your ideas to life?” she wrote in her suggestion. “Personally, I think that the idea of having an elementary school with such a powerful name is wonderful, because elementary school students are so full of life that it would be wonderful to be able to display that to the community.”

Before enrolling at Vancouver School of Arts and Academics in middle school, Christie attended Franklin Elementary. “I liked all the friends I made,” she said of her time there. “We had the same core group of kids because I was in the Mandarin Immersion [Program]. They were all like my brothers and sisters.”

She’s well aware of the importance of an elementary education in a student’s growth. “It’s sort of like your second home because you’re there for six hours or more. It’s where you start your education. If you have a good elementary school, it’ll make going to middle school easier and going to high school easier.”

Christie hopes that VITA students have a positive experience. Her advice to future classes is similarly upbeat: “They should just have a lot of fun, because that’s where you’re going to start your education and you want to be able to love it there.”