On Friday, November 27, 2015, about 450 Strait Regional School Board Grades 6 to 12 students, staff and chaperones will join thousands of others at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax for an exciting, International and educational event, We Day Atlantic. For anyone at home interested in watching the excitement, the event will be live via webcast from the We Day website at weday.com.
Founded by brothers Marc and Craig Kielburger, We Day is an initiative of Free the Children. It is a movement which empowers young global citizens through the We Day event, and promotes youth to take action right here at home in order to create positive change in the world. The initiative enables schools to implement programs that empower youth to make the world a better place locally and globally, and inspires them to take part in socially conscious acts that foster positive change. You cannot purchase a ticket to We Day, students earn it through service. As such, each of our schools has committed to We Act, a year-long educational initiative during which students are undertaking at least one local and one international goal that helps to promote positive change.
At We Day Atlantic Canada, students will hear stories, and see performances from:
- Chris Hadfield – Astronaut, author, professor, musician, first Canadian to walk in space/command a spaceship
- Debbie Ryan + The Never Ending – Indie Rock Band
- Jacob Hoggard – Member of multi-platinum, Juno and MMVA Award-winning music group, Hedley; and Free The Children ambassador
- Classified – Juno Award-winning Canadian hip hop artist and producer
- JRDN – Juno Award-winning artist and Free The Children ambassador
- SonReal – Canadian hip hop artist
- Franceso Yates – Canadian singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist
- Donisha Prendergast – Filmaker, human rights activist and public speaker
- Aislinn Paul – Canadian actress
- Luke Bilyk – Cast member from the Emmy®-nominated TV series DEGRASSI
- Spencer West – Me to We motivational speaker, Free The Children ambassador and author
- Tyrone Edwards – E! and Much host, speaker
- Mustafa the Poet – Poet, writer, actor and emcee
- Craig Kielburger – International activist and co-founder of We Day
- Elliott Miville-Deschênes- Actor, singer and activist
- Lindell Smith – Co-founder of Centreline Studio
- Kayley Reed – Fashion designer, social entrepreneur, and #ChangeAgents ambassador
- Paige Farah – Founder of Progress in the Park
- Isaac Healey – Youth speaker and anti-bullying advocate
- Jillea – Singer and songwriter
Already, We Day has engaged millions of young people all around the world who have made an impact on the lives of many people. You can learn more about We Day at www.weday.com.
As the We Day website states We Day is part of a family of organizations, including Free The Children and Me to We, that has a shared goal: to empower a generation to shift the world from ‘me’ to ‘we’—through how we act, how we give, the choices we make on what to buy and what to wear, the media we consume and the experiences with which we choose to engage.
Some of the ways students in the Strait Region are making a meaningful difference in their home communities and around the world are outlined below. Please note that as more information is received, we will add to the following list of initiatives.
East Richmond Education Centre
East Richmond Education Centre works on local and global projects throughout the school year. Funds from the monthly school spirit days are donated to local charities such as Dorothy's Cat Sanctuary, the IWK, the Children's Wish Foundation, to name a few. They took part in the We Scare Hunger food drive campaign in October with all food items donated to the Food 4 Children Society that fills backpacks of food for students in several schools in the Strait Region. The school’s We Day Committee put a tree in the community festival of trees to further highlight We Day. In December, the group is going to do Random Acts of Kindness in the school and the community. In addition, they sponsor a child in Bolivia.
Fanning Education Centre/Canso Academy
Students at Fanning Education Centre/ Canso Academy are really excited to be participating in the We Day activities and initiatives this year. Our students are excited to provide some local support in our community by collecting items for the local food bank as a way of supporting the community for Christmas. This is something students intend on doing throughout the year as part of our local initiative. As well, students are working on supporting some families with items for Christmas this year. The global initiative our students are going to focus on is Water. Students are working hard on a plan to raise awareness and educate the school on the issues surrounding lack of healthy drinking water, specifically in India; and the extreme efforts some families go through to get clean water. They will participate in a water walk, as well they will have several We Bake Sales in the school to help raise money for those who need access to clean drinking water.
H.M. MacDonald Elementary School
H.M. MacDonald Elementary School students have been working on the following as part of the We Day leadership:
Local cause is focusing on hunger. The school has signed up for the We Scare Hunger campaign. So far, students have collected 330 pounds of food and delivered it to the Antigonish Food Bank. They are also doing some movie nights and contributing toward the breakfast program in our school.
At the global level, they are working with the St. F.X. University nursing students to raise funds to assist with a hospital and orphanage in Rwanda.
Richmond Education Centre/Academy
Grade 5 to 8 students took part in a We Scare Hunger event to collect money for local food banks. They also hold theme days to raise money for families in need and raise awareness for local issues (e.g., working on paper moustaches for Movember).
Grade 9 to 12 students have been involved in three projects:
1. Sold purple cupcakes and tied purple string around the pinkies of students in the school to raise money ($225) and awareness of World Polio Day.
2. Participated in World Hunger Day and collected food to donate to food banks.
3. Raised money ($100) for the Terry Fox Foundation by organizing a water balloon competition and popsicle sale after the walk.
The students also helped the local Legion members with the Poppy Campaign and collected Turkey bucks from Foodland which will be used to buy turkeys for local families.
They are also organizing a few fundraisers for Movember, including selling chocolate mustaches, selling handmade items at the school’s Christmas Craft Fair, and helping serve meals at the monthly Legion meetings.
St. Andrew Junior School
St. Andrew Junior School’s Leadership group is comprised of Grade 7 and 8 students. They have raised $10,000 to build a school in Sierra Leone!! They received a special invitation to attend the Evening of Inspiration hosted by We Day, on Thursday, November 26, 2015.
In the fall of 2013, the school attended the inaugural We Day Atlantic. From this event, they developed a 40-member Leadership Group who was inspired to make a difference in our local and global communities. They set a goal of raising $10,000 to build a school in Sierra Leone. In the past two years, the students have worked tirelessly to raise awareness and fundraise for this cause.
The major fundraiser has been a Pink and Red in the Rink Hockey Game with the student team competing against a team of local celebrities. The students have also organized We Create Change challenges where homeroom classes compete against each other, teacher dares and challenges, theme days, and bagging groceries, to name a few of the activities.
In addition, students have visited retirement homes hosting bingo and game nights, soup kitchens in our town and served in a wedding that was completely funded by our Community. The school has partnered with other schools in the SRSB to host a Variety show to raise funds for an accessible playground project, a PlayGround for Everyone that was built at our neighbouring school, Antigonish Education Centre.
The students have also hosted a mini We Day hoping to pass on the message of Free the Children to all of the members of our school!
St. Andrews Consolidated School
Local Initiative: Local Food Bank
Global Initiative: Haiti choice of donation goes to the pillar with the most need.
Local Campaigns: We Scare Hunger and We Are Love
Global Campaigns: We Are Silent and We Create Change
Tamarac Education Centre
Students and staff at TEC have been very active in taking part in projects and initiatives that help promote positive social change. Over the past three years of involvement with Free The Children, supporting both local and global initiatives, the TEC school community has supported a number of local and global causes.
In 2014-2015, TEC teamed up with five other SRSB schools in order to raise funds to build a school in Kenya. Students at TEC raised funds by holding a quarter challenge, packing groceries at a local grocery store, holding a Christmas Craft Fair, and organizing theme days at school. In addition, the school has supported the local food bank, raised money to buy goats as a means of providing alternative family income, and purchased gifts for children at Christmas.
Currently, TEC students and staff are supporting a food backpack program, raising money to buy a wheelchair for a local hospital, and taking part in an 18 Villages Project to enhance the development of a hospital, school and community centre in Sierra Leone.
Whycocomagh Education Centre
Whycocomagh Education Centre students are excited for We Day and have some wonderful We Act goals underway.
At the local level, the students are helping to fight hunger in their own community. Students are organizing activities, including hosting movie nights, to raise money to provide Christmas food boxes for multiple families in need. A holiday food drive will also be held during the local Christmas parade. At the global level, they are partnering with the organization, Impact Teachers, which works with teachers and infrastructure in Uganda and India.