On Wednesday, November 30, 2016, about 470 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 global goal that helps to promote positive change.
At We Day Atlantic Canada, students will hear stories, and see performances from:
- Rick Hansen – Canadian Paralympian, activist and philanthropist
- Roméo Dallaire –Lieutenant-General
- Margaret Trudeau – Celebrated Canadian, author and mental health advocate
- Classified – Juno Award-winning Canadian hip hop artist and producer
- Joseph Boyden – Novelist and short story writer
- Kardinal Offishall – Award-winning artist, radio personality, international DJ and record executive
- Jully Black – Award-winning singer-songwriter, speak, SheRO & SheEO!
- Liz Trinnear – ETalk reporter and Much Host
- Tyler Shaw – Platinum selling and JUNO Award-nominated singer-songwriter
- Celebrity Marauders
- Tyrone Edwards –Host, E!/Much
- Craig and Marc Kielburger – International activities and co-founders of WE
- Hani Al Moulia – Photographer, teacher and actor
- Annie Bartlett – Artist and social advocate
- Ashley Murphy – ME to WE motivational speaker, WE Ambassador, and HIV/AIDS activist
- Connor McKiggan – Community change-maker and founder of the Junior High OUTReach Conference
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 students, staff and school community are involved in local and global projects throughout the school year. Funds from the monthly school spirit and weekly casual days are donated to local charities such as Dorothy's Cat Sanctuary, the IWK, the Children's Wish Foundation, the Diabetes Association of Nova Scotia, the Autism Society of Nova Scotia, and the Terry Fox Foundation, to name a few. In addition, several students, who make their own crafts, donate the proceeds to these organizations. Most recently, the school collected ten boxes of school supplies for their peers at Brookland Elementary in Sydney when the school was damaged by flooding. On an annual basis, students take part in the WE Scare Hunger food drive campaign 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 students are involved on a regular basis in a service learning project with the Richmond Villa during which they visit and read with the residents, and perform for them.
The school Stands Up Against Bullying by participating in weekly lessons through the RCMP-sponsored WITS Program, and hosts a monthly Pink Day. The WITS acronym stands for Walk away, Ignore, Talk it out and Seek help and represents strategies children can use when faced with conflicts involving their peers, at home or in their community
At the global level, for the past ten years, students and staff have sponsored a child in Bolivia who is now 14 years of age. Funds raised through monthly junior high social events have provided help to assist with education, health, water and sanitation needs.
H.M. MacDonald Elementary School
Students, staff and community members collected 430 pounds of food for the Antigonish Food Bank as part of its involvement in the WE Scare Hunger campaign. Students delivered the items to the food bank and assisted with sorting.
Mulgrave Memorial Eduation Centre
A variety of theme days are being held to raise money for the residents of Sydney and area whose homes were damaged by the recent flooding.
Richmond Education Centre/Academy
Activities undertaken by the Grades 5 to 8 Leadership Committee includes:
At the local level, donations were made to a Newcomer family, a home for disabilities, food drives, and Leeside Transition House. They have also donated to groups selected by the families of the two students who died in a car accident in last year, as well as to families in need. At the global level, a $500 donation was given to Free the Children that provide three goats and a water to a community in need.
The Grade 9-12 Interact group took part in the following:
- World Polio Day fundraiser - students sold purple cupcakes to raise awareness of Polio and money raised was donated to support polio vaccinations.
- We Scare Hunger: students collected non-perishable food items instead of treats at Halloween and donated the food to local food banks.
- Christmas Craft Fair - Students sold handmade items and donated the funds to a local charity.
- Christmas/Easter -Turkey Bucks - the group collects turkey bucks from Foodland and donates them to the local food bank.
In the New Year, the Interactors will also be participating in the following activities:
- Spring Cleaning Toy and Clothing Drive for Leeside Transition House
- Rotary Club Golf Tournament - members volunteer to work at the golf tournament with Rotarians to raise money for local organisations in need.
- Random Act of Kindness Day - members encourage students to smile in the hallways, say hello to a stranger, or compliment a peer. Students are encouraged to write thoughtful messages on sticky notes and pass them along to people within the school community.
- World Water Day - the Club will sell Lokai/Rafiki bracelets to support clean water drinking initiatives supported by Lokai.
St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy
The WE group at St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy is growing strong. Comprised of 32 members from Grades 6 to 11, the group has committed to focusing on alleviating hunger as its local initiative. A food drive and a bake sale were held with all items and proceeds donated to the St. Mary’s Food Bank.
The global initiative will including working in conjunction with St. F.X. University to provide monetary aid and recreational programming for students in Maya Center, a Mayan village of approximately 300 people located in southern Belize. Students will be involved in a number of projects including raising awareness of community development and promoting an understanding of the hopes, efforts and obstacles faced by the community in Maya Center.
Tamarac Education Centre
On November 15, 2016, Tamarac Education Centre presented Principals, Regional Office Staff and Strait Regional School Board Members with Smudge Kits in an effort to raise awareness of issues facing our First Nation communities, including clean water, murdered or missing Aboriginal women, and suicide.
In October, students participated in a Quarter Challenge to raise funds to support the Sydney Flood Relief fund through the United Way. The students also collected school supplies to donate to Brookland Elementary in Sydney when the school was damaged by the flood.