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Hastings wins contest to help the homeless
A group of Hastings School students recently won the right to host Siloam Mission’s first Youth For Change Day on June 1.
After a month of intensive fundraising, the school’s social justice committee — comprised of 11 Grade 7 and 8 students — beat out the competition by raising more than $1,370.
Over the course of four weeks; Hastings students sold pizza and freezies, held a cupcake-making day and collected loose change in classrooms.
Grade 8 students could also adopt a brick in one of the school’s hallways to leave a legacy by painting their names on the brick for $5.
In total, seven different schools raised $5,418 for the Youth For Change competition.
Tuxedo-based Gray Academy of Jewish Education placed second by raising $873 and Greenway School in the West End came in third with a donation of $860.
The June 1 event included an in-school concert performed by local rapper Fresh IE and YouTube sensation Sean Quigley while Danny’s Whole Hog Barbecue & Smokehouse provided lunch for 30 people.
But the chance to become advocates for positive social change in Winnipeg’s inner city has left the biggest imprint on students at the Pulberry Street-based school.
"It’s been amazing, because it was a life-changing experience when I saw these people when I got a tour of Siloam Mission," said committee member Cami Sparling.
"The stories people told me at the mission were crazy. There were people there that had lost their jobs and couldn’t feed their families," added the Grade 7 student, noting the committee came up with the fundraising ideas themselves.
Speaking days before the concert, Grade 8 student and committee member Alexandria Masi-Dare said she was looking forward to see Fresh IE and Quigley perform.
"I’m excited. They’re local artists, so that’s pretty cool. Throughout the whole process, I never once thought about winning the competition," she said.
Student services teacher Jennifer Rempel — who facilitated the committee with Grade 7 and 8 teacher Kim Thordarson — said the goal of campaign was engagement.
"It’s about getting involved. You can preach thousands of times, but it’s about involvement," said Rempel, who lives in St. Boniface.
"As a student services teacher, you work with a lot of kids that need support. Are they eating properly? We wanted our students to develop empathy and asking them to be social thinkers was a good cognitive exercise," she said.
Nata Spigelman, a Grade 5 teacher at Gray Academy, said her students were impacted by their field trip to Siloam Mission.
"When we got there, a lot of the kids experienced fear because of the homeless people outside," said Spigelman, who lives in Garden City.
"After we went in, the lesson they gave was amazing and the children were so engaged and it gave them an understanding of what it’s like not to have a home."
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(1 of 16 articles for this week)05/15/2013 1:00 AM 0
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