We Day &
the Vow of Silence
We Day was an event that happened back in October when students from schools all over Metro Vancouver gathered together to celebrate and commit to help change the world for the better. The students who went were from our Global Citizenship Club. As a result of their attendance at WE DAY, there have been fundraising activities for a variety of causes.
On Thursday, December 1, many students at Maple Grove participated in the “VOW of SILENCE” for the entire school day. It is a way to stand up for children who cannot speak for themselves. It is also a way to raise awareness and to raise money for the Free the Child organization. You can find out more about this organization at: www.freethechildren.com/vow . Thank you very much to those who have already donated and helped us reach our goal! I think that we can do even better. If you would like to donate to the fund that has been set up in Maple Grove’s name, please go to:
Students who went to WE DAY wrote some of their reflections which are both perceptive and moving. Here is an example:
WE DAY REFLECTION by Lucy Wicken, Division 13
I really didn’t know what to expect when I walked through the door of the huge, crazy, loud, ecstatic Rogers Arena. I knew WE DAY was a huge deal but what really was going to happen today? Were these people really trying to change how over half the world’s population was living? My whole life I’ve heard, “We can make a difference” and , “We will and we can stop child poverty and slavery.” I was hoping that this wasn’t going to be a re-run of how many times people have said, “We can” without actually doing anything about it.
I remember how the second time we all go up on our feet ready to dance the “WE DAY Dance” and I overheard the guy behind me talking to his friend. “So we’re dancing while kids in Africa are dying,” he said with a laugh. And I remember thinking, I have to agree with you. “Is this some kind of scam?” a voice in my head would say over and over again.
As the performances and speeches went on, I found myself staring, my mouth wide open at some of these people. I’ve heard dozens and dozens of stories about this stuff that happens in other parts of the world, and read books with these devastating stories, but it seems that since we live in such a rich, beautiful, safe country that none of these stories could ever be true. But these speakers were our proof.
Like how Michael Chakwanine had had his wrists cut and was forced into killing his best friend with a gun and still lives and breathes hoping to see the day when we all decide enough is enough, and no matter how cliché it sounds we change how badly many of the people in the world are being treated and how little they have to survive on. When the world agrees that we have to do something about it.
For me it has always been sad to watch those commercials on TV about requesting donation for kids and families who need it most. But you know what? I admit, I never really felt like I could do anything about it. Like the best I could do was pray and feel sorry for them. So when I went and saw how many thousands of people were eager and willing to help others to have the basic necessities to survive, it brightened my soul.
It’s like the quote, “If not me, who? And if not now, what?” by Mikhail Gorbachev. I think for many years, even after people realized how humans in poorer countries were living, we always thought that someone else, somewhere was helping them, that other people cared and were helping them. But imagine… if everybody thought that forever where would over half the world’s population be? Dead. Dead without ever having the chance to grow strong and be educated, and read their favourite books and do what they, deep down, wanted to do like other humans get to do every day.
So at the end of WE DAY, I thought back to when that teenage boy behind me said: “So we’re dancing while kids in Africa are dying,” and I finally understood. If WE DAY were all about how terrible rich countries are to not help those in desperate need and all negative, it wouldn’t send a message that we can help without all the hatred and blame going around. That by dancing we’re dancing for those in other countries who are too weak, too sad and too heartbroken to dance themselves. By dancing we’re sending a positive message that giving will help make our one and only world a place that everyone can live in and live a good life. That, like Gandhi, it only started with one. That we are the movement.
Student Council is sponsoring two end-of-term events. On Thursday December 15th we will have a Winter Wonderland for students to visit. Classes will sign up for a time to visit. Students are asked to bring a loonie as a donation towards the cost of the Winter Wonderland and also one or two cans of food for the Food bank donation.
Holiday Hat Day
On Friday, December 16, we will have our end of term assembly. On this day, Student Council is sponsoring a Holiday Hat Day. Everyone is encouraged to wear something on their head that is funny, seasonal and merry. Red and Green are our seasonal colours, so wear something that reflects the season for you.
Yes, the shorter daylight hours make it just a little harder to get out of bed in the morning. This is where we have to recharge our commitment to education and community, get up, get the children ready and get to school on time please! Have you been to an adult workshop lately or even noticed at work that it takes a few minutes to settle in, greet others and get ready for the day? For all of us we need that short period and then we are ready for work. Ideally we arrive a little early so that we start on time. Students need this time too. It is important for them. If they come late, they still take that time to settle in and in doing so may disrupt the class. Students may tell you that they don’t do anything in the first 5 or 10 minutes, but what they are doing is this preparation for the day which is important. Please have them arrive at school in good time so that they are ready for work when the class is ready. “Punctuality is the politeness of kings”
Virtues for December:
Joyfulness & Generosity
In the month of December we will be celebrating the holiday season and have chosen the virtues of joyfulness and generosity. These virtues will be sponsored by Divisions 17 and 20. We started the year with politeness and courtesy, moved on to thankfulness and gratitude, focused on peacefulness and forgiveness for the Remembrance Day month and now move into the joyful time when we give to family and friends.
A generous spirit is something also to be valued and recognized in addition to generosity with money and gifts. A generous spirit values everyone for their strengths and forgives or tries to help with their weaknesses. We all have strengths and weaknesses. Some of us need more help at some times of life and some are more able to give. Confucius said: “A person of humanity is one who, in seeking to establish themselves, finds a foothold for others and who, desiring attainment for himself, helps others attain.”
Joyfulness, too, is a virtue. “Laugh and the world laughs with you” is a true saying. being joyful and taking a positive attitude gives others joy. It is infectious. How lovely it is to see all the bright smiles on children’s faces in the morning and how it lifts our day to see them. Let’s see that all our children have something to smile about every day – and by the way we can donate to the Food Bank – today is CBC food bank day – or to the Free the Children Fund or the Christmas Hamper Fund for our sister school – and try to bring smiles to more faces.
AGGRESSIVE DOGS BEING TRAINED ON OUR SWINGS
You will be pleased to know that the VSB sends around someone regularly to check the safety of our playgrounds. Today he showed me a swing that has clearly been mauled by a dog. He explained to me that some dog owners train their dogs to attack using swings as the target. This is clearly not acceptable. It weakens the swing and it is also not safe to have dogs trained to attack active in a play area. I will be informing our Liaison Officer so that the police will keep an eye out for this activity. If you know of someone who does this, please let us know. If you see someone doing this, it would be appropriate to call the police so that they can deal with it.
Recycling – Bubble Wrap
Do you have bubble wrap lying around your house or office?
If you have bubble wrap or bubble envelopes that you don’t need any more, please donate them to Ms. Lam’s class (room 205). The Kindergarten students will use the bubble wrap throughout the year for sensory activities and fine motor development. This class loves recycling, so any donations big or small are welcome.