Grade 7 students at Glendale Middle School are keeping a watchful eye on the events in Japan as they plan, organize and carry out their own fundraising efforts locally.
On March 11, a 9.0 magnitude earthquake hit Japan followed by four-metre waves and tsunami warnings across the pacific coastline.
“The initial fundraiser ‘Change for Change’, is a project where jars are placed in every homeroom for students and teachers to donate to,” said Tiana Ferguson, a student teacher at Glendale Sciences and Technology School.
The ‘Change for Change’ fundraiser wrapped up last week, but students have continued coming up with ideas to keep the fundraising efforts going. The jars were in the classes for a week and have garnered $262.37.
Following the this fundraiser, the Grade 7 students planned two lunch time dances. One was for the K-5 students at Glendale and another for the Grade 6 – 8 students.
The cost for the dances is $2 and glow stick bracelets were made available for 50 cents with all proceeds going to Japan.
“The whole school has been really quick to get involved, teachers volunteering to supervise, the Grade 7B students coming in before and after school and at lunches,” said Ferguson.
Students at Glendale were asked why the devastation in Japan should affect them and why they should get involved. The students strongly identified with Japan as being their global neighbours.
Sierra Simpson, a Grade 7 student, said she liked the project because it shows how much we, as Canadians, have and that we shouldn’t take things for granted.
“It shows that we are involved in the world and not just worried about ourselves and being all greedy,” said Savannah Stewart, another Grade 7 student.
Overall, the class said they feel proud to be helping out and that it feels good to know they are helping people in need.
“Students often learn about current events in school, but the magic of seeing the kids become active contributing Canadians has been very rewarding,” said Dawes Harker, Ferguson’s mentor teacher.
The Grade 7B class has followed all of the aftermath of the Japan disaster, including the 7.0 aftershock that struck almost a month after the initial events.
While the Grade 7B class has done most of the work, the Grade 6 students have also helped out making posters for the fundraising efforts.
Harker explains that the tools the students needed to be engaged in the project came directly from their language arts skills. Through these skills the students are able to communicate their desire to help as well as the need to make a difference on a global level.
“This learning based project involved over 300 people in our school, and will have a lasting positive effect on thousands more,” said Harker.