Thurber students and staff go silent for a cause

  • Apr. 23, 2014 2:48 p.m.

A group of Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School students and teachers took a vow of silence last week as part a worldwide initiative called ‘We Are Silent’.

We Are Silent worldwide is a fundraiser for Free The Children, which involves millions going silent for 24-hours to raise funds to support the millions of girls around the world facing poverty, exploitation and the denial of their right to education.

The Thurber students opted to localize We Are Silent and use the funds raised to host a spa day for patrons of the Women’s Emergency Shelter.

Students from Thurber’s leadership class in collaboration with the IB Helpin’ You student group came up with the idea to host the spa day as a way of recognizing and rewarding local women who were facing adversity.

A total of $1,200 was raised, which will be used to host the spa day and provide a healthy donation to the women’s shelter.

Tamara Ma, a Grade 12 Thurber student and community vice president for the leadership class, explained how they decided to host the spa day and approached Marvel College, a beauty school in Red Deer, to ask if they would be interested in providing the services for the day.

“They wholeheartedly agreed and now students from Marvel will be providing the women with facials, manicures, pedicures, hairstyling and a few other things that the women at the shelter can sign up for ahead of time,” explained Ma.

The students involved with the planning were blown away by the support of their student body, who flooded to donation boxes in hopes of raising enough money to silence their teachers for the day.

“The idea of ‘celebrity’ participants who in this case were our teachers and a few of the leadership students was a great add on because it gave students a reason to participate,” said Jodi Huston, a Grade 12 student and member of the IB Helpin’ You initiative.

Students had the opportunity to pledge money towards a goal their teachers had previously set out, after which if the students met the fundraising goal the teacher would have to be silent for the entire day.

This meant some instructors had to prepare an entire day’s worth of lessons leading up to the event, as they knew they wouldn’t be able to speak throughout the day.

One teacher even went as far as to record his lesson plans on podcasts so students could listen to the lesson plan online.

Around 100 Thurber students also voluntarily vowed to be silent, wore masks covering their mouths and carried around information they could hand out if people asked why they were wearing the masks and taking the 24-hour vow of silence.

“Anytime that we get to do something like this and give back to our community is great,” said Taylor Lunt, member of the IB Helpin’ You group and Thurber Grade 12 student. “It can be easy to forget how much of an impact you can have on someone’s life until you do something like this.”

Ma added the work the students have been involved with in the past such as delivering flowers to residents of the Red Deer Hospice as well as handing out care packages containing socks, mittens and other assorted items to the homeless has really made her realize how much the people they are assisting appreciate the work they are doing.