A Grade 6 French Immersion class raised $900 for the Canadian Red Cross – the federal government matched it to bring the total to $1600
Stella Roy and Kina Haight had Mother Nature on their side when they helped raise more than $900 to assist children in Ukraine.
The two 11-year-olds who attend Sunset Park Public School were excited to join forces with their classmates as they picked up shovels and asked their neighbours and friends to clean their driveways and walkways for a donation.
“I have some friends from Ukraine, they haven’t been very happy with all the stuff that has been happening,” Stella said.
“Our teacher told us we were going to do some shovelling to raise money to help those students in Ukraine. I was really excited. One of my friends is from there.”
Stella said she joined forces with her friend Kina.
“We went to houses on my street, it just snowed and nobody had shovelled yet. It took between five to 10 minutes each house and we received $10 per driveway. There was one driveway that was super long, our family pitched in to help.”
Kina said she hopes the money they helped raise will be used to help hire a teacher and doctors and provide food.
“We were in Toronto and watching the news when we saw an apartment struck by a bomb and it was shocking.”
Anna Pearson, a French Immersion teacher at Sunset Park, said part of the Grade 6 curriculum is to learn about Canada and how it interacts with the rest of the world.
She said what is happening across the world fits in perfectly with the curriculum and the questions students were asking on a daily basis.
“We had some important discussions about Russia invading Ukraine. The students were well versed, they had a lot of questions, such as what is happening to those people who are forced to leave? And will Canadian soldiers have to leave to go and help?
Pearson said the class decided they could still help even though they are so removed from Ukraine.
“So we talked about a variety of different things like sending money to The Canadian Red Cross to be used to support refugee camps .”
She said the usual bake sale fundraisers were unavailable due to COVID-19.
“So we thought about the best Canadian way to raise money – shovelling snow. My students who live in Callander and North Bay went to their neighbours, friends and family and asked if they could shovel their driveway and sidewalks in exchange for a donation in support of Ukraine humanitarian aid.”
Pearson’s 20 students raised $900 and the Government of Canada matched the donation to bring it to $1800.
“The students really took it to heart,” she said. “I want my students to develop as citizens of the world and be aware of what is going on. My students are very passionate about rights and wrongs. And I hope the biggest takeaway from this experience is felt on a human level. They’re children who are having to leave their homes, with what they can put in a suitcase.”