Students Taking Action to Help Other Kids

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A month ago two students at Ridgeview Elementary were announced as winners of the Burn Fund Burn Awareness Contest. Under the leadership of their teacher Amy Meldrum, all our grade five students created messages of fire safety and two of our entries were recognized. Along with the knowledge that they had won, the students were presented with a cheque for $1,550.

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While the accomplishment of winning is a wonderful story, it was what Macy and Kyle chose to do with their cheque that makes the story incredible. In keeping with the kids helping kids message we have encouraged throughout the year with Summits of Hope, Free the Children and other initiatives, Macy and Kyle chose to donate their winnings to three places that would benefit children. Yesterday we delivered those cheques because I felt it was important to not only provide a donation but to visit and speak with those who would benefit from their generosity. I wanted them to have a personal connection to their gift and to have the opportunity to explain their reasons for giving.

Our first stop was Grandview Elementary in Vancouver. Grandview is our sister school and throughout the year we have continued our annual tradition of Christmas Crackers, clothing donations and other supports. When the idea of helping students arose Macy and Kyle chose to donate $500 towards something the school needed that would benefit student learning and enjoyment of school. After a fantastic tour of the school and its grounds along with a grade one sing-along, the students spoke with Principal Ronnie Ross who suggested the school would love musical instruments such as orffs. Macy and Kyle both agreed this would be a great idea and they now know what their donation will buy, and they can visualize where the students will play them. For me, this was a powerful event as our students were able to see, and now share, the experience at our sister school and the joy they put on the faces of the students.

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The second donation the students chose was to the BC Children’s Hospital Burn Unit where their $500 would be used to purchase cots for parents who wanted and/or needed to stay overnight with their children during a traumatic time in their lives. Providing opportunities for parents to be with their children was “important” thought Macy. As well, the donation would provide silver pads which are used by doctors and nurses to quicken the healing process of burns. Again, kids helping kids.

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Our final destination was back to the Burn Fund itself. We visited No.1 Hall of the West Vancouver Fire Department, the department that had brought Macy and Kyle their prize. While investigating what the Burn Fund contributed towards, they discovered Burn Camp and the opportunities this camp provides for children who have suffered burn accidents. With the $500 they donated, they asked that it go towards sending children to camp so they can “have a fun time even though they have had a bad thing happen to them,” said Kyle. As both Macy and Kyle are heading to Outdoor Camp this week, the connection to their own lives was not lost on them.

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It was an amazing day of watching student Take Action. In what was great timing, we had Simon Jackson present at an assembly yesterday morning about his experience saving the Spirit Bear. He is a Ridgeview Elementary graduate whose curiosity and determination to take action on an issue passionate to him formulated in our school. Yesterday Macy and Kyle showed that a sense of global citizenship and taking action continues to stir students at Ridgeview.

I thank Amy Meldrum for taking up the Burn Fund cause and I applaud Macy and Kyle for not just donating but for being enthusiastic about the idea of delivering their donations directly to the kids their generosity will positively impact. Yesterday was filled with powerful kids helping kids moments they will never forget.

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