Westwind Public School was filled with the sounds of excited grade six students and the smell of delicious baked goods on Thursday, June 22 as the school held its ‘Who is Nobody?’ social justice fair. The annual fair is designed to get grade six students to “be the change they wish to see in the world”, as Ghandi so aptly stated.
Students are asked to choose their favourite charitable cause and then volunteer, raise awareness, and raise money to support their cause’s mission. Each student created a poster and presentation about their volunteer experience to share with other students at the fair which took place in the Westwind School gym. Collectively, the grade six students contributed 106 volunteer hours and raised almost $12,000 through their charitable efforts.
Laura Bond, a teacher at Westwind School, organized a bake sale to accompany the all-day event with proceeds going to build the Flor de Sacuanjoche classroom in Nicaragua through the local charity SchoolBOX. Bond will travel to Nicaragua with her two sons later this summer as part of a volunteer team calling itself “Little Bricks”. The Bond family will help build a new classroom for primary school students in an impoverished Nicaraguan community. When asked about the meaning behind the name Little Bricks, Bond explained that, “Each cement brick added to the new classroom contributes to making it a safe and secure structure for the students to learn in. Every little brick counts”.
For Bond and her sons, this will be an eye-opening experience and a chance to see the real-life impact that their fundraising efforts can have in the lives of deserving kids. By the end of the school day, Bond’s bake sale raised $1300 for SchoolBOX and the Flor de Sacuanjoche classroom.
Bond commented that, “As a teacher, I have always valued the importance of education in both creating opportunities and in contributing to the development of an economically sound society. We have such an incredible education system, and structures in place to provide a comfortable learning space. I recognize it is a privilege my sons can’t quite comprehend having never known it any other way. It is our goal to pay it forward this July by helping, in our small way, to bring the opportunity of education to a country that needs our help.”
SchoolBOX is committed to ‘Making Education Possible’ for the children of Nicaragua. SchoolBOX implements cost effective programming by building schools, providing school supplies, libraries, and teacher training. SchoolBOX has built 84 classrooms, and 54 libraries in Nicaragua and serves over 18,000 students and teachers in 96 communities on an annual basis. In 2017, they hope to implement their first library project in a northern Ontario Indigenous community.