I wanted to let you know about three fantastic groups of students I have worked with this past year at Mark R. Isfeld School.
I teach Humanities 8 and 9 and every year I have my students do volunteer work. My Grade 8s were asked to do five hours of community service, however they choose.
I was thrilled this year with the amount of work the students did and the variety of projects they took on. In all, my two classes of Grade 8s did over 300 hours of community service from January to June. The tasks they took on included facepainting at Car Free Sunday; serving tables at the Grad Dine and Dance; candy-striping at the hospital; knitting scarves for homeless people; serving lunch at the friendship centre for the elders; scorekeeping at Isfeld’s basketball games; music, refereeing and scoring for hockey games; Easter egg hunt in Comox; ecological restoration of a stream; setup and takedown at the Highland Games; Snow to Surf; lakeshore cleanup; donating clothes; helping at the Grade 7 orientation night; helping at grad; MS walk; Can Skate coach; Isfeld’s dessert night band fundraiser; Ride for Dad; Heart and Stroke; gardening at an elementary school; facepainting at the visitor centre’s grand opening; Seniors Village volunteer; Therapeutic Riding Society; environment club and YANA dinner and auction.
My Grade 9s were asked to research an issue in the world, find a reputable aid agency and do something to help. They had previously read novels about issues in the world facing children including child slavery, AIDS, child prostitution, poverty, and child soldiers.
In all, they raised over $1,100 for a variety of organizations in the world, plus they raised awareness in our school of problems in the world.
The projects they took on included chocolate, coffee and hot chocolate sales for World Community, $200 in sales; raising awareness of child slave labour in cocoa plantations; fundraising for a school in India; students from our school visited an impoverished school in India in the fall and my students wanted to raise money for that school; the girls held bake sales, sold fudgesicles, and did several bottle drives; Quality Foods in Comox donated $100 to help buy fudgesicles and bake sale ingredients (they raised $499.92); HEAL project fundraiser (they raised $249 by selling goodies at lunch and asking friends and family to donate); they raised awareness of the issue of child soldiers; greening our school grounds; three boys baked cupcakes and sold them at lunch to raise money to buy fruit trees for our school grounds; they raised $76.50 in one lunch hour; Canadian Tire Jump Start (a group of passionate sports fans raised $35.50, by selling freezies at lunch — their money will help kids who can’t afford to participate in sports); Free the Children (two girls baked cookies and sold them at lunch to raise money for Mamas to Mamas, a branch of Free the Children that helps mothers in particular — $69.25 has been sent to Free the Children to buy a goat or materials for a food garden so that a family will have food).
You can see why I am so proud of these students!
Editor’s note: Chantel Parsons is an Humanities 8 and 9 teacher and an Environment Club sponsor at Mark R. Isfeld Secondary School.