Joanie Cotter

Amherstburg Public School raises over $800 as part of Vow of Silence

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Staff and students at Amherstburg Public School fell silent recently as part of the school’s annual “Vow of Silence.”

The vow was to give those less fortunate and those who are bullied a voice and also included a march around the town as students walked from the school with their teachers and walked some downtown streets to get exposure for their cause.

The Grade 7 classes helped lead the cause with Melisa Mulcaster, one of the Grade 7 teachers, saying they also raised over $800 for Save African Child Uganda (SACU). Mulcaster said the message is important to the students and that the vow was a proud moment for them. The other Grade 7 teacher who organized the day was Joanie Cotter.

Amherstburg Public School students gather outside of the school just prior to going on a community walk. The walk was part of the school’s recent “Vow of Silence” that was led by the two Grade 7 classes.

Amherstburg Public School students gather outside of the school just prior to going on a community walk. The walk was part of the school’s recent “Vow of Silence” that was led by the two Grade 7 classes.

While the students couldn’t speak, several provided written comments about what the day was about and why they were taking part.

“We are trying to make a difference by giving a voice to those who don’t have one,” explained Eric Harris. “We are doing this because we feel like it is unfair.”
Harris said they are sponsoring two Ugandan children and that those children need three meals per day, education and a uniform. He added he feels that it is unfair for children to live in poverty.

“We are doing this to break the cycle of poverty, bullying, (and to help) those denied basic human rights and an education,” added Evi Girard. “If we raise at least $700, we can keep sponsoring two children – Ronald and Hadijah.”

Girard added: “We are trying to make the world realize what we are doing and why we are doing it. We are silent for those who don’t have basic human rights. We will rise by lifting others.”

Amherstburg Public School students head out on their community walk as part of their recent “Vow of Silence.”

Amherstburg Public School students head out on their community walk as part of their recent “Vow of Silence.”

Lily Court said the vow of silence is “a pledge to stay silent on a certain day for as long as possible. This is very hard for everyone because we are so used to talking. We stay silent for people around the world who don’t have voices, like people who are bullied or who don’t have access to the basic human rights.”

Grant McGregor recalled a school project about people in sweatshops and said “poverty affects people in a lot of countries because a lot of them don’t have laws and regulations to pay people minimum wage or laws that regulate hours that people work. Sometimes it happens right here and it’s just families who can’t afford shelter, food or water because no one in the family makes a good amount of money.”

McGregor added another reason they went silent was because “there are people everywhere getting bullied every day and no one speaks up for them.”

SACU is an organization that was started by retired teacher Geri Sutts. Retired Amherstburg Public School teacher Ingrid Heugh has also become involved with Heugh speaking to the children at a kickoff assembly a few weeks ago.

Amherstburg Public School taking a vow of silence

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School will be going silent April 26 even though it will be a regular school day.

The school will be holding its third annual “Vow of Silence” next Wednesday and held a kickoff assembly to promote the event last Thursday morning. The “Vow of Silence” event is being organized by the Grade 7 classes taught by Melisa Mulcaster and Joanie Cotter.

Amherstburg Public School students will try to “Be the Change” as they will hold their third annual vow of silence April 26. The students are going silent so that less fortunate children and those who are bullied can have a voice of their own. A kickoff assembly was held April 13.

Amherstburg Public School students will try to “Be the Change” as they will hold their third annual vow of silence April 26. The students are going silent so that less fortunate children and those who are bullied can have a voice of their own. A kickoff assembly was held April 13.

“We’re going to be silent for the day,” explained student Erica Ayres. “We’re going to be silent for those less fortunate and those who don’t have access to basic human rights or clean water.”

“We are falling silent to give others a voice,” added classmate Breanna Lee. “Sometimes we take our human rights for granted.”

Lee noted that children in third world countries don’t have the same privileges they do with Ayres adding that some children in poor countries have to walk kilometres to get water that might not even be clean.

“People think that because you’re one person, it won’t make a difference, but it will,” said Ayres.

The Grade 7 classes showed the rest of the school a video showing those who are bullied and those in poorer countries need to have a voice.

“First world problems aren’t problems,” said Lee.

Ingrid Heugh speaks to Amherstburg Public School students on behalf of Save African Child Uganda (SACU). Heugh is a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher.

Ingrid Heugh speaks to Amherstburg Public School students on behalf of Save African Child Uganda (SACU). Heugh is a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher.

The classes are also trying to raise money to support two children they sponsor in Uganda through the Save African Child Uganda (SACU) program. Through the sale of T-shirts, they hope to allow the children – named Ronald and Hadijah – to stay in their Ugandan village and get an education.

Ingrid Heugh, a retired Amherstburg Public School teacher who now volunteers with SACU, said SACU now educates 145 students in Uganda. The students are fed breakfast and lunch each day.

Heugh said the children in Uganda want to be educated and that SACU is trying to help them.

“We all have rights because we are human,” said Heugh.