Melisa Mulcaster

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.

Amherstburg Public School make “Kick It Capes” for sick children

 

By Ron Giofu

A group at Amherstburg Public School has done their part to assist sick children.

The GAP (Girls Are Powerful) group at Amherstburg Public School made “Kick It Capes” for sick children, with the goal to distribute these capes at the new Ronald McDonald House in Windsor. The capes have super hero themes and designed to improve the morale of sick children.

Melisa Mulcaster, a Grade 7 teacher at Amherstburg Public, said the capes started when a young boy named Maiysn Spencer was ill and received one. The initiative spread from there.

The Girls Are Powerful (GAP) group at Amherstburg Public School made "Kick it Capes" for sick children May 30. Joining them were Tara McCallan and her daughter Pip.

The Girls Are Powerful (GAP) group at Amherstburg Public School made “Kick it Capes” for sick children May 30. Joining them were Tara McCallan and her daughter Pip. (Submitted photo)

The GAP group has about 20 Grade 7 girls who meet weekly and focus on issues like body image, self esteem, social media, accepting ourselves and celebrating our differences.

“It has made a huge impact on some of these girls and they love getting together,” said Mulcaster, who is in her fifth year of running such a group. It is the second year of it being at Amherstburg Public.

Mulcaster said they applied for a grant thought Windsor Essex Community Foundation.

“We were one of six to be accepted over many other applicants. We received $500 for our initiative,” said Mulcaster.

Helping sick children who are in the hospital was something the GAP group found they could easily support.

“The girls and I care deeply about these children and their families and wanted to give back,” she said. A “sewing bee” was held Monday at the school with Tara McCallan and her daughter Pip from the Happy Soul Project joining them for the day.

The Happy Soul Project can be found online at www.happysoulproject.com.

Kris Field, Carlisa Elliott and Devin Wiley create one of the "Kick it Capes."

Kris Field, Carlisa Elliott and Devin Wiley create one of the “Kick it Capes.”

“We want to raise awareness and show others what youth can do in a community. That we care, we want to give back and above all else- we want to spread the message ‘to have courage and be kind’,” said Mulcaster. “Teaching goes way beyond curriculum and I hope to use this platform to show our community the compassion the students at APS possess.”

The girls were divided up into several teams for Monday’s “sewing bee” and the goal was to create 60 “Kick It Capes.”

“I hope to continue this every year,” said Mulcaster.

In all, Amherstburg Public School students made 52 capes, which Mulcaster said “equals 52 smiles and lots more.”

McCallan said she never envisioned the capes growing like they have.

“It’s really great,” she said. “Seeing it in schools is humbling and rewarding. These kids are going to be the change.”

There are now over 5,000 “Kick It Capes” worldwide, McCallan added.

“One little boy and one little cape has turned into this,” she said. “It’s turned into a big movement.”

Amherstburg Public School’s “Vow of Silence” exceeds its goal

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School’s #BeTheChange campaign and its accompanying “vow of silence” hit its targets for 2016.

The recent initiative, led by Melisa Mulcaster’s Grade 7 class, raised $832 with the goal being $700. #BeTheChange was to recognize those children who can’t normally speak for themselves with the proceeds being donated to Save African Child Uganda (SACU).

Mulcaster said that allows the school to feed the entire village in Uganda that SACU supports with bananas and oatmeal.

Students at Amherstburg Public School held their "vow of silence" May 5 and raised $832 for Save African Child Uganda (SACU).

Students at Amherstburg Public School held their “vow of silence” May 5 and raised $832 for Save African Child Uganda (SACU).

“The students showed an amazing amount of dedication and compassion towards this cause!” said Mulcaster. “We are beyond proud of the APS student body. When they set their mind to something, they achieve it. Ronald and Hadijah sent us a video all the way from Uganda and are thrilled about their sponsorship! It’s definitely a feel good initiative!”

Students took to heart what they were doing and were eager to help children who don’t have basic human rights or freedoms such as the ability to go to school.

“I cannot believe why all this stuff is happening and we do nothing to stop it,” said Dakota Lucier. “It’s not good and we really have to do something about it.”

As for why he was participating in the “vow of silence,” Spencer Gallant stated “I can’t believe how some people live in poor countries. When we are young, we are full of joy but in some countries, kids are in fear and pain.”

“A lot of things like this are going on all the time and we tend to brush them off thinking ‘well, this is not my problem’,” added Nigel Harte. “But the truth is, it is your problem and it is my problem. It’s all of our problem.”

Some students observed the #BeTheChange vow of silence with tape over their mouths and cards around their necks explaining what they were doing. (Special to the RTT)

Some students observed the #BeTheChange vow of silence with tape over their mouths and cards around their necks explaining what they were doing. (Special to the RTT)

Hayden Zimmermann added: “Food, water, basic health care – these are the things we need to use to stop poverty. If we get together, we can convince the government to save a bit of money so we can get the countries in poverty the things they need for a year and then they can improve their country.

Another student, Tyler Ryan, stated “these kids need our help. Every day we complain about how our Internet sucks or how pizza can be expensive while these kids can’t even feel the satisfaction of a warm slice of pizza or even the wonderful feeling of cold water tricking down their throats.”

Harley Brooker said they participated in the silent day for the second year in a row to support the children who can’t speak up for themselves and to put themselves in their place to see how it feels to have no voice.

“We are trying to raise awareness,” said Brooker. “We are not the only ones who need fresh water or education. We are all human beings.”

“I am doing this is to show I care, that I want to make a change,” added Karlie Simon, “to say ‘I know you’re there and I want to help.”

Amherstburg Public students want to #BeTheChange for less fortunate children

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School students will fall silent on Thursday to recognize other children who are not as fortunate as they are.

The school’s second annual “vow of silence” will take place for all or part of the day, depending on grade level, and it is being organized by Melisa Mulcaster’s Grade 7 class.

“This a pledge the students take to commit to no talking, texting, or social media during the school day,” said Mulcaster. “They are raising awareness and standing together in solidarity for those who are denied their voice and basic human rights every day. Students from JK-8 will all take on this challenge in different amounts of time depending on their age. The intermediates have committed to the entire day.”

“It’s basically about kids who don’t have the right to say anything,” noted student Carlisa Elliott.

Grade 7 students at Amherstburg Public School are leading a “vow of silence” this Thursday with an assembly to kick it off being last Friday. THey are using the hashtag #BeTheChange to promote the cause.

Grade 7 students at Amherstburg Public School are leading a “vow of silence” this Thursday with an assembly to kick it off being last Friday. THey are using the hashtag #BeTheChange to promote the cause.

Classmate Nigel Harte added that a lot of children are bullied and some don’t have fresh water to drink or enough food to eat.

Rachel Jones said they were part of an assembly to promote the vow of silence and to stand with children who don’t have a voice in their lives. Abby Gorgerat said it is for those who simply don’t have basic human rights while Harley Brooker added children in some countries are unable to go to school.

Amherstburg Public raised $600 and sponsored two children from Save African Child Uganda (SACU). “This year, we want to be able to continue sponsoring them and providing them with the education, food and medical assistance they so desperately need,” said Mulcaster. “APS is committed to making a difference. Their theme is #BeTheChange and they are extremely dedicated and compassionate towards this cause. We want to show the community we care, and we can make a difference in the lives of others.”
The fundraising target this year is $700.

Students will also be out in the community promoting their cause during Thursday’s school day.

 

Amherstburg Public School concludes holiday toy drive

Micah, Noah, Mateah and Nataliah Egglezos show some of the toys collected during a recent toy drive held at Amherstburg Public School. The drive was held in memory of Maisyn Spencer.

Micah, Noah, Mateah and Nataliah Egglezos show some of the toys collected during a recent toy drive held at Amherstburg Public School. The drive was held in memory of Maisyn Spencer.

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School has raised over 400 toys in memory of a little boy who died of cancer last year.

The school raised 464 gifts for the organization “Little Hands, Kids for a Cause,” which was set up in memory of Maisyn Spencer, an eight-year-old boy from Prince Andrew Public School who died last November. Melisa Mulcaster, a Grade 7 teacher at Amherstburg Public School, said the drive ended Tuesday after a two-week period.

“We wanted to focus on paying it forward,” said Mulcaster.

The gifts will benefit hospitalized children in London and Windsor, including being donated to Ronald McDonald Houses.

“We wanted to show Little Hands just how much Amherstburg P.S. likes to help others in need!” she said.

There was a “giving tree” in Mulcaster’s room and she said students were lining up daily with deliveries of new toys.

“The students here have been amazing,” said Mulcaster. “It’s been heartwarming to see them lining up at my door.”

Besides contributing to a great cause, Mulcaster said this also helps APS become a “ME TO WE” school, something Amherstburg is currently striving to be.

“Last year, we acted globally by sponsoring two children from SACU (Save African Child Uganda), and now we will act locally as well, helping out children in our own community,” said Mulcaster.

Mulcaster added they have also been selling candy canes for Hospice.

“We’re really trying to focus here on giving back and helping those who need help,” said Mulcaster.

Aimee Omstead, who co-founded Little Hands with Leigh-Ann Mastronardi, said the group started by raising $700 at a lemonade stand and things spread from there. She said the toys will be earmarked for local children, noting many in London are from Windsor-Essex County.

Laura Spencer, Maisyn’s mother, was thrilled to see how Amherstburg Public School did.

“It’s awesome,” she said. “It’s amazing. It’s great to know his memory is still alive.”

Knowing the toys are for sick children would make Maisyn smile, she added.