Melisa Mulcaster

Amherstburg Public School students take “vow of silence,” spread message in town

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School went silent last Tuesday as part of the annual “vow of silence.”

Amherstburg Public School students assemble for a group photo prior to their “Vow of Silence”.

The local elementary school saw students take the vow to recognize other youth that don’t always have a voice, including those who are bullied and those living in third world countries. Students also walked around town, many carrying signs and banners displaying their message.

Students, through teacher Melisa Mulcaster, did convey what their messages were and why they were having such an event thanks to written submissions.

“This day sends an amazing message to the rest of the community especially during our walk,” explained Grade 8 student Morgan Bezaire. “We travel the area around town staying silent to push our message further. To be able to see (Ugandan students sponsored by Amherstburg Public School) Ronald and Hadijah doing so well within SACU gives me even more encouragement to get this movement further out there to the world. No one should have to suffer like some of those in third world countries.”

Bezaire added that “we take many things for granted” and “today is a day to reflect and appreciate all of the things we have.”

Erica Ayres, another Grade 8 student, wrote that “there are some people in this world who cannot voice their rights because the rest of the world is too ignorant to notice. We need to become more aware of how many millions of children in third world countries are suffering (due to) a lack of basic human rights. Today, we stay silent so those children will be heard, so for one day we will fall silent so they can speak up.”

After sitting quietly for the group photo organized by the school, the students then left on a walk through the downtown core (left). Amherstburg Public School held the event as a way to show support for children who may not have a voice due to bullying or who live in third world countries.

Jesse Carter, also in Grade 8, said the day was about creating awareness for those whose voice is not heard, even though they cry for help.

“They do not have access to clean water, food and a right to education,” Carter stated. “We go silent to feel like they feel.”

Carter added they want to help “break poverty in third world countries” as well as give people rights to education, food, clean water and “for their voice to be heard.”

“Education is the key to all of this because they are drinking muddy, filthy water and they don’t know that’s actually hurting them or actually killing them,” said Carter. “With an education, they could get a job, leave their country and change the world.”

Amherstburg Public School going silent in support of less fortunate May 22

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Amherstburg Public School will be a quiet place to be May 22.

The Grade 8 classes at the school are heading up the “vow of silence” and are doing so in support of children who don’t have a voice. Those include students in Third World countries and those who are bullied.

“There are students who are bullied every day,” said Ben Pillon, who acted as master of ceremonies at an assembly last Friday with classmate Chelsea Boose. “These individuals exist on a global level and right here in our community.”

Pillon said that “we have amazing students here. We need to shine a light on them.”

Boose added that “everyone has a voice that needs to be heard.”

“We have made a lot of change happen and we continue to make an impact,” she said. “We need to take care of each other too – at our own school, out on the playground and in the classroom. We need to encourage others instead of putting them down. We need to stand up to those who aren’t doing that. If we don’t work together and try to build a positive school atmosphere, no one wins.”

Grade 8 students at Amherstburg Public will lead the “vow of silence.”

Amherstburg Public School sponsors two students named Ronald and Hadijah that live in Uganda. The two Ugandan students are sponsored through Save African Child Uganda (SACU) with SACU committee member and retired Amherstburg Public School teacher Ingrid Silvaggio Heugh speaking to the students about her cause.

“It’s all about human rights. That’s what the SACU committee believes in.

Heugh said a lot of work has been done thanks to sponsors, including the construction of homeless shelters and classrooms. SACU helps 160 children with schooling and food thanks to over 100 sponsors, said Heugh.

Heugh told the Amherstburg Public School students their fundraising efforts have taken children like Ronald and Hadijah from lives of destitution to lives where they now can dream of post-secondary educations and careers.

Children in the shelters take care of one another, she added, as “they know what it’s like to be abandoned and afraid.”

“We continue to seek sponsors,” said Heugh. “For less than $1 per day, you can make a difference.”

Additional information can be obtained, and donations can also be made by contacting Heugh at 519-736-3512.

The “vow of silence” will be an all-day event for some, though some classes may do it for a period. The students are collecting donations up until the day of the event.

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.

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.”