The Grade 6 class of teacher Dara Uhren at Queen Elizabeth School wants to help make this a better world in which to live, and are fundraising for bricks to build a school in a Third World country.
Arising from “Free the Children”, the “We Day” campaign for students encourages them to make a difference; there are year-long “We Act” campaigns, and the students decided to help build a school “brick-by-brick”.
To help in their campaign, the class has decided that instead of buying gifts for each other at Christmas, they are going to sell paper bricks at $2 each; the donor who buys each brick writes their name on it, and the name is put up on the gymnasium at Queen Elizabeth.
They first set a goal of $1,500, and once they reached that, they then set a goal of $2,000, and set a deadline of the school’s Christmas concert on Thursday, Dec. 19, for residents and families to buy bricks.
Student Maya Knipfel pointed out that each class should do two “We Act” projects, and the first one was to collect food for the FCC “Drive Away Hunger” food drive to help the food bank. The school went on to win $500 from FCC for their efforts, and the class decided to use that money towards buying bricks for their school project.
Student Shayla Moore pointed the class will have a table set up at the concert, selling bricks at $2 each, and hopes many more bricks will be bought there.
“Hopefully we can do the whole gym wall,” she suggested, pointing out at the parent-teacher conferences held recently, the class sold $400 worth of bricks.
“For the We Act, we made presentations around the school, explaining what We Day is, and at the assembly,” said student Alyssa Douglas.
Student Blayke Walbaum noted that the school picked up 899 pounds of food donations food for the food drive.
Maggie Grams pointed out the students won’t have a gift exchange, or give gifts to teachers, as a way to encourage the students to think of others.
“Our teachers both spent $44 to buy bricks,” added Knipfel, noting a whole school would take around $10,000 to build.
“Our teacher and us have been putting a lot of work into this,” added Moore.
Asked why the class is doing this project, student Erik Barsness replied, “We’re doing it because some countries in Africa don’t have education or food like we have here, so we’re just helping them.”
Student Cheyenne Pope pointed out some of the credit should go to the School Community Council, as they initially had the idea and passed it on to the teachers to see if any students would be interested in taking it on.
The students added they hope to have a brick for every student at Queen Elizabeth.
We Act is a year-round program that encourages young people to take action on social issues, at home and abroad.