Brentwood Elementary students came together to raise money for Ukrainians in need as they learned about what it means to be global citizens.
“So, the Grade 3 curriculum, they (the students) learned about different countries, Ukraine being one of them, and then also learned about being global citizens and Canadian Citizens,” said Amy White, who teaches at Brentwood Elementary. “(When) the news hit, my kids felt like they knew about Ukraine and felt it was horrible and they wanted to help and do something.”
After a bit of planning and brainstorming, White’s students settled on wanting to do a fundraiser to contribute and make a difference for somebody.
According to White, students and families were asked to bring in two-dollar donations to the cause, or any other donation the community wished to put forward.
The single-day fundraiser, hosted in May, was able to bring together $2,780.
“We were impressed with the amount that we were able to get out of such a small school. After that, we also did an awareness and education campaign in our school,” said White. “The fundraiser was online and that allowed us to tell our kids a little bit about it … and then we found a family who just moved into Calgary who were displaced due to the war.”
White explained the money was donated to the family, who after only recently finding a new home, informed Brentwood Elementary of their intent to use the money for furniture and a few children’s toys.
Though the official fundraiser was only hosted for a day, the school collected donations for roughly a week for families who wished to contribute.
“There was no goal, it was just to bring what we could. And, we didn’t have a family picked out yet, we just knew we wanted to help a local family, if possible,” said White. “We knew that families were going to start to come over, so we thought let’s get prepared for that and it was amazing to see how much Brentwood came together to make it happen.”
White added the process turned into a unique hands-on learning experience for her students to experience firsthand what it means to be global citizens and apply their learning.
“It really made it tangible for them to understand what was going on, and … I would say it’s kind of taking the learning from outside our school and putting it inside, which was a really nice combination,” said White. “If you teach what the words ‘Global Citizen’ mean, it doesn’t mean anything if (students) are not actually experiencing … what the family was going through.”
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times