Berrigan Elementary School is the number one ranked school in all of Ontario and in the top ten standings when it comes to raising funds and awareness for UNICEF.
“This is a school-wide initiative that is spearheaded by the 50 Grade 6 EFI students,” says teacher Suzanne Stewart. The very proud teacher adds that none of the students do this for personal recognition. Instead, they are focused on enhanced global citizenship.
Ms. Stewart also says for two years now students in Grade 6 EFI have been school Ambassadors for UNICEF as part of their English Language Arts studies. The students study the United Nations Rights of the Child, fair trade, child labour and related topics. Since students wanted to do something practical to address the inequities about which they had learned, they did – by raising funds for UNICEF. To that end, they collected, counted, graphed and deposited the money during their math classes.
“When the educational unit is complete, I believe the students have a deeper appreciation for the community and country they live in and a feeling of satisfaction that they have made a difference in another child’s life,” Ms. Stewart notes.
Berrigan students so impressed the administrators at UNICEF that they were featured in the 2012-2013 UNICEF promotional DVD distributed to all Canadian schools.
School principal Jill Cutler says, “Our students represent 35 countries and more than 20 languages. We are a very diverse population with a variety of cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. Our students are proud to be Canadian and pleased to be dynamic citizens of the world.”
In addition to the UNICEF campaign, Berrigan students have raised close to $5,000 for Pass the Baton for Parkinson’s Disease and almost $10,000 for The Heart and Stroke Foundation.