Service Thrives at SMUS

Since September, our students and staff have been involved in a variety of fundraising efforts for people in need. Our Grade 7 students are focusing on service for their exploratory programme, our Senior School students continue to use their leadership skills to promote both service and global responsibility, and our staff has encouraged students to do more, while setting a fine example themselves.

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This week, service at the Senior School focused on the victims of landmines and cluster bombs. Cluster bombs break open in mid-air, scattering smaller bombs over wide areas, killing many civilians, and undetonated bombs can kill and injure long after a conflict has ended. Last year, alumnus Dariusz Dziewanski ’97 visited the school and spoke about the issue.

On Wednesday, 22 students led a protest march against the production and use of the bombs and a group of Grade 12 students spoke in chapel about the global concern, presenting a video and holding a moment of silence for those affected. The students also asked students to make a small donation to the cause in exchange for a break from their uniforms on Thursday and to sign the online petition urging Canada to ratify a treaty banning the use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster bombs.

That same day, T-shirts bearing the slogan “Give More” were on sale for $20. The shirts, designed by student Shun Kinoshita, not only raised funds for service initiatives, but also spread an important message encouraging more support of important causes.

Our male faculty members are also showing their support for service – on their faces, as 23 of them are growing moustaches for Movember, a men’s health awareness campaign. The money they raise will be donated directly to the Prostate Cancer Research Foundation of Canada, who will use the funds to raise awareness and fund research. This week, our athletics teachers put in some extra effort by conducting a lunchtime fundraiser where students paid to switch roles and make their PE teachers run laps or do push-ups for a change.

Below, Grade 7 student Kevin W. writes about his grade’s service activities and why service is such an important part of life.

Service was our main subject for this term’s exploratory. The grade seven students have done several different activities. We have collected socks and other warm clothes for people living on the streets; we also have baked cookies that Ms. Smith will give out to people on the streets on Friday nights. Everyone who went through Mr. Newman’s group made shoe box survival kits for people who cannot afford to buy things to clean themselves with. People with Mr. Williams made snowflakes that will be hung on Christmas trees in the Empress Hotel. The last group was people who collected money for people in Mexico so they could get water. This year’s group has started very well.

We are doing these activities because service is a very important thing. What we are doing will not only feed people or give them warm clothes but it will give them more self esteem. When we help people who are not as fortunate as us it makes them feel better and we do too, because we know that we helped someone get a new handle on life. Service is an important thing that we should be able to practice more.

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