27 Apr 16

April 27, 2016

CV-RPSsocialFreeChildren CMYK

Free the Children

From left, Kate Watters, Jessica Barlow and Abby Visneskie chose Free the Children as their research project for the Russell Public School social justice fair held on Wed., April 20. Vetter photo

RPS students create social justice fair

Candice Vetter

Villager Staff

RUSSELL — Seventeen Grades 5 and 6 students at Russell Public School created and hosted a social justice fair in the school’s library on Wed., April 20.

Six groups of students researched and presented information on international non-governmental organizations which try to improve social justice issues worldwide.

One group chose Free the Children. Asked what had been learned from their research, Abby Visneskie said, “I learned where Free the Children helps and what they do, like building 100 schools, for example. Some kids don’t know what school is!”

Ryan Nicol was part of the group which learned about Ryan’s Well. “I never thought people had no water.” He and classmates James Rawlings and Rowan Fraser were also impressed by the organization’s founder, Ryan Hreljac, who started the organization’s fundraising to drill wells in Africa when he was in Grade 1.

Students who presented on War Child said they were shocked to find out an estimated 300,000 children are soldiers in wars. They wanted everyone to know they can help at the warchild.ca website.

Four students researched Doctors Without Borders. Ty Findlay said, “I learned that people go to Asia and Central Africa to give medicine, food, water and places to sleep.” The boys learned about how medical volunteers help around the world where there are serious diseases like Ebola and Zika viruses.

“People can help with fundraising for the charity, food drives and blood drives,” said Anthony Coren.

Cole Leblanc and his research partner focused on World Wildlife Fund. “Seventy per cent of plants and animals are critically endangered,” they stressed.

Three boys chose the United Nations Children’s Fund, or UNICEF. “It helps kids around the world,” said Jack Wharton-Geary. “There’s no limit. “ The students spent hours in the computer lab researching the NGO, which is 70 years old and currently helps in 193 countries. The research paid off as the boys quickly produced more facts: one child dies of cholera every 60 seconds, 2.4-million children lack sanitation and 600 million have no access to clean water.

All the students thought they had gained valuable insight and desired to help their chosen causes. Teacher Aleksandra Greenwood was very pleased with the students’ projects.