The Algoma District School Board (ADSB) places an important emphasis on teaching students to be good citizens of good character, and nowhere is this more evident than in ADSB schools at Christmastime.
“Though it’s difficult to count all items,” said ADSB Communications Officer Fran Walsh, “we have estimated that students annually collect over 16,900 canned food items, non-perishables and essentials for delivery to various district food banks and Christmas Cheer outlets.”
And that’s not all. Students also collect over 400 toys, stockings, and books each December to give to local holiday donation efforts.
Annually, ADSB schools have raised approximately $24,670 in cash donations, which goes directly to food banks, women’s and men’s shelters, charity organizations, purchasing grocery gift cards, classmates’ relief funds, community families in need, and Christmas Cheer and Christmas food baskets.
“ADSB schools fundraise throughout the year and the December focus has become an annual endeavour,” said ADSB Director Lucia Reece. “It’s heartwarming to hear the stories and to see the generosity of our students, families and staff,” she continued.
“Our efforts are reflective of the caring citizens we are developing and the good character we aim to model and instill in our students.”
The Algoma District School Board’s tagline is Confident Learners, Caring Citizens, and these statistics reflect actions that demonstrate the focus on good character and citizenship is deeply understood in ADSB schools.
Reece notes, “In educating the whole child, we develop their minds and their hearts, such that they become good, caring and contributing citizens of our communities.”
Children often come to a teacher with concerns about world news, neighbours in need, or something they have seen in their local community, and their teachers work with the students to come up with a way to help.
“I can’t say enough about our staff, whose commitment to character and to our mission statement is steadfast. Staff not only model good character and citizenship but seek and support opportunities to engage their students in a variety of ways in our communities,” said Reece.
“One of our public schools ran a Socktober collection for St. Vincent Place. The grade 5 class collected over 700 socks in their first ever Socktober. And of course that is just one example. We love seeing kids supporting those in need!” enthused Walsh.
In addition to holiday and Christmas giving, ASDB students and staff also honour important occasions such as Truth and Reconciliation Week and Pink Shirt Day. Students have also supported some international efforts, for instance raising money for Ukraine at the beginning of 2022.
“Coming out of the pandemic the last two years, there were limited opportunities to fundraise and to work together the way the students are used to, so they are excited to get right back at it,” said Walsh.
ADSB Students are in the thick of their December Christmastime fundraising now, so keep an eye out for fundraising initiatives at your neighbourhood school or through students you know, and please support.
Let’s show students that we can all be good citizens!