MONTREAL, MARCH 16, 2010 - Schools, centres from the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) have set a new mark for generosity. With more totals still to be reported, an extraordinary $108,748.09 has thus far been raised for Haiti relief. In 2004, the EMSB brought in more than $50,000 for victims of the South East Asian tsunami.
“I am so proud of the staff, students and parents of our board,” said EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. “Immediately after the earthquake in Haiti we asked our schools and centres to do what they could to sensitize our students to this disaster and raise funds for one of the organizations providing relief. They have exceeded our expectations.”
Ms. Mancini stated that in compiling the money raised by each school and centre, the EMSB has decided not to publicize their totals individually. “We do not want to give the impression that our schools were in competition,” she noted.
In a message to his own students, Westmount High School Principal Michael Cristofaro stated: “ One of the greatest acts of charity is to give without expectation, without promise of something in return and with the notion that our giving will assist a human being less fortunate than ourselves. Perhaps some of you gave up a snack at recess or a drink at the depanneur and instead gave that loonie or toonie to a greater good. Because of your actions you have put rice into empty bowls, water in thirsty mouths, and blankets around shivering children.”
Funds are being directed to the Canadian Red Cross Society, World Vision, UNICEF, Canada Care, New Missions, Oxfam and the CECI (Centre D’études et de Cooperation International).
Some of the highlights include:
-Nesbitt Elementary School in Rosemount has decided to assist families from Haiti who have settled in Montreal following the earthquake and are in need of all basic items to start a new home. Each grade level, from kindergarten to Grade 6, will adopt one family each and determine what their needs are, be it clothing, toys or household items. It is hoped that these families will also visit the school together in the near future.
- Michelangelo Elementary School in Rivière-des-Prairies held a Druma-a-thon. The students participated in a continuous drum circle throughout the school day. “Haiti took a beating and we are beating for Haiti,” was the slogan adopted by the school and music teacher Ian Hanchet.
-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary School in Rosemount held dress down and one pre-kindergarten student brought all the money from his piggy bank.
-Vincent Massey Collegiate students made posters and held a memorial service. Funds were collected during homeroom, during lunch hour and at the February Parent Teacher evening.
-Bancroft Elementary School in the Plateau held a bake sale and a summer in January theme day.
-FACE School in downtown Montreal held bake sales and a healthy running stair-a-thon.
-The Mackay Centre School held a pizza lunch fundraiser where students, teaching and rehabilitation staff participated.
-Our Lady of Pompei Elementary School in Ahunstic held a dress down day and raised $900 for the Canadan Red Cross Society
- Lester B, Pearson High School in Montreal North held a non uniform day and donated profits from their school dance to the cause.
- During two lunch periods staff and students of Haitian background manned a donation table and showed images of the devastation at John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel. Funds were also raised through classroom collections and a dress down day. .
-At General Vanier Elementary School in St. Léonard, students brought in filled water bottles. On each one they wrote a Message of Hope for the Haitian people. Over 300 filled water bottles were picked up by the Sun Youth Organization and sent directly to Haiti. The school also held a dress down day for the Canadian Red Cross Society.
-At Edinburgh Elementary School in Montreal West, two Grade 5 students spearheaded a fundraising drive.
- At Dante Elementary School in St. Lèonard teachers spoke to the students about the events that occurred, trying to sensitize them to the suffering and hardships that the people of Haiti were experiencing. The students were asked to donate whatever they could, with no strings attached ( i.e., no dress down day ). The value of giving from the heart without receiving anything in return was impressed upon the students.
-The LaurenHill Academy Senior campus in St. Laurent received two visits from NHL veteran Georges Laraque to congratulate them for their efforts – one for a press conference and another when he played basketball with the students.
-Students at Cedarcrest Elementary School in St. Laurent made and sold flower pens.
-Royal Vale School in N.D.G. held a staff luncheon, an elementary breakfast, a benefit concert, a high school breakfast, free dress day and popcorn sales.
-Willingdon Elementary School in N.D.G. Willingdon School had a three pronged approach . There was a raffle for wonderful prizes, such as Disney on Ice tickets and an autographed Canadiens hockey stick and a special dress day with the Theme: “Stretch your Heart to the People of Haiti.” Another such day is planned March 17 entitled “Respond to the People of Haiti with Irish Hospitality.” Everyone will wear green and contribute $1.
-Laurier Macdonald High School in St. Léonard asked patrons to match cafeteria sales for one week and also raised funds the Drama club’s production of So You Think You Can Shakespeare, Secondary V International Baccalaureate students raffled off tickets for a Montreal Canadiens game, school musicians played music in the cafeteria for donations. IB Secondary IV students auctioned off an authentic autographed hockey stick from Michael Cammalleri of the Habs. Other programs included Hug your favourite teacher for a donation (Hugs for Haiti), four student organized bake sales and a penny war.
-Elizabeth Ballantyne Elementary School in Montreal West raised funds with the 272 pupils emptying their pockets, donating their allowance and asking their parents for a little extra to help the people of Haiti. “ The cycle 1 students grouped the pennies by 50 to put into bags and then the Cycle 3 students did the rolling,” said Principal Katherine Snow. “ The Cycle 2 students added the amounts. This was very time consuming, but a complete community project. The generosity is staggering and we are very pleased.”
-Students at St. Gabriel Elementary School in Point St. Charles also held a penny drive, giving all of the change they could find. Spiritual Community Animator Veronica D’Agata and teacher Joanne Fasone rolled all of the change.
-After hearing about the terrible losses in the news, and watching such heart-wrenching images in the media, Spiritual Animator Veronica D’Agata helped organize a penny drive at St-Gabriel Elementary for the Haiti relief effort. The students were very eager to help and truly gave all the change they could find!
-Rosemount Technology Centre had a red t-shirt /toonie day.
-One of the special needs classes at Marymount Adult Centre in Côte Saint-Luc raised funds by baking and selling their goods to other students.
-Honoré-Mercier Elementary School in St. Léonard held A Pennies for Haiti program, which saw all classes from Grades 1 to 6 bring in their “change.” The Grade 5 and 6 classes rolled the coins and went to the bank with the teacher(s) to make the exchange . The bank manger was so impressed that she sent the story and photo of the students to be published in the Bank’s magazine. Meanwhile, kindergarten students initiated a Hearts for Haiti campaign. They designed magnetic hearts by coloring, gluing and painting and brought them home to their family and friends with a letter explaining the project.
- At Merton Elementary School one of the interesting stories involved student Liam Weber-Nudel and his cousin Cassidy, who found a box in his grandparents’ house. After decorating the box Liam had the idea to bring it to the nearby depanneur and to ask if it could be displayed on the counter where patrons also contributed.
-At Dalkeith Elementary School in Anjou students and staff organized sports and movie days and sold personalized bookmarks for the victims of Haiti earthquake. The project was initiated by teachers Sandra Trevisonno and Kim Gregus.
-In addition to a dress down day, Rosemount High School held a cookie sale and transferred the proceeds from library fines to the cause.
-John Paul I Junior High School in St. Léonard held two pizza lunches. On their own initiative, whatever change the students got back from their meal was left in a donation jar.
-Coronation Elementary School in Côte des Neiges held a Pennies For Haiti drive. All of the classes were given a container to be filled by the students. Cycle 3 students rolled the pennies.
- Students at Options II Alternative High School in Ville Emard had a bake sale and also sold hot dogs one day.
-Perspectives Alternative High School in St. Michel collected funds the day after the earthquake and walked over to the nearby Haitian Community Centre
- In addition to a dress down day, Gardenview Elementary School in St. Laurent organized a used children’s book sale for the children of Haiti.
-The following schools held dress down days: East Hill and Leonardo Da Vinci in RDP, Pierre Elliott Trudeau in Rosemount, LDV, Sinclair Laird in Park Extension, Royal West in Montreal West, Gardenview and Fraser Academy in St. Laurent, Our Lady of Pompei and Paul VI in Ahuntsic, St. Brendan in Rosemount, Edward Murphy Elementary School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Roslyn in Westmount, Gerald McShane Elementary School and Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North, Perspectives I and II Alternative High School in St. Michel , Dunrae Gardens in T.M.R, John Grant High School in Côte Saint-Luc.
-The following schools raised funds through voluntary collections: Westmount High School, James Lyng Adult Centre in St. Henri, Westmount Park, St. Laurent Adult Centre, LaurenHill Academy Senior and Junior campuses, in St. Laurent St. Pius X in Ahuntsic, Galileo Adult Centre in Montreal North, John F. Kennedy Business Centre in St. Michel, Pierre de Coubertin Elementary School in St. Léonard and St. John Bosco Elementary School in Ville Émard.
-The Administrative Head Office raised money via sales from a food cart that circulated throughout the building.