Students at Edmonton’s David Thomas King School have worked to raise thousands of dollars to help Ukraine as part of a business venture.
As part of the “We Support Ukraine” project, students have been making pins in Ukraine’s national colors and selling them along with packets of sunflower seeds, the national flower of Ukraine.
They raised a total of $5,295.80, which will go to the Humanitarian Coalition.
“Once (students) know that the work they do has meaning, they automatically get very excited,” said third-grade teacher Cindy Lam.
Lam said the idea was brought up by the students themselves after they learned more about the conflict.
“One of the skills they really worked on is having empathy for others,” he said. “To work together as global citizens and collaborate with all students in the classroom, but also with the school and with our local community raising money for other people in the world.”
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“If we send money to Ukraine, that can help them buy food, water and things to survive,” said Kenadi Johnson, one of the third graders who participated.
“I really want to help,” he said. “Because I think it makes me feel good to know that I’m helping someone else.”
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Initially, the students intended to raise $1,000, but more support kept coming.
Drew Gravia, another third-grader at the school, said he thinks they were able to raise a lot because so many in Canada have connections to Ukraine.
“I am quite worried because I am also part Ukrainian,” he said. “I think that Ukraine can do this, if we try and help.
“If everyone has the opportunity (to do it), then you should help Ukraine if you can.”
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Students were able to learn a variety of skills; including accounting, marketing, logistics and production. Edmonton companies Creative Hive and Kemba Designs also worked with the students to provide advice and support.
Lam says the project was successful in raising funds, but he thinks the lessons learned were the most important aspect.
“(Students) can recognize that they have a voice and that they have the power to make a difference in the world,” he said.
“It doesn’t matter how old or how young you are, but you can do something on your own and make a difference.”
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