Students at Burnaby Central Secondary raised $8,500 to help build a school in Ecuador.
The money was presented in giant-cheque format in mid-January, when a representative from Free the Children visited the Burnaby school.
When he was just 12 years old, Craig Kielburger started Free The Children to fight child labour.
Since 1995, Free the Children has grown into an international children's rights organization, with more than 1.7 million youth involved in development and education programs in 45 countries.
Those who raised the money to build the school in Ecuador were part of the school's Global Action Against Poverty group, and the donation is for the fourth school they've helped build.
"Students over the past years have worked very hard in fundraising events to raise these monies, and it is a celebration of their efforts," said Monica Frank, the group's sponsor teacher at Central.
For more on Free the Children, go to www. freethechildren.com. (If you click on About Us, then Our Partners and Supporters, and then click on Educational And Program Partners, you'll see a photo of Burnaby school board chair Baljinder Narang, trustee Larry Hayes, and Kevin Kaardal, the new district superintendent.)
North lends a hand in effort
Central isn't the only school helping Free the Children.
Burnaby North Secondary students organized a districtwide "Mini We Day" conference on Jan. 18.
We Day, another initiative from Free the Children, is a cross-Canada series of free events for youth, inspiring them to be a positive force for social change.
Burnaby North students attended We Day in Vancouver and were inspired to host their own mini version.
Students from other schools were invited to attend and learn about Free the Children and the international work they do to support children's rights.
According to Monica Hsieh, one of the student organizers, an estimated 150 students came out.
"It went really well. We had schools such as Burnaby South and Burnaby Mountain come in," she said.
Hsieh and Burnaby North's Free the Children executive team organized the event.
The day was mostly focused on raising awareness about how people can make positive changes in their community and fight against child poverty.
Support for parents
Are you new to Canada and overwhelmed with parenting?
Burnaby Family Life and Maywood Community School are offering free support for new immigrant families who need help.
The sessions are on Tuesdays, at Maywood Community School, from 12: 30 to 2: 30 p.m. until March 12.
The meetings offer information on child development, the Canadian school system, child-care options and positive discipline.
Parents can come with questions and share their experiences.
The sessions are led by a facilitator from Burnaby Family Life.
According to the school district, Maywood has a large immigrant population that includes 50 different spoken languages.
Maywood School is at 4567 Imperial St.
Free child care is also available.
Call 604-664-8208 to register.
Do you have a school related item you would like to share with our readers? Send details to Jennifer Moreau at jmoreau@bur nabynow.com, by fax to 604444-3460 and by mail to 201A3430 Brighton Ave., Burnaby, B.C., V5A 3H4.