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Community Connexions News 2017-18

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Grade 6 student, Jenna R., has always loved animals. At age six, she started asking for small donations to the SPCA instead of birthday presents at her birthday parties - a tradition she continues to this day. She wanted to do more, so took some classes at the SPCA to learn about helping animals. For the last three years, she has raised even more money by participating in National Cupcake Day. She bakes cupcakes every February to sell and then donates the money to the SPCA. Also, instead of getting an allowance for her chores, she's decided to donate that money, which is $20 a month.

In total, she has raised about $2500 over the last five years!

In November, the SPCA called Jenna's mother because they wanted to nominate Jenna for a Canucks award. The award recognises children who go above and beyond to help their community. A month later, the SPCA called again, saying the Canucks and defensive player, Alexander Edler, wanted to honour Jenna at a home game by giving her family four tickets, showcasing Jenna on the Jumbotron and meeting Alexander in-person after the game. Jenna was super excited!

At the game, the announcer welcomed Jenna and commended her fundraising efforts. In the second period, her face was on the Jumbotron, and after the game, a Canuck representative came brought Jenna and her family behind the scenes for tour. They met Alexander Edler and he thanked Jenna for her amazing support to help animals. What a night!  






Last week, our Grade 10s went to Manning Park for a few days of winter camping. Memories were made, snow was shovelled, and friendships blossomed (you can't help but bond when it's really, really cold) on this annual outdoor education trip. Kayley C. reflects on this  classic Canadian experience:

"At winter camp, we went skate skiing, skating on a pond, tobogganing, snowshoeing, made snow kitchens, slept in -12 degree weather, and more. I personally enjoyed the snowshoeing hike the most, as it had such beautiful views, and we played a couple games along the way. I also really enjoyed skating on the pond. Even though I'm an absolutely terrible skater, it was fun to watch others play hockey after clearing the snow off the ice. Me and a few others were also having snowball fights and were burying our friends. I didn't get the chance to go tobogganing, but I heard it was great too!

My favourite memory would probably be the complete shock and appreciation we were in when we opened our doors to the cabins for the first night. We were all expecting something way worse, but there was a kitchen, bathrooms, and beds! We all had a great sleep.

Through this experience, our group as a whole learned a couple things: Don't make a gourmet meal, the birds will steal all your food, and when the teachers tell you to bring more than one pair of gloves, listen to them!

I would probably go winter camping again, now that I know what to expect. But I don't think I'd go any longer than this winter camp."


Mulgrave's annual Grade 7 Science Fair provides students with the perfect opportunity to conduct an experiment based on their own interests. The project begins with curiosity and then takes students on a journey of self-directed discovery, making science relevant and really, really fun!

The Grade 7s set up their displays Wednesday and Thursday with excitement and enthusiasm. Parents, teachers, and staff toured the Fair Thursday evening, asking students questions and praising their hard work. 

We approached a few students to ask them about their project and the overall experience. Here's what they said:

"My project was an investigation and comparison of different baseball bat materials' power. The best part of working on my project was making the poster board because I felt very proud and accomplished." - Cameron M.

"I compared the different effects different types of fish tanks have on water quality in a home aquarium. I really enjoyed learning about biology and my topic. I think that this is a new interest for me that I may pursue in the future, considering how much I enjoyed this process. I was also able to practice the skills of resilience, perseverance, and time management throughout the process. I also enjoyed learning about myself and my peers. I think I found a new interest of mine, and I learned a lot about my classmates and their interests. This was a fun part of the experience as I was able to connect and share an experience with others, as well as learning something about myself, and of course, fish! - Emma L.

"My science project was an investigation into the best materials to protect plants from oil spills. My favourite part was the actual experiment. I enjoyed both designing my experiment and collecting the data." - Aiden W.

On Wednesday, October 18th, 57 Mulgrave students in Grades 7-9 joined 20,000 other students from across BC attended WE Day. This event is sponsored by WE (formerly Free the Children) and Me to We, and is hosted at Roger’s Arena. WE is a movement that brings people together and gives them tools to change the world. WE Day is all about inspiration and celebration for generation WE to kickstart a new year of 'globalocal' #socialgood as volunteers, service leaders, activists, doers, and changemakers.

Please take a moment to read through the highlights some of our students shared:

"It is hard to describe how inspired you feel after attending WE Day. It is so impactful just to go and listen to other's voices and how they took initiative to step up and change the world. Even though it was such a diverse community, WE Day brought us together as we sang, listened, and enjoyed the day. I remember at the end, Karina, my friend saying, 'Mikkah, one day we are going to be on that stage.' Watching these young people help change the world influences me to make a change myself. WE Day is an amazing event, and I hope I can connect with Me to We and maybe one day earn my spot on that stage." 

-Mikkah, G8

"I loved how the presenters were trying to inspire us to take action and be a leader, and it makes me now want to make a difference. I also liked how they brought up kids from the arena to let them talk about what they did to take action, so we can get an overview to see what other schools do." 

- Ziyan, G8

"I enjoyed listening to Aysha Emmerson's speech. She was a very inspirational speaker, talking about mental health, and creating a camp that helps girls gain self-confidence. Another highlight was finding out that Bill Gates invented his first computer at 13 years old! This was highly motivational, and reminded me that your age does not limit you from making the world a better place." 

-Ava-Lillie, G7

"I was most surprised and intrigued by the fact that anyone at any age could make such a huge difference, seeing examples from presenters on stage. They were providing thousands of meals or raising awareness on mental illnesses and their amount of action really 'wowed' me."

-Nevin, G8

"I was so excited overall to be able to attend, and I really wish there was more than one of these fun events in the year...I liked being able to connect in some way to the speakers and what they said. For example, Karina Leblanc, the Olympic bronze medalist of the Canadian Women’s National Soccer team. I am a soccer player, and being able to hear about the life story and journey of someone that I wish someday I'll be was amazing."

-Jose, G8

"The most memorable performance of WE Day was Grace VanderWaal because she is such an inspiring role model that encourages others within our WE generation that WE can do anything. She's a 13-year old, performing in front of 20,000 people with self-formulated songs. She is the same age as myself, and reminds me of how capable I am of making a difference, and that my age should not stop me from aspiring to dream big." 

-Leili, G8

"The story that most inspired me was that of Silken Laumann. When she was rowing and training for the Olympics, another boat crashed into her's and over 200 fragments of wood were lodged in her leg. Doctors said she would never row again, but 10 weeks later, she won another Olympic bronze medal! That inspired me because she proved that nothing can hold you back if you put your mind to it."

-Ethan, G9

"My first highlight was seeing Hedley perform to close out We Day. Their performance really pumped me up and it was really hype because everyone was jumping up in the air and all the lights from phones were flashing. My second highlight was the story of the Kenyan Boys Choir. They created this band because they needed money to go to school. They are currently travelling around the world to perform and have performed for Selena Gomez and Obama. This is an amazing story."  

-Kaiden, G8

"One of the speakers, Silken Laumenn talked about her life story and the struggles she underwent to achieve her life-long goals. She inspired me to never give up even though life throws obstacles at me. Whether physical or emotional struggles, it is always possible to find the strength to overcome them. My favourite picture I took from WEDay is a blurred photo of all lights from phones in the crowd. This picture shows the immense amount of people in the audience and reminds me of how WEDay started, the founders were told 'it can’t be done', and look how far this project has come!"

-Charmaine, G8

"They say that leaders are not born, they are created. This is what I felt after my experience at WE Day. Martin Sheen said, 'History is shaped each time a man stands up for an ideal or acts to improve the lot of others.' He went on to further explain, even though we are young, we are able to change the world. In fact, the reason, according to Sheen, why we are able to is because we are young, and the future leaders of this world. And together, we can make a difference that will shape our world. These words still echo in my heart. I could feel the positive energy coming through the speakers and bouncing off the walls. This was an experience I will never forget."

-Alyssa, G8

"One of the best highlights for me was seeing the Kenyan boy's choir performance because when they played at Mulgrave, it was amazing! It was also very cool to see Spencer West, and see how far he has come and that not having two legs did not stop him from doing amazing things."

-Ali, G8

"I was really impressed by the people who suffered from mental illness or disability; they didn't just give up on their life or use drugs or alcohol. Instead, they created their own organisation to help more people like them. They don't believe in their fate, and they broke the rules that people tended to believe. If they can face all those challenges, why are we afraid of those little obstacles that block our way? Even everyone in the audience was from different schools, everyone did their job to welcome the performers and show respect."

-Joyce, G7

'The most important equation to learn is give + issue = change.' - WE Day.
"Inspiring, powerful, encouraging, exciting, moving, and influential are all words that describe WE Day 2017. The day was filled with such positivity and excitement. We were sharing the day with others around BC who are also passionate about making a difference in the world. Every speaker had a moving story and were so inspirational. From sports, to cultures, to inventions. My highlight was hearing about the journeys of the speakers and finding out where they have come to now. I also really enjoyed the music and entertainment portion of WE Day as it hyped up the entire audience throughout the show! Overall, WE Day was an unforgettable experience. I am even more motivated and even more passionate about wanting to make change. Lastly, I would also like to thank Mr. Wilson and all of the other teachers for this amazing opportunity to attend WE Day. #GenWE" 

-Ellyana, G8

 "I just wanted to thank you for giving me the opportunity to have the experience of WE Day! I really enjoyed and learned so much about how simple things can make a huge difference in the world. One of my highlights was all of the music, especially Grace Vanderwal. Also, I really enjoyed the Olympic rower Silken Laumann who talked about her experience and her great perseverance."

-Teagan, G8


Students Help Families with Babies in the NICU

As part of his culminating PYP Exhibition project for Grade 5 last year, Navik D. chose to focus on the impact that having a premature baby can have on family members (parents in particular). He became aware of the issue through discussions with Dr. Anitha Moodley, a neonatologist at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Royal Columbian Hospital (RCH), who is also the mother of his good friend, Mulgrave student, Shaiv R.  Dr. Moodley described some of the pressures faced by families as a result of having a child in hospital for a lengthy period of time (loss of income, housing costs for those who live out of town, transportation costs to and from the hospital, and no time to shop or prepare meals).

Navik was compelled to take action and researched the topic further for his Exhibition project, including visiting RCH and speaking with families of preemies, doctors, and the hospital-based social workers. He decided he wanted to help by raising awareness and funds to purchase food vouchers from nearby supermarkets and restaurants to allow parents to grab food quickly, when needed. He created a video presentation of his research and interviews, signed up for the Scotia Bank 5K run (the RCH NICU is one of the organizations you can support by participating in this run), and solicited donations from friends and family through a funding website. 

In total, Navik, with help from Dr. Moodley's sons, Shaiv (Grade 6) and Pranav (Grade 8), raised $800, which he donated to the RCH Foundation to be used specifically to buy food vouchers for NICU families. 

His video presentation was subsequently viewed by the entire NICU, and they are hoping to use it for promotional material to raise further awareness.

issue 21.17-18

February 16, 2018

Read the full issue. An archive of last year's Connexions stories can be found here.


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