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A Grade 5/6 class at Montrose
School is lending a helping hand to the Manitoba First Nation of Shamattawa.
During a current events discussion
in class, Room 132 students learned of a Sept. 22 fire that destroyed the First
Nation’s band office and only food store.
“We heard they were in a state of
emergency and that the Red Cross was collecting and donating food,” said one
student. “So we thought we could help out and do that at our school too.
They’re in our province so we should contribute and help.”
The class spread the word with
posters and presentations to other Montrose classrooms, and also emailed
information about the project to parents.
Students, staff and families around
the school dropped off non-perishable items for the weeklong food drive.
“We collected bottled water and
food, but there were also items like baby food, diapers and wipes,” said another
The class was ultimately able to
gather 1,040 pounds of food.
Transporting food to Shamattawa is
an ongoing challenge for the community; fortunately, Montrose was able to fly the
food north. Parent volunteers picked up the food and brought it to Perimeter
Aviation to fly to Shamattawa.
Teacher Joelle Brown said she was
impressed with the humanitarian efforts of her Room 132 students.
“I try to do current events every
morning with the students. They saw the news clip about Shamattawa and they
took it from there to help out,” she said.
“We’re trying to look at the three
different pillars of sustainable development (social, environmental and economic)
and get the students thinking about the broader picture. This was a good
community building exercise.“