École Airdrie Middle School students honoured with Youth Volunteer Awardrd
Thursday, May 23, 2013 11:33 am
Grade 8 students fromÉcole Airdrie Middle School were recognized by the Rocky View Schools (RVS) board of trustees on May 16.
The students brought along the Youth Volunteer Award they received at the Calgary Drop-In Centre (DI) annual Volunteer and Donor Appreciation event on April 25, to show the trustees.
“Not only are you very supportive of the world and the environment, but you’re also very aware of our community and I think that is commendable,” Trustee Sylvia Eggerer told students Jonathan Lake and Madison Carefoot, who were on hand to represent their class at the meeting.
Principal Cathy Ziegler and Doug Schroeder, the teacher that organized the project, joined the students.
“We get hands-on preparing the meals, we get out on the floor and serve the meals, we bus the tables and often it’s hard to get the kids off the floor because they want to continue to help out,” Schroeder said.
For the last five years, each Grade 8 class at the school has volunteered at the homeless shelter four times per year.
Students not only help with the lunchtime service at the DI but also sort clothing and donations, and prepare bagged-lunches for clients.
“Our kids really seem to get it,” Schroeder said. “They really understand why they’re there.”
The project is different from others that help the DI because it is funded through weekly pizza sales at the school.
Schroeder said the meals cost about $1,200 and provides between 800 and 1,000 meals each time the school serves up lunch at the centre.
“We have lots of schools that go to the DI to help out, but I believe you’re the only school that raises the money to purchase the food, prepare the food and clean up,” Eggerer told the students.
“(DI clients) don’t have as much as you do,” Lake said of what he’s learned from the experience, “and you should really give back. Everyone should have the chance to help out.”
Carefoot said she learned a lot from “being so close to so little.”
“People don’t have what we have and sometimes we don’t realize that,” she said.
She added she used to think of the homeless in terms of stereotypes of addiction but now knows they have a story.
“They are people who come from somewhere,” she added.
“The world needs more compassionate people and I believe you are doing something very, very awesome,” Trustee Colleen Munro told the students.