- The big day has finally arrived! We joined student across Canada to hear about their success fundraising stories and what they are doing to have a positive community in their schools!
- We heard from three high school students group fundraised to support a mental health charity of their choice. Their fundraising efforts were matched in donation by the organization Charitable Impact Foundation (CHIMP).
Students of Queen Elizabeth High School, Edmonton, engaged the school community in activities like “Be Jolly Day” where Jolly Ranchers were handed out as a reminder to “be jolly” and acknowledge each others small acts of kindness, such as holding the door open for someone or simply smiling.
- A student group from Major General Griesbach School, Edmonton, raised money by hosting“Hats on for Mental Health” events through out the academic year. Student were allowed to wear hats at schools if they donated (any amount) to the campaign. They raised $500 which was donated to Kids Help Phone and the Canadian Mental Health Association.To involve whole student body, from kindergarten to grade nine , the group created an information bulletin board. The bulletin board had information about mental health for the elementary and junior high students.
- A gym class from Central Algoma Secondary School, Ontario, organized a Mental Health Week to fundraise for the charity Do It for Darren. During the Mental Health Week they held ball hockey tournaments, causal Friday for teachers, had presentations about mental health issues in the school courtyard, and even brought in a therapy dog into their school!
- It was very inspiring to hear about how student raised money for a mental health charity of their choice.For the next half of the conference, we turned to student groups from elementary and middle schools to hear about what they are doing to create a positive school community.First, we heard from The SMILE team from Banting and Best Public School, Toronto. The SMILE Team implemented a school wide Be a Buddy Program which encourages everyone to reach out and interact with students from different grades and class.To help with this process, the SMILE team would host team-building activities at recess, have school wide picnics, encourage students to high-five someone new everyday, talk to someone from a different grade, and many more. Students felt that this project brought students at their school closer together and created an inviting and positive atmosphere!
- The Stand Up People Club (SUP Club) from Glen Park encouraged their student body to become more socially aware about social justice issues and work together to eliminate inequity. They were inspired to start the club by an incidence of bullying in their school but were later inspired to broaden the focus of their club when they heard about an underserved Aboriginal community in Ontario.To gain support within their school, the SUP Club hosted school wide assemblies. The SUP Club also created a Bitstrips account to share their work with others outside the school.
- Even though the school is ending, the group plans to continue their work and expand their social media presence to gain even more support outside their school.
- A small group primary school students from Timberbank Junior Public School, Toronto, felt it was very important to spread awareness about why positive mental health is important in their school community.To spread their message, the group created a video, a PowerPoint presentation, and posters to post around the school.
- It was very informative and inspiring to hear from all the student groups. Every group demonstrated that a small act of kindness goes a long way to create positive change in the community.But we did not just end the day with sharing our ideas. The students challenged each other in actives to do in their schools!