Despite the acrimony surrounding the impending closure of Cedar Community Secondary School, students are looking to leave a positive legacy.
Students at the school are working with charitable organization Free The Children and aim to raise $10,000, which will be used to build a school in a developing country.
“Because our school’s closing down, we want to be able to build a legacy for Cedar and by doing that, we want to be able to give a school to a child in need in a developing country, so by building a school there, they can have education and have something that a lot of kids at Cedar are losing,” said Katrina Vizely, a Grade 12 student.
The site of where the school will be built is yet to be determined as the students have a Facebook group where members are researching and voting on different countries – Kenya is currently in the lead – and not only will donations from students be needed but also from the community.
A number of community fundraisers are being planned with a movie night, beer and burger dinner, and Mother’s Day tea among the events scheduled.
The group is accepting donations on five levels – platinum, gold, silver, bronze, and in-kind and corporate sponsorship will be welcomed as well.
“We have little brick house cardboard boxes and we’re going to put those in local businesses and stores where people can donate money to that,” said Jenna Pritchard, another Grade 12 student.
Pritchard is relieved to be graduating but said that it will be a difficult transition for current Cedar students that will go either to John Barsby Community School or Ladysmith Secondary School.
“Cedar is a community and home and there are so many people who feel comfortable here and thrive here because it’s smaller and it’s accepting and I think it’s going to be really hard to go to bigger schools and different schools,” she said.
Kelly Barnum, who teaches drama at the school and is sponsor teacher, said that the project is a testament to the character of the students.
“I think it says a lot … it really shows the maturity that these girls and the rest of the group have, in that they want to leave something behind,” Barnum said. “They’re not focusing on the loss, they’re really just looking at, ‘What can we do to be remembered by?’”
Anyone who wants to take part can contact the school at 250-722-2414 or e-mail email@example.com.