Ciera Saundry was tired of seeing kids at her school who were sad or lonely.
So the Grade 4 student at Anne McClymont Elementary took matters into her own hands and has started a club to help students find kids to play with and promote inclusion and acceptance at the school.
Called Helping Hearts, Saundry introduced the club to her school mates during an assembly on Wednesday as part of the school’s Harmony Day celebration.
“I had the idea to make this club because I was sick of seeing all the lonely and hurt people on the fields and in playgrounds. I wanted to put a stop to it,” she said. “Helping Hearts is a club that plays with the lonely, helps the hurt and solves problems.”
Students who want to join the Helping Hearts club will receive a string with a heart on it to show people around the school that they are in the club.
“I would encourage you to join the club if you are a nice person, good problem solver or a good safety person, or all three,” she said. “You will be split up into groups of five and if you see a person is lonely, hurt or kids are fighting, then jump in and help them.”
The Helping Hearts Club is a perfect example of what Harmony Day promotes in the Central Okanagan School District: Turning kids into leaders with a message of inclusion and acceptance.
Teacher Samia Umeris said it’s inspiring to watch students taking a leadership role.
“It’s great to hear how our kids like Ciera are taking the initiative to really make a difference in their own school and on the playground,” said Umeris. “It’s inspiring to see student leadership in action. The assembly was all about how we can all take responsibility to make a difference in our own way. It seems our students are really getting the message.”
Saundry’s club was just one of the many great ideas talked about as students from Anne McClymont gathered on Wednesday, echoing events held in every school in the Central Okanagan School District.
Kids came to the microphone one after another to give ideas on how to help other people and the world in general.
“I believe one person can make a difference,” said student Callum Mcrae. “With my own two hands I can make an impact to end global warming. I can do this by riding my bike to school and car pooling to hockey games. I can try to spread the word by trying to promote a bike to school day.”
Anne McClymont principal Brady Ibbetson said the event was a huge success.
“I don’t think it could have gone any better,” he said. “It was completely run by students promoting the leadership theme, helping others and getting along.”