Understanding the Value of Citizenship
By Apara, Grade 9 student
posted: Friday, November 21, 2014
To be honest, when I heard my class was going to a citizenship ceremony, I wasn't sure I wanted to go. I had attended my own citizenship ceremony around eleven months ago. I was not in a good mood during that ceremony and so I didn’t have great memories of it. But luckily I changed my mind about going: “What do I have to lose by going other than the fact that I would miss my lunch break?"
When we got to the ceremony on November 13, 2014, we had to wait a little bit for the volunteers there to make sure that there were enough seats for all of us after everyone pledging had registered. We finally went inside and sat down. We were even recognized by the Judge who was there to perform the ceremony. The ceremony was definitely an interesting event as I watched some of my classmates take part in the Citizenship oath; they had not actually taken the oath before as they were born Canadian citizens.
The ceremony was very moving as we watched the new citizens of our country receive their certificates – some of them even spoke of their experiences in Canada. Hearing these people share their thoughts about Canada was very interesting. They all commented on our legendary winters but more importantly they talked about how much becoming a citizen actually meant to them. Many of them were coming out of situations that weren’t ideal to live in while others were just looking for a second chance. I concluded at the citizenship ceremony that sometimes we take the things we have for granted and don’t care for them, while others appreciate what we have as "a dream come true”. Life isn’t a fairy tale where everything is going to go as planned. Life is full of obstacles that we need to overcome and it takes strength and community support to get through hard times. It was a good idea to take us to the citizenship ceremony, contrary to my past beliefs. I don't think I was the only one who was touched by the ceremony – it showed us that we are lucky for the life that we live and the country that we live in and made us realise that some kids of our age don’t even get the opportunity to live a full life like the one we have.
Stepping Up to Help Save Lives
posted: Thursday, November 13, 2014
On Monday, October 27, 2014, 13 SJR students volunteered to give blood at the Canadian Blood Services clinic in Winnipeg. They were picked up by the Canadian Blood Services ‘Life Bus’, a complimentary shuttle bus service which brought the students to the clinic and dropped them back at School afterwards. Accompanying them was SJR teacher Mr. Craig Campbell, who is a long-time blood donor himself.
Of the 13 students who went on the Life Bus, seven of them were able to successfully donate blood. All of the students said they would definitely go again to help with this worthwhile cause!
Did you know?
- Only 3.7% of Canadians donate blood.
- Of the 1 in 2 Canadians eligible to donate blood, only 1 in 60 actually do.
- On average, Manitoba only has a 4-day blood supply.
SJR Students Debate Their Way to Success
By Peirce, Grade 12 student
posted: Friday, November 14, 2014
Last week, SJR sent many teams to participate in the third annual Bill Blaikie Debating Cup at the University of Winnipeg. Teams of two debaters competed in three rounds of British Parliamentary debate and had only fifteen minutes to develop their cases. The students debated many issues ranging from voting to Canadian laws.
SJR performed extremely well at the tournament and placed high in the rankings. The students’ accomplishments included a three-way tie for first place speaker between SJR students Deborah (Grade 12), Hannah (Grade 12), and Peirce (Grade 12). SJR’s team of Hannah (Grade 11) and Zach (Grade 11) ended up winning the tournament and placing as the top team. This is the third consecutive year that an SJR team has earned the top spot at the Bill Blaikie Cup. Congratulations everyone!
Searching for Clues
posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Grade 6 students donned their detective hats in Social Studies class on October 28-29, 2014 in a CSI workshop (Cultural Scene Investigation) presented by Barry Hillman and Bonita Hunter-Eastwood, from the Historical Museum of St. James-Assiniboia. Students enhanced their visual literacy skills by learning how to read a photograph and become photo detectives. They discovered how history researchers and crime investigators use a similar approach to solving mysteries.
In small groups, Grade 6 students used white gloves to carefully examine photographs, looking for clues. Many types of clues became apparent when students used their critical thinking skills and asked questions like these:
- Where and when was the photograph taken?
- What season/year?
- What was the event?
- What are the emotions of the subjects?
- What is the relationship of the subjects to one another?
After studying the photographs, students eagerly shared their findings. They were impressive detectives, observing many different aspects of a photograph that even our presenters had not noticed. Well done, Grade 6!
David Suzuki Makes an Impression on SJR Students
posted: Wednesday, November 12, 2014
This year’s Grade 12 Leadership Diploma Program students are currently in the midst of deciding on their Impact Project. The Impact project is a collaborative endeavour that requires students to create, plan, and implement a project that will have a significant impact on others; this year’s students have already decided that their theme will involve the protection of Lake Winnipeg. As part of the planning for this project, Ms. Rebecca Powell, Leadership Development Coordinator, took two of the students, Laura (Grade 12) and Evia (Grade 12), to see David Suzuki while he was in Winnipeg for the Blue Dot Tour. Ms. Powell said, “It was my hope that this experience would connect the students with people in the community that might be able to provide guidance for our project.”
Before the show, they went to a VIP event and then headed to the Burton Cummings Theatre to hear a variety of inspiring speakers, culminating with a powerful message from David Suzuki. At the VIP event, they had the opportunity to meet the CEO of the David Suzuki Foundation and other important foundation members who have now committed to helping the Grade 12 students with their project. “The Blue Dot Tour is a movement which aims to implement every Canadian’s right to a healthy environment into the constitution,” Laura explained. “David Suzuki stressed the importance of this right, stating that every single Canadian is directly affected by the negative changes in our soil, water and air quality. He urged his listeners to take action and raise awareness for this cause. Overall, it was an incredible experience and I encourage everyone to take action and become involved with this incredibly important cause."
Senior School Social Studies teacher, Mr. Matt Henderson, also attended the event with Ms. Powell and the students because of the work he is doing with the Blue Dot Club students. Both Mr. Henderson and Ms. Powell are exploring the option of having their two groups of students come together to see if collectively they can make an even bigger impact on the city, province, and the nation.
Learning a Lesson in Leadership
posted: Monday, November 10, 2014
On Monday, October 20th, 2014, Phil Cady from CLSWest came to SJR to deliver the Power+Systems Organization Workshop based on the book Seeing Systems, by Barry Oshry's work. This workshop is an enlightening, boring-free leadership workshop used by top Fortune 500's. Phil delivered the workshop to a group ofpeople within SJR that represent different levels within the organization. Participants who attended were the Grade 12 Leadership Diploma Program students, a variety of teachers from Junior, Middle and Senior School, and SJR administrators. During this workshop, all participants were dropped into the roles of top executives, middle managers, workers and customers who interacted with each other in a fast-paced environment, having to make tough decisions and communicate effectively. It was a fun and eye-opening experience that exposed the realities of how organizations function and how difficult it can be to appreciate the work being done at all hierarchical levels within an organization.
Studying for a test fun? You bet!
posted: Friday, November 7, 2014
Gone are the days of a student sitting behind a desk while the teacher stands at the front of a disengaged class reviewing material for a test. Middle School Science teacher, Mr. Brenden Burnell, took a different approach to helping his students prepare for their upcoming test.
The Grade 7 class took over Rosseau Hall yesterday afternoon as they excitedly studied for their test. In a successful attempt to make studying fun, Mr. Burnell posted clues that lead the students to a question. You had to answer the question correctly and then locate the answer on the next clue which then asked the next question. Each question was a review topic – name the different layers of the earth, ecosystems and biomes – were just some of the topics covered. To finish this test review, students needed to answer all 22 answers that went in a loop. They started at any number and knew they were done when they arrived back at the same clue again. If a student made a mistake, they were allowed to go back to find the error and try again.
As one student, Lillian, said “It’s really fun!”
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Students Inspired to Make a Difference
By Celine, Grade 12 student
posted: Wednesday, November 5, 2014
On Wednesday, October 29, 2014, the MTS Centre rapidly filled its seats with anxious students ready to witness We Day Manitoba. Among the kids from all over the province were about 50 students from SJR. The We Day school day consisted of four ‘classes’, all connecting to this year’s Free The Children’s theme of empowerment. The first class was Economic Empowerment, then Technological Empowerment, thirdly Social Empowerment and lastly Educational Empowerment. The teachers for these classes were not the typical kind you would find in a high school. Leading these lessons were Nelson Mandela’s grandson, Kweku Mandela, astronaut Dr. Dave Williams, Spencer West, and former President of Ireland and UN High Commissioner, Mary Robinson, just to name a few.
The speakers that took the stage spoke words of motivation, wisdom and inspiration. Mary Robinson told the audience, “The world must change course because you are the WE generation! You have a voice!” – telling students how they have the ability to make a difference in the issue of climate change. Amidst the inspiring speeches throughout the day were music performances from Hedley, Kardinal Offishall, JRDN, Son Real, Karl Wolf, Neverest and Keith and Renee. We cannot forget We Day’s co-founders, Craig and Marc Kielburger, whose energy and voices resonated throughout the arena. For Jason, Grade 11, We Day was an “inspiring and motivating experience, with great people sharing their ideologies and perspectives of how to shape our world into a better place.” Grade 11 student, Ana, said, “It was really inspiring to see so many other people that are passionate about making a difference in the world. It really made me want to take my volunteering further and do something that I really care about.”
Not only did the students gather to celebrate the year of action behind them, but they also celebrated the year ahead and all of the amazing changes that SJR students are ready to create. Only two days later, on Halloween, Senior School took part in We Scare Hunger, a food drive through Free the Children. Throughout the week students brought in non-perishable food items to begin the School’s collection. On Halloween night, fifteen students went trick-or-treating – for non-perishable food items instead of candy – in the Wildwood area and some in their own neighbourhoods. At the end of the evening they could tell it had been a success as they carried many loads of cans and boxes of food in tired arms into the School. On Monday morning the collection of food was out for all to see in the student lounge. Together with donations from Ford Canada, SJR collected an incredible 1569 pounds of non-perishable food, all of which will go to Winnipeg Harvest and feed those that are living with hunger in the local community. It is important that the school helps locally as students are also raising money for a school garden in Kenya which will provide a sustainable food source for the people of that area. All in all, the SJR Senior School students had an exciting week, empowering themselves and those around them.