TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN
Aqua, fourth from right, a leadership and aboriginal program facilitator with Free The Children, leads a workshop for 25 students from Meadows School during the charity’s “Power of Stories” speaking tour stop at the school on Wednesday.
Meadows School students now have access to 100 Kobo e-readers, thanks to a group of Youth Revolution members.
Aqua performs a song for the students. (TIM SMITH/BRANDON SUN)
Last year, 25 Y-R members from Meadows helped raised more than $2,000 for Free The Children. Their donations helped provide a community in Ecuador with clean water and their efforts didn’t go unnoticed.
Upon receiving the donation, the international charity contacted the school and asked if they would like to be a stop on their "Power of Stories" speaking tour.
"We’re the only school in Brandon that was offered it and it’s because of the work the kids did," school counsellor Dayna Galatiuk said.
Along with a special presentation on Wednesday, the school received 100 free Kobo e-readers from the organization. A group of 25 aboriginal and non-aboriginal students were also chosen to take part in a workshop exercise. Through games, songs and stories, the workshop focused on the value of literature including its role in culture, story telling and self-expression, Galatiuk said.
"It’s about engaging students with their culture and promoting a love for literacy and the importance of literacy."
Meadows Grade 8 students Logan Lindsay and Finn Mercredie were among the students chosen to take part in the workshop and said they found the presentation beforehand "inspiring."
As part of their education initiative, Kobo and Free The Children are hoping to inspire a passion for reading in aboriginal communities across Canada.
Kobo has donated 3,500 of it’s Kobo e-readers and $100,000 to develop a program designed to motivate youth with a focus on literacy. The program includes the 25-stop "Power of Stories" speaking tour that is visiting schools and aboriginal communities across the country.
A number of indigenous stories have already been uploaded to the local school’s new e-readers, which all students will have access to through the library.
Y-R members at Meadows are now focusing their fundraising efforts on helping to build a school in Ecuador. Every $20 raised is equivalent to one brick for a new school, Galatiunk said.
"We do a lot of stuff with ‘Free The Children’ but we also do a ton of stuff to promote a healthy school environment," she said. "It just makes being at school and coming to school that much better."
Students have also helped raise funds for the local soup kitchen and Brandon’s Humane Society.
Y-R is a Brandon Community Drug and Alcohol Education Coalition initiative that promotes healthy lifestyle choices and works to reduce risky behaviour including bullying, violence, tobacco use and the use of drugs and alcohol among youth.
Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition January 16, 2014