Arts & Life
Canstar Community News
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This article was published 8/12/2018 (660 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
The Youth Revolution students at King George School organized and held their very own news conference Friday morning to announce some big news — they are the newest recipient of a $5,000 grant to help spread kindness in the community.
As part of their 2018 Kindness Sticks initiative, Shaw Communications asked youth across the country, "How do we make kindness stick?", offering 10 grants of up to $5,000 to the schools with ideas that best encouraged empathy, inclusivity and respect.
Out of more than 150 applications nationwide, King George’s submission stuck out.
"As a Team Shaw member and a Kindness Sticks judge, I had the hard job of … judging all the great initiatives across the country, and I have got to tell you guys, you blew me away," Winnipeg Blue Bombers running back Andrew Harris told the group of students before presenting them with a trophy and a giant $5,000 cheque. "You guys are doing so much more than just random acts of kindness, you’re starting a movement."
Youth Revolution — a division-wide youth group for students from Grade 5 to Grade 12 that focuses on healthy lifestyle choices, reducing bullying, discrimination, and social injustice while promoting volunteerism and community involvement — has started to focus more on kindness in general, said Jackie Gudnason, a guidance counsellor and teacher with King George School.
When the opportunity to apply for the Kindness Sticks grant came up, Gudnason said the students were bursting with ideas.
The kids came up with a plan to organize 12 months of kindness in their school and the community, and then spread that kindness even further through the use of technology and social media.
"We can create videos and have a positive impact on the school and the community by using social media as a positive platform," Gudnason said, adding it’s a way their volunteer and fundraising projects can reach and inspire more people.
"We can tell others and encourage other schools and other people around the country and the world to do these things, too, and spread kindness."
It was this creative use of technology to broadcast their efforts in the community that caught the attention of the judges, said Ian Phillips, government relations manager with Shaw Communications.
"The whole idea of Kindness Sticks is that it’s youth-based and bringing people together, and (the students) are doing some exciting things, and we’re glad to be able to partner with them … we’re really happy they applied," Phillips said.
The students showed a video to their news conference guests, catching the moment the group found out they were receiving the grant and heartfelt reflections from a few kids on what kindness meant to them.
"This is a really big deal," Mayor Rick Chrest told the students. "This is a really big day for Brandon and for King George School … As a King George alumni I’m so, so proud of my old school. We can’t wait to see how you continue on spreading kindness; this has just been a fabulous project."
Brandon East MLA Len Isleifson said he planned to share the group’s story with his colleagues at the Manitoba Legislature and make sure Premier Brian Pallister knew "the folks from Brandon do incredible things" for their community.
"Every day I go to work … with a goal of doing great things for the citizens of Brandon so we can improve the lives of everybody, and I’ve got to say to the Youth Revolution (students) … you’re setting an example," Isleifson said. "Not just in for your peers in other schools, but for all of us in Brandon to follow what you’re doing."
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