Leadership club inspires global change

Windermere Elementary School students fundraise for Kenya

The Windermere Elementary School Leadership Club (WESLC) has been hard at work over the past year as students in grades 6 and 7 have had the opportunity to learn about leadership while working on their own projects.

A group of enthusiastic leaders (all girls) have been hard at work through WESLC and have been raising money through fundraising initiatives to help those around them on a local and global scale.

The club was formed and is run with the help and guidance of its dedicated teachers Tanya Hatalcik and Tara Whittick.

“The girls have given up countless hours of free time including all of their recesses to plan projects and to fundraise as part of the ME to WE enterprise,” said Ms. Hatalcik.

The ME to WE enterprise aims to “empower people to transform local and global communities by shifting from ‘me’ thinking to ‘we’ acting,” according to the organization’s motto.

The students were disappointed when they had to cancel their WE Day trip to Calgary in early November due to the weather, but they are hopeful they will be able to attend the next one. (J.A. Laird also has a ME to WE group that had been invited to this year’s conference and unable to attend due to inclement weather.)

The Windermere club was invited to WE Day this year based on merit they’ve earned and will have to submit a new report on the progress of their efforts to attend WE Day 2018.

The students at WES are moving full steam ahead and have risen to the challenge to help the global community by purchasing Rafiki impact bracelets through local fundraising efforts; so far, they have raised over $500 in the past two months to put toward their goal of $1,000. Profits from these bracelets benefit Kenyan communities by supporting projects connected to its overall well-being (water, farming, environment, business development).

The Pioneer had the opportunity to meet up with the inspiring group at their school. As they fielded questions, there was no shortage of hand raising, and an eagerness to speak about the positivity of their experience. Comments from the girls included the benefits of team-building, friendship and the creation of a support network, as well as the explanation of what a Rafiki bracelet represents.

“A Rafiki is a hand made bracelet made by Kenyan women that represents a different impact like education, food and water, and every time someone in the community buys one that money goes to a child to help give them things like a month of education, a month of water, a month of health care — our goal is for everyone in the school to have a Rafiki,” said WESLC member Claire Hatalcik.

So far the group has put on a BBQ at Home Hardware that was wildly successful and have undertaken a bottle drive to raise funds toward their goal of purchasing 100 Rafikis, according to WESLC member, Nina Flight.

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