A new Me to We group at John McGregor Secondary School in Chatham has already made a huge impact in its first year of operation.
Thanks to a successful spaghetti dinner fundraiser and an $8,000 national grant, the group has raised enough money to build a fully equipped classroom for the village of Magburaka in Sierra Leone, according to founding teacher and staff advisor Mary Theresa Hiltz. The classroom will be dedicated to the school from the John McGregor group.
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Me to We is a program started by Free the Children founder Craig Kielburger in 1995 at the age of 12. He was so impacted by the plight of children sold into slavery and killed, he and his classmates started the group to empower young people to fulfill their greatest potential as agents of change at home and across the world. The program now partners with more than 2.3 million youth from 45 countries to effect change for children here and in third world countries.
Hiltz, along with fellow staff members Karen Locke and Val Terry, were very excited to learn they had been awarded the grant money, which along with the dinner fundraiser money, allowed them to send over $10,000 to Sierra Leone to help build a school.
Locke said the group began in November, 2013 and has a membership of 30-40 kids. Throughout the year, they have taken part in activities to uplift fellow students, such as putting encouraging notes in lockers for fellow students and Christmas carolling for canned goods.