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Community News Week Without Walls 2011: Share the experience!

Week Without Walls 2011: Share the experience!

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Wednesday, 21 December 2011

 Now that the third annual Week Without Walls has officially concluded, we hope you will enjoy looking back over this amazing service learning initiative.

From December 13th to 15th, every Senior School student and educational staff member (along with several operational staff members) headed out each afternoon to one of nearly 50 organizations in Northumberland County, Durham Region, Peterborough, Belleville and Toronto, to volunteer their time in many different areas of need: educational institutions, nursing homes, animal shelters, environmental organizations, housing agencies, food banks and more.

On Friday, December 16th, students gathered at the School to discuss their experiences. They were encouraged to think about the lasting impact of their week of service and to create something tangible – an essay, a poster, etc., to reflect this.

For students, this was a chance to express the profound effect Week Without Walls has had on them. “This year for Week Without Walls Mr. (Ross) Large took four of us to Food 4 All at the old Kraft Plant (Cobourg) to volunteer. This is a small organization where food is donated and then sent out to various groups including churches, schools and food banks in the Northumberland community. When we got there I was so surprised by how much food there was that was all donated. What shocked me more was that the supply of food always fell short of the demand. I had no idea about the poverty in Northumberland County. This made the small jobs we were doing feel that much more important and meaningful. I really felt that we were able to help people and make a difference in someone’s life.” – Simran Gauba, Grade 10 student and Northumberland Food 4 All volunteer

Staff members were also deeply affected. “I had a very empowering experience with our group and at our site (Salvation Army Peterborough). The students poured their hearts into it each day. Their responses in our reflection meeting were shocking and moving. I had to hold back tears a few times on Friday afternoon listening to our group and watching the video. I’m pretty sure I wasn’t the only one.” – Sue Garfat, athletic therapist and Salvation Army Peterborough site leader

We have heard positive feedback from many of the sites at which our students served. “I wanted to thank you, Kerri and Anne for bringing the students each day last week to Alderville. I hope they learned a bit about the Rice Lake Plains and about grassland ecosystems. I appreciate their help with cutting dogwood, removing knapweed, clearing out our storage room, cleaning prairie seed, painting seed collection bags and working on information gathering for butterfly species in the area. We hope we can work with the students again next year. We are already talking about creating a video on grasslands within the Rice Lake Plains.” – Kristina Hubert, Rice Lake Plains Joint Initiative

On Saturday, we welcomed back staff and students involved in the Me to We service trip to Ecuador. Click here to read about their two-week journey.

We have several photo galleries capturing various WWW sites, as well as videos, including the Peterborough Habitat for Humanity build and Ecuador. Click on the links below to access:

Photo Gallery 1

Photo Gallery 2

Photo Gallery 3

Week Without Walls Video (selected sites)

Habitat for Humanity: Video 1, Video 2, Video 3

Ecuador: Photo Gallery

Ecuador: Video


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