Hats with a heart

L'Etoile - - IN OTHER WORDS -

Stu­dents at West­wood Jr. High School in St. La­zare don­ned all man­ner of head­gear last week in or­der to rai­se­mo­ney for Haiti’s ear­th­quake vic­tims.

The grade 7 and 8 stu­dents were al­lo­wed to wear hats or py­ja­ma bot­toms to school on Fri­day, paying $2 per item for the pri­vi­lege.

Ac­cor­ding to Prin­ci­pal Hans Bulow, more than $1,000was rai­sed at the end of the day.

The to­tal in­clu­ded funds ge­ne­ra­ted by a Bake Sale or­ga­ni­zed and set up by the li­bra­ry staff.

Bulow said in a de­par­ture from nor­mal school rules, which pro­hi­bit kids from wea­ring hats while in the buil­ding, he spent the day war­ning stu­dents to “put your hats on.”

“It was pret­ty fun­ny, the kids would look at me and laugh,” Bulow said, ad­ding­ma­ny stu­dents do­na­ted more than $2 per item.

In all, more than th­ree-quar­ters of stu­dents wore hats or py­ja­mas, or they pur­cha­sed ba­ked goods du­ring the day.

The mo­ney rai­sed by the school will be gi­ven to an or­ga­ni­za­tion cal­led Free the Chil­dren.

The group, de­di­ca­ted to en­ding child la­bour, was star­ted in 1995 by To­ron­to youth Craig Kiel­bur­ger when he was 12year-old.

Kiel­bur­ger was mo­ved to do so­me­thing af­ter rea­ding a To­ron­to Star head­line pro­clai­ming “Bat­tled Child La­bour Boy, 12, Mur­de­red.”

The news­pa­per sto­ry fo­cu­sed on a boy from South Asia, Iq­bal Ma­sih, who was sold in­to sla­ve­ry when he was 4-years-old.

The ar­ticle, said Ma­sih, had spent six years chai­ned to a car­pet-wea­ving loom. Des­pite that, the boy cap­tu­red the world’s at­ten­tion by spea­king out for chil­dren’s rights.

Kiel­bur­ger and 11 school friends laun­ched Free The Chil­dren, the world’s lar­gest net­work of chil­dren hel­ping chil­dren through edu­ca­tion.

It boasts help from more than one­mil­lion young people in­vol­ved in pro­grams in 45 coun­tries.

Bulow says Free the Chil­dren has ope­ra­ted a school and an or­pha­nage in Haiti for the past four years.

“We know that since the ear­th­quake the school has been tur­ned in­to a hos­pi­tal,” he said, ad­ding, “The funds we rai­sed will go di­rect­ly there to help with their needs.”

All schools with the Les­ter B. Pear­son School Board are af­fi­lia­ted with Free the Chil­dren, he ad­ded.

PHOTO DA­NIEL CUILLERIER

Stu­dents at West­wood Jr. High School wore hats and py­ja­ma bot­toms to aid ear­th­quake vic­tims in Haiti.

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