By Robin Della Corte
Laval Liberty high school students celebrated last week the accumulation of 110,000 hours of community volunteer work in four years within the school’s the Citizenship Honors program at a ceremony held at their school.
The ceremony celebrated the students’ work and handed out nine trophies, two of which are named after students who made a major difference in the community. Community leaders and sponsors attended the ceremony as well as former students. The emcees were also former students.
Since 2009, students at Laval Junior High School and Laval Liberty High School have served their community at local food banks to charity work, aiming to promote a healthier community.
“We teach our students to lead from the front,” Daniel Johnson, Behaviour Technician at Laval Liberty high school who is in charge of the citizenship honors program said. “It’s about taking opportunities and making them have a positive impact on the world.”
Students also engage in international work, with students visiting Costa Rica every other year and work with Escuela Akberie School to learn about effecting positive changes in cultural environments. Johnson claims that each year, the program is growling rapidly. In their first year, students recorded 12,000 hours, 24,000 in their second, 33,000 in their third and 40,000 in their current year.
Awards are given at the end of each year: bronze for those with 100 hours and more; silver for 200 plus; gold for 300-400 hours; and platinum for more than 400 hours.
In their first year, only two or three students reached platinum while this year close to 30 students have obtained it.
“It’s unbelievable what the students have achieved,” Johnson said. “Every kid has the ability to do it, they just need the opportunity to do it.”
Johnson believes that education is changing and that teachers and schools must keep up with it.
“Students are changing faster than the system and we need to find a way to make for example math and history make sense, by making them apply it outside the classroom and connecting with the community and the world,” Johnson said. “It’s the way of the future,” Johnson said. “And it just so happens that this school is the start of it.”
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