The Grade 7 students at Condor School are issuing a challenge to other students in Central Alberta.
The class of young teens have raised enough money to sponsor six honour plaques with Veteran Voices of Canada’s (VVoC) Flags of Remembrance.
They have held hot dog lunches throughout the year and have raised roughly $1,500, which they have used to purchase honour plaque to remember the numerous veterans past and present.
The class believes if they could do this then so could any other class, especially those in larger centres.
Grade 7 teacher Marie Rae says the students in her class are role models, not just for Condor School, but for others in the community and across the region.
“This group of students, they are the role models for everyone… The kids have to be role models, but they have to see it from us as well,” Rae said.
Rae hopes to see other schools follow in their footsteps, and believes the larger schools in Sylvan Lake and Red Deer can do even better.
“If we can do six flags, and we only have 176 kids [in the school], I’m sure some of the bigger schools can do way more,” said Rae.
Casey Carlson, a Grade 7 student in Rae’s class, said a competition between schools in Central Alberta makes sense because the students are competitive and they will work hard to win, but at the same time honour and remember veterans.
“I’m pretty sure most of the class is competitive, so they would like something like this to work for,” Carlson said.
With a competition between schools throughout Central Alberta, the students believe it would be a no-lose situation.
Students from the class said the competition would allow for other students to learn in a new way, while raising money for a worthy cause and remembering and honouring the sacrifices of veterans all year.
The Grade 7 students have been raising money through hot dog sales for a number of years, and every year the class decides together where they would like to donate their money.
This year when deciding the class spoke about the flags seen on the highway and how much they meant to them and how important it was.
According to Grade 7 student Bronwin Franczak, the vote to purchase honour plaques was unanimous from the class.
“I think we gave the idea of the Eckville Elks before the flags came up,” Franczak said adding, the class agreed to the flags when it was brought up in discussion.
Karli Lipka and Cale Dickson said they chose the Flags of Remembrance because as a class they recognize how important they are.
“We thought of the veterans because they sacrificed so much for us,” Lipka said. “We think more people should have a lot more respect for them.”
“The soldiers deserve more respect than [they receive],” said Dickson.
Al Cameron, founding executive director of VVoC, says it is wonderful to see children taking the initiative to donate to Flags of Remembrance.
He believes having children and young people involved in the event is what makes it successful and will help it continue for years to come.
“For them to do this on their own is impressive,” Cameron said. “This isn’t just November that they are doing this fundraiser, this is throughout the year…it is teaching remembrance throughout the year.”
Cameron believes the work the students have put in to the fundraiser to make the donation will encourage others to follow in their footsteps.
“I am impressed with the students, and the school, and the teacher, Marie [Rae], for putting this out there and teaching them remembrance throughout the year, honouring and giving tribute.”