Over 1,400 feet will be a little happier this winter thanks to students of Poplar Ridge School.
Located between Sylvan Lake and Red Deer between Highways 11 and 11a, the school’s Socktober event recently saw a great deal of success.
Organized by the Poplar Ridge ‘We To Me Club’, over 700 pairs of socks were gathered with the intent to assemble as many socks as possible in support of patrons at both the Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter and the Safe Harbour Society.
The Central Alberta Women’s Emergency Shelter offers safe refuge, personal counseling, and community support for families experiencing family violence. Every year, they meet nearly 3,000 people who have made the brave step towards a life free from violence with thousands more in the community who still need their help.
Central Alberta’s Safe Harbour Society for Health and Housing was formed on April 11, 2007. This unique agency is the result of the amalgamation of three not for profit agencies serving the community of Central Alberta, the Safe Harbour Society (detox and overnight shelter for individuals who are high or intoxicated), the Red Deer Residential Society (transitional housing units) and the Central Alberta Housing Society (homeless shelter and transitional housing).
Janine Reed, grade four teacher at Poplar Ridge School and liason to the ‘We to Me Club’ explained the idea for Socktober was student initiated.
“Our kids are really into the Kid President videos on Youtube,” said Reid, explaining Kid President is comprised of 12 year old Robby Novak and his brother in law Brad Montague who make Youtube videos promoting the use of the internet for social change. “That’s one of the things they do is Socktober. He does cool little videos on Youtube and we watch them in our Me to We group.”
In his Socktober address, Kid President asks the question, “What are we doing with the Internet?” He in turn encourages his 1.75 million Youtube subscribers to use the Internet for social change, instead of using it to ‘post selfies and watch videos of Miley Cyrus’.
“I think it’s time we do something awesome, that’s why I’m declaring the month of October as Socktober,” proclaimed the 12-year-old Youtube personality in his video.
He goes on to explain there are over 600,000 homeless people in the United States, some of them being children around his age.
“We want to activate one million people to help the homeless in their neighbourhoods,” declared Kid President. “Let’s take back the Internet and do something great.”
Reed believes the Kid President videos and the We To Me Club has greatly improved the lives of students at Poplar Ridge School.
“The Me to We group tries to change the way students think and change their perspective from ‘me to we’ meaning instead of thinking only about themselves to instead thinking about others and what we can do to make the world a better place,” added Reed.
The Me to We Club consists of around 60 students grades K-6 who meet Tuesdays at lunch recess. Now in it’s fourth year of occupancy at Poplar Ridge School, Reed believes the Me to We Club has impacted the students by teaching them to come together as group to meet a common goal, while simultaneously teaching them to more aware of the issues in their community and the world.
“It’s not just the We to Me kids, the whole school has been very supportive, there have been socks coming in from all over,” explained Reed. “We have a great balance between men, women, boys and girl – we’ve been really lucky.”
To celebrate the success of Socktober, students of Poplar Ridge School participated in a ‘Sock Hop’ on Halloween Monday where the entire school gathered in the gymnasium for a dance.
For more information on Socktober or how you can support the We To Me Club’s future initiatives, contact Janine Reed at Poplar Ridge School by phoning 403 343 8821.