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Community Matters

Westview Warriors Run for the Cure

November 1st, 20141 Comment

By Merrie-Rae Mitsopoulos

What is an ethical citizen?  Someone who cares about others?  Someone who knows the right thing to do and acts on it? How do you become an ethical citizen - or more importantly, how do you help children learn to become ethical citizens?  These are all questions teachers of today ask themselves.  Character building programs such as The Leader In Me and Tribes, combined with Alberta Education's 3 Es - the focus on creating Engaged Thinkers, Ethical Citizens with Entrepreneurial Spirits -  are all part of helping develop the whole student.  But the lessons go beyond what happens in the classroom - the learning must transfer into real life, and adults can model what it means to be an ethical citizen, engaged in the needs of the community.

Students in our schools have many opportunities to practice citizenship and community engagement.  So far this year at Westview Public School we have fundraised and participated in the Terry Fox Run, have begun our food drive for the Wood Buffalo Food Bank and are kicking off fundraising for the United Way - and it’s only October! Students see what we do as a school, but what do the adults do in their own time to contribute?

In 2013, staff at Westview Public School joined the CIBC Run for the Cure in support of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation.  Our team of ten participants, known as the “Westview Warriors” knew this team building experience was for a great cause as it seemed all of us had somehow been touched by this cancer - a family member, a colleague, or a friend. We had been there for students who had lost their mothers to the disease and my own family had been impacted by cancer twice that year, first with the devastating loss of my father from a rare form of cancer of the intestines; then just weeks before the run, an aunt to breast cancer. 

The Run for the Cure is an amazing event pulling the community together for a common cause. Participants adorned in crazy pink outfits are energized by the warm-ups, then flow over the starting line in a sea of pink as they hit the trail! The path around MacDonald Island is at it’s most beautiful at this time of year, with fall colours bursting alongside the river (and we don’t have to run, walking is just fine!)

So now we’re into year two and The Westview Warriors have expanded the team this year.  We are up to twenty-one participants, consisting of staff, parents, and community members including a breast cancer survivor.  Together we walk or run to raise awareness and funds for breast cancer research.  As a school staff and as active members of our community, we are modelling attributes of ethical and engaged citizens, healthy lifestyle choices, and a synergy to our youth.

This won’t be the last you see of the Westview Warriors.  Watch for us at the Relay for Life as we continue to help raise awareness, funds, and support for those who are battling or have lost loved ones to cancer. I’ll be there, in memory of my Dad.

Merrie-Rae is the principal at Westview Public Elementary School.

Tags: event, exercise

Reader Comments (1)

rebekah said on October 2, 2015

Very true! This article is inspirational and well written Merrie-Rae!

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