PORT HAWKESBURY: On October 16, about 200 Strait regional centre for education Grades 6 to 12 students, staff and chaperones joined thousands of others at the Scotiabank Centre in Halifax for an exciting, international and educational event, WE Day Atlantic.

Students heard stories and saw performances from world-renowned speakers and performers.

Founded by brothers Marc and Craig Kielburger, WE Day is an initiative of the WE Movement. It is a movement which empowers young global citizens through the WE Day event, and promotes youth to take action right at home to create positive change in the world. The initiative enables schools to empower youth to make the world a better place locally and globally, and inspires them to take part in socially conscious acts that foster positive change.

A ticket cannot be purchased for WE Day, students earn it through service. As such, each school has committed to WE Act, a year-long educational initiative during which students are undertaking at least one local and one global goal that helps to promote positive change.

Some of the ways students in the Strait region are making meaningful differences in their home communities and around the world, and shifting the focus from ‘me’ to ‘we’ are outlined below.

At Cape Breton Highlands Education Centre/Academy, the Students Without Borders Group/Enviro Club is currently sponsoring a child in Haiti through PLAN Canada. Students are also working with the school cafeteria to eliminate single-use cutlery with the goal of saving 10,000 pieces of plastic from being thrown out.

At East Antigonish Education Centre/Academy, this year the focus of the school’s WE Team is on reconciliation, combating hunger and youth mental wellness. Students are already planning fundraising and promotional campaigns to support these causes both locally and globally. They also have a number of exciting initiatives planned for the 2019-2020 school year including a WE Week. During WE Week, students will have a WE Promotion Day, where they will celebrate everything WE and recruit new team members to join them. They will have a “You Matter” day, where they encourage everyone tell those who make their life better that “YOU MATTER” and then tell them why. In addition, during WE Week, students will organize a “Random Acts of Kindness” day, as well as a “Show Your Appreciation” day where they will encourage youth to write thank you notes to an important person in their life.

At St. Mary’s Education Centre/Academy, the school’s WE team recently organized a funds drive for the local food bank called Toonies for Turkeys. The funds were donated to helping families in the local communities of the District of St. Mary’s and Guysborough County during the Thanksgiving holiday.

Whycocomagh Education Centre is in the middle of a WE Scare Away Hunger food drive. The WE Day Club is having a food drive to support the school’s breakfast and snack program.

Already, WE Day has engaged millions of young people all around the world who have made an impact on the lives of many people.