Valentine's Day and Beyond: Letter Writing Campaign
By Tulay Yalcin, Linden Teacher
Grade 7 Initiatives
In our Grade 7 history class, we have been learning about conflict and change. Recently, we have had conversations about a difficult issue: gun violence and the recent school shooting in Florida. Students learned about the youth movement advocating for zero violence and gun control in the U.S. A teacher at Stoneman Douglas High School (where the shooting took place) put a call out on social media asking for students around the world to help with the process of healing by sending letters of support to kids in her school. Our Grade 7 students used this opportunity to show their support and solidarity with students south of the border. One of their messages really resonated with me: "Teens aren't too young to listen to, too young to understand, too young to process and learn. But we are too young to die."
Grade 8 Initiatives
For Valentines Day, our Grade 8 history students took part in the annual Have a Heart Day celebration. This Canada-wide youth-led event brings attention to the many injustices faced by Indigenous children in Canada. Some of these issues include problems with the foster care system, lack of access to technology in schools, expensive food and poor access to clean water. Each of our students focused on an issue and wrote letters to Justin Trudeau on heart-shaped cards, asking him to have a heart for Indigenous children. Linden students were passionate about their topics. They channeled their frustration around these issues in very thoughtful and well-researched letters.
Thank you to our students for taking these initiatives. I am very proud of our students and the heartfelt letters they wrote.