Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mr. Jim Goes Bald!

A short while ago, a fun event happened on The Peacebus! Afterwards, the principal Mme. Cooke-Sawyer, asked me to ask one of the older students to write a story about the event for the school newspaper. I smiled greatly! “The students will think this is wonderful!” I told her.
Instead of asking one of the older students, I had anther plan. A talented artist and writer named Ava has been sharing with me her many creative artworks and stories, throughout this entire school year, and I was (still am) so impressed that I immediately thought to ask her. Ava smiled greatly!

I became her editor and advisor and I taught her how to interview another student. Her first draft was brilliant and needed little editing. I will share the final copy in a quick moment.

I just want to take another moment to add that this is the first time in “The Blog”s history that I’ve had a ‘guest writer’ – so this is indeed a special moment!!! Ava is a student in Grade 4. Please enjoy…

Mr. Jim Goes Bald!

Our school has been supporting children with special needs in North Maragoli, Kenya, for a number of years now. First, we helped build a school from fundraising events at Jeanne Sauve. We sell food, drinks and sock monkeys. We do fun activities and have raffles.

Now that the school is built, every year we help it to stay open by having a Dance-A-Thon. Plus, Scotia Bank doubles how much we raise so, “Thank you Scotia Bank!”

Every summer, our Grade One teacher, Mme. Bourassa goes to Kenya. She uses the money that our school raises to set up educational programs and buy school supplies for the children in that area.

This year, 2012, Mr. Jim (the most peaceful bus driver you’ll know) decided that he wanted to help out. So he thought to himself, “How can I help?”

He had a chat with Mme. B (which is what we call her) and asked if she thought if he would look good bald?! Mme. B thought that the students would definitely want to see him go bald. Mr. Jim wanted to challenge his students to raise $100.00 and if we did he would shave his head!

When he told the students who ride The Peacebus about his plan, they all cheered in excitement. We only had five days to raise $100.00, once the plan was in motion.

At first, we thought it was too much money to raise in such a short amount of time, but Mr. Jim kept encouraging us. He put reminder posters all over the bus so we wouldn’t forget.

To keep things interesting, everyone who donated got to enter a draw for one of Mr. Jim’s peaces of artwork. A Grade 5 student, Justine Jongepier, won a copy print of a painting that Mr. Jim created with the help of several students when he visited Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, in 2006.

Grade 4 student, Hayden Thomson, is happy about helping out. “It makes me feel like we really helped the people in Kenya and some of them now get to go to school.”

“Mr. Jim set a goal to raise $100.00 and he raised more. In fact, Mr. Jim has raised over $300.00!” Hayden smiles. I asked Hayden if he thought it was good to help people who he’s never met before and he shook his head, “Yes!” When I asked, “Why?” he paused and then said, “Imagine your life in their shoes.”

Mr. Jim also had a little help from some of his Facebook friends. Friends from England, USA and Nova Scotia donated money. His real estate agent wanted him to go bald, too, so he gave him $10.00

One day, he was driving as a substitute driver for a different school, when a little boy offered him a toonie (because he saw a poster). Mr. Jim said, “No thanks, I don’t accept tips.” Then a teacher from that other school told him, “He wasn’t giving you a tip, he was giving you a toonie to shave your head,” and she handed it back to Mr. Jim. So, he made two dollars from a stranger!

In the end, we raised over $420.00!!!!!

This is way more than we expected. It was time for Mr. Jim to make an appointment with his barber.

When the barber heard that it was for a good cause, he received a $60.00 hair cut free of charge! Give to others and people give to you.

Now, the next time you see Mr. Jim you will see the results. A peace sea turtle with some ocean waves are all that remain of his hair, which is shaved onto the back of his head. Mr. Jim loves turtles and he thinks that they are very important.

He also thinks it’s important to help others and he is glad that his friends and Jeanne Sauve students were able to help so many children in faraway Kenya.

Peace out!!


Friday, May 11, 2012

A Stitch In Time

(The video is ready!!!)

A little over a half a year ago, I posted a blog story about how…

… this peace of artwork came into being.

I mentioned that I was in the process of creating an animation film showing the evolution of this artwork and that I hoped to soon be posting this video onto my youtube account.

Well!!!! We wait no longer!!!

I could write a detailed account of how the video came together, sharing some of the ideas that were used to create this video… but I won’t. I’ll simply let the video speak for itself!!

I hope that you enjoy this short musical and artistic expression and that you feel inspired to help me promote this by sharing it with your friends.