by Danielle Del Vicario
“Day to day, character is what gives the world energy.”
When asked to reflect upon her day at the Family of Schools Event hosted by W.J. Mouat Secondary’s Character Council last February, this is what Chief Dan George Middle School Grade 7 student Georgia Thiessen wrote. And no other statement could better summarize the Mouat Character Council’s vision for the future.
Over the past few months, the council has been putting in place a character movement focused on engaging the community and other schools, particularly by introducing elementary school students to the idea of “living with character.” This concept focuses not on amazing acts of generosity, but on simple day to day demonstrations of caring and respect. As states Kimberlee Bonneau from Chief Dan, “If you show that you care for people, you can start a chain reaction.”
Recently, Mouat students did presentations at Chief Dan George Middle and Centennial Park Elementary, and are preparing to assist at the second annual French Immersion Character Camp that will take place at the beginning of July. They plan to continue to visit younger schools in the Abbotsford School District in order to work with them to understand why character is important to everyone. The words of Joaquin from Colleen and Gordie Howe Middle help demonstrate the effect that the inclusion of feeder schools is having on younger students: “Today I learned what it means to have good character and how we need it for our society. Character is the way you present yourself to the world!”
Community connections have included working with the Mennonite Central Committee and Staples Business Depot in order to collect and assemble 205 school supply kits that will soon be sent overseas.
“At school, good character is a chain,” says David Koster, and this may also apply to the city of Abbotsford and the world at large.
It seems that when given an outlet to discuss what character means, youth and adults alike are excited to get involved. Brian Levesque from Chief Dan writes, “I believe character is important because it forms who we are. With character, we can make a significant change in the world.”
Similarly, his schoolmate Amy vows, “I for one will make a change in the world!”