Chilliwack schools take vow of silence

Ten schools in Chilliwack school district participated in Free the Children's Vow of Silence, raising awareness for child rights.

Kaileigh O'Hanley



Telling a kid they can’t speak for a whole day, is like telling them no more candy for the rest of their lives.

And yet, several students in Chilliwack took it upon themselves last week not to speak.

All for child rights awareness.

Ten schools in Chilliwack, at varying levels, participated in this year’s Vow of Silence campaign on Nov. 30.

Vow of Silence is an annual one-day campaign, organized by Free the Children, to raise awareness for children who are silenced by poverty, disease and exploitation.

For teacher John Davy, it was the most powerful day of his teaching career.

“It wasn’t that they weren’t allowed to speak, they chose not to speak,” said Davy, who teaches a Grade 5-6 class at Greendale elementary.

In Davy’s class, students used white boards, sticky notes, and basic sign language to communicate – but no spoken word. They wore lanyards telling people around them that they were choosing not to speak, that they were choosing to be silent for those who are forced to be silent. Some stuck tape on their lips with messages of a vow of silence, while others walked around the school with signs stating that they were silent for a reason.

Throughout the day, the young students live blogged their thoughts and feelings, and watched videos on child rights issues.

“And you could almost see the awareness in their eyes,” said Davy. “They were making the connection.”

Davy believes his students are at the “sweet spot” for learning about such global issues.

“For these kids, their world is their home,” he said. “They have so little personal experience beyond their family, their church, their school. But as they enter early adolescence, they begin to wonder about the world around them … this is the sweet spot, the right age for them to be learning about this.”

Other schools that took part in the Vow of Silence included Central elementary, Promontory elementary, A.D. Rundle middle, Vedder middle, Chilliwack middle, Mt. Slesse middle, G.W. Graham middle secondary, Chilliwack secondary and Sardis secondary.

kbartel@theprogress.com

twitter.com/schoolscribe33

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Epic first year for GW Graham curling crew

A team of upstarts has won an Eastern Valley banner and now goes hunting for a B.C. championship.

Take a run out to the corner store when Kim’s Convenience comes to Chilliwack

The play that inspired the hit television show is coming to the Chilliwack Cultural Centre

Chilliwack’s Deanna Tuchscherer named Canada West Rookie of the Year

Tuchscherer is also in the running for the U-Sports award which will be announced next week.

Chilliwack SPCA receives grant to help control feral cat populations

The local SPCA branch was one of 10 animal welfare groups who received grants this week

BC Seniors Advocate calls for better oversight in care home industry

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Fashion Fridays: Tammy’s big makeover

Kim XO, helps to keep you looking good on Fashion Fridays on the Black Press Media Network

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Aspiring entrepreneurs invited to pitch ideas at Dragons’ Den auditions

Abbotsford and Vancouver the only Lower Mainland try-out locations

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

Most Read