Friday, August 28, 2009

Rousseau Public School

Rousseau Public School
103 McNiven RoadAncaster ON, L9G 3T7Phone Number: (905)648-6142Fax Number: (905)648-6170

Facilitator: Michelle Fawcett

Junior Kindergarten to Grade 820 Lake AvenueStoney Creek ON, L8G 1P3Phone Number: (905)662-8425Fax Number: (905)662-8210

Facilitator: Principal, Mrs. Susan Ward



Maria Diorio, grade 6


Abbey Clarke, grade 6


Maddie Amodoeo, grade 6


MLK 2009
Luke McConnell and Ghalib Alasaad, Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School, Grade 6

The Rousseau Primary and Junior Choirs at MLK2009, conducted by our teacher, Ms Fawcett). Photo by Brenda DellaMaestra
Seven brilliant choirs, professional and student solo singers, several bands, and an orchestra -- all to honour one great man.

The HWDSB Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration saw two-thousand wildly excited students gathered around to listen and watch a superb concert. School choirs from Bennetto, Helen Detwiler, Gordon Price, Hillcrest, Norwood, Parkdale and Rousseau Elementary schools made up the Freedom Tribute Choir and the Hope and Change Tribute Choir. Also rocking out were musicians from Flamborough Centre School, the East Hamilton String Ensemble and West Humber Collegiate Institute in Toronto.

Students were uplifted and inspired by images of MLK, both in a special video and hanging art, provided by students of Sir John A. MacDonald High School. Divine Brown, Mohanza “Obie” Kelly, Kevin Spencer, and the Cunningham Sisters -- Natalie, Nataiah, and Natashia -- all took part in this special performance.

In the end, with all the talented singers and extraordinary performances it was an exceptional show. M.C. Samantha Walkes brought everyone’s attention back to the messages of Dr. King, and his dream for everyone to reach the "promised land" of equality.
Uplifting the Oppressed
Alex Bercik, Grade 6, Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

A wise man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., once said, “Non-violence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence”.

King fought against the discrimination of black people in the United States of America. During these times, black people in the U.S.A. were completely marginalized from the white population. They were considered inferior beings to the whites, until the 1950’s, when things started to change.

Even though racism was considered immoral, it continued to happen in places like South Africa where black people were oppressed by a minority white government. Many reacted violently, like Nelson Mandela initially, which unfortunately only caused more oppression. In jail Mandela learned from others like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (who learned from Mahatma Ghandi), and Mandela took a peaceful approach: preaching non-violence. After a long fight, his ideas prevailed and he became the first black South African president.

Barack Obama is now the first African-American President of the U.S.A., just 50 years after segregation laws were overturned in his country. Obama has made a big step forward for African-Americans and a victory for all people who value peace and tolerance. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream is still alive.
The Peace Flower
Sarah McGibbon, Grade 6, Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School


Make a peace flower with your friends,
Different colours of petals: the fun never ends!
With your fingers make a little peace sign,
Got it? OK! You’re doing just fine!

Place your hands at the wrists, together
To form a little peace flower or maybe better!
To make a flower that stretches 'cross the land,
Everyone together, hand in hand.
The Iceberg Metaphor
Calvin Raitt, Grade 6 Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

When you look at someone do you think you know everything about them? Well, you do not. You can never know everything about anyone, including yourself.

If someone is acting "mean", for example, they might actually be lonely and need a friend. I’ve made a similar mistake, thinking I knew everything about a person and deciding that they were boring, when they actually turned out to be fun! When people think they know everything about others, they tend to marginalize them: they separate them from the rest of the group.

People are like an iceberg: the tip above the water is what you know for sure about the person, but under the water? You can only infer about the unknown.

Bias in Advertising
Maddie Amodeo and Maria Diorio, Grade 6 Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

Have you ever really studied the people in a T.V. commercial? Or maybe in a newspaper or magazine ad? What do they look like? The truth is if you were to look closely at those people (otherwise known as models) you would probably notice their perfectly sculpted faces and un-blemished skin. What are these ads trying to say? Well in some cases, they are saying, "This is what "perfect" looks like."

Of course it is not true; there is no "one way" you should look…and there definitely is not one "perfect" way to look. You are simply perfect however you are, although these kinds of ads can give people the wrong impression.

Sometime ads promote physical features like light skin colour, which cannot be changed. Are not ALL skin colours beautiful? Of course they are, even though some advertisements are trying to say otherwise. We just want you to remember: there is not one preferred way to look; it is what you feel comfortable with. Do not let an advertisement tell you otherwise!
Equity & Advertising
Thomas Jack, Grade 6, Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

You are driving down the street and you find yourself staring at a poster stapled to a telephone pole. As you look at it you notice that the people have one particular skin tone, and none of them look like your friend at school.

If you have not noticed yet I am talking about social justice. That is right: equality in our every day lives. Have you noticed that people in ads often have "perfect" features without blemishes or scars? We have been examining ads during critical literacy classes and we are wondering why extraordinary looking people appear in ads selling ordinary things. Is it for the money? Do you think the models might be over loaded with makeup or edited digitally?

Even though this disgraceful advertising is bad, there is hope. More and more companies are creating multiracial ads and are including people like you and me. Companies now understand that racism and other kinds of exclusion in ads will not be tolerated. (It also gets them better business.)

So remember, even though this is not a perfect world, in the realm of advertising we can all support social justice in an attempt to rid advertising of bias once and for all!

Music connects people!
Holly Rees May and Sara Parkinson, Grade 6 Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

Music. People like to play it, listen to it, sing to it, dance to it and write it. Music around the world can connect people in many different ways. It can connect people who have different religions, races, abilities, languages and physical characteristics.

Music can have a positive effect on people because it can start conversations. You can approach someone and start talking about a favourite singer. They may respond, and you've got something in common! Music can also build a bridge to people who are shy. If you start to talk about a certain type of music, you could get them talking.

Even though people might be different, they can connect to music and feel better about themselves. Remember: always keep music in your life, and express yourself!

Recreation Leaders
Austin Hampel and Mark Atlija, Grade 6 Ms. Fawcett’s Class, Rousseau Public School

Recreation leaders is a strategy to help primary students get along. The grade 6 students play interactive games with the primary students. Sometimes kids can be left out, so older students help them to enjoy their recess and avoid conflicts because they are having fun. Each student does this once a week as a group of 2 or 3 leaders.

As grade 6 students, we help out by making sure that everyone can get along at Rousseau. We play games like wall ball, fun ball, 4 square and help younger kids with building snow forts. If there is a problem, we can try to solve it or get the teacher on duty. If students feel bored at recess we can help them to enjoy their recess by keeping them busy.

Grade 6 students have this job because sometimes kids feel more comfortable talking with other kids, rather than a teacher. Overall, I think Rousseau is a better place now that we have Recreation Leaders!

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