February 3, 2011: Connaught Students Dream Big at City Hall.
Connaught Students Dream Big at City Hall.
By Sheila Holmes.
In 1963 Martin Luther King Jr. told the crowds in Washington, “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character.”
Almost fifty years later, Grade 3, 4 and 5 students at Connaught Public School also had some big dreams after a field trip on Monday, January 17, for the 7th annual celebration of Marting Luther King Jr. Day. This is the second year that Principal Irene Cameron has taken classes to the celebrations at City Hall. Cameron, who has personally attended the celebration every year, has her reasons for making this a special school field trip. “It is good for the students to see how people in their city celebrate great people; that there is more to the city than the streets we walk on.”
Cameron feels that it is good for the students to see City Hall. “The students have been studying government and during Ottawa’s municipal election the students participated in the Mock Election and had their own campaigns for a class mascot.” So the students were very excited when they saw Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson take a seat in front of them. Cameron was pleased that the mayor took some time to talk with the students after the celebration. “It is good for them to see that the Mayor is just a regular person that we elected to run our city; to see that politicians are accessible.”
The students listened very patiently to a number of speeches and witnessed the presentation of the 2011 DreamKeepers Community Leadership Award to Carl Nicholson, of the Catholic Immigration Services, and most recently appointed to the Ottawa Police Services Board. Nicholson made a point of addressing the children in the audience, reflecting Cameron’s sentiments by telling them that everyone is special. “Each of you is a prince or princess with something to offer,” he said, and encouraged them to make a difference in the world.
For homework, the 9 and 10-year old students were asked to do some reflective writing on what they think would make the world a better place. Hope our elected officials – municipal, provincial and federal – are listening.
- “I dream of a world where there is no war.” Sabirah.
- “I dream that there is no anmial cruelty, no pesticides, and no child labour.” Emma.
- “I dream of a world where there is no segregation.” Moiz.
- “I have a dream… it is the same as Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream:… I want everyone to be considered equal.” Chloe.
- “I dream that there are enough houses in Ottawa so that everyone can have a home like I do.” Taylor.
Photo Caption: Grade 4 Connaught student Chloe with Mayor Jim Watson at the ceremony for Martin Luther King Jr Day at City Hall Photo by Sheila Holmes.