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Happy National Teacher's Day! Cathy Dee-Brand, a grade 3 teacher at St. Mary's Elementary School in Fort Vermilion, Alberta, talks to us about why she's passionate about global citizenship and how she encourages her students to think of other kids like themselves around the world.

Eleven years ago I switched my teaching career to Grade 3. We had a new social studies curriculum with a large focus on citizenship, and I searched for a way that my students to help others and rediscovered UNICEF.

When I was young, I had always supported the Halloween Orange Box program (formerly known as Trick-or-Treat for UNICEF). I remember how proud I was to wear that orange box and collect money for others and it was always stressed to all of us that we were giving up “treats” to do this collecting. Even though I still received plenty of treats, it was the possible sacrifice that was important in helping me to learn about citizenship at such a young age.

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So when the opportunity arose within my new curriculum to teach about citizenship, I wanted my students to experience the same pride and desire to help others that I had felt. Thus we started to fundraise every October in support of National UNICEF Day. That year we raised almost $300.00. Since then, we have raised just over $4,500.00 in support of UNICEF.

My students are always eager to participate in raising money, especially when they know they are helping other children around the world. We hold a bake sale, have a pumpkin carving night, as well as ask for donations. It always amazes me at how generous our community is as every year, more families get involved and our campaign grows. I truly believe that my students gain special memories of helping others, and I hope that they will pass these values along to their children in the future.


Want to know more about National UNICEF Day? Want to get your classroom/community involved? Get started by clicking here.