Bible Hill students embrace culture and empathy during special event

Published on May 23, 2014

BIBLE HILL – Everyone has a story. No matter where a person’s journey beings and where it ends, there is an adventure along the way. 

Students at Bible Hill Junior High School recently glimpsed into the lives of a number of people from the community at a What’s Your Story? day.

“We are hosting this day because we are trying to promote school culture and empathy in our students,” said Cherie Abriel, a teacher at the school who co-organized the event with Melanie Morrisey.

“We want them to recognize culture in the community and to recognize their own culture and give voice to their own stories.”

Planning for the day-long event began in September and culminated on May 16 with nearly 30 guests participating from musicians and youth leaders, to artisans, international exchange students, veterans, politicians, community members and business professionals visiting the school to share their stories.

Jen McNutt, of MacKinnon Fitness and Marmac Athletics, introduced students to a wide range of fitness activities they can practice on their own to work up a sweat.

“I get them energized and make it as fun as I can,” she said, adding there are many ways to stay active that don’t seem like workouts because they are so fun.

Another presenter, Daniela Schlie, demonstrated how to make paper maché crafts.

Schlie said the best part about her favourite craft is it is “cheap.”

“It’s recycling so it teaches you how much waste there is out there,” she said. Students were inspired to try out their own designs after learning how to make a vase.

“With just one work they’ll start thinking, ‘I can make a piñata or a mobile,” said Schlie. “It’s a beginning.”

Along with picking up some new hands-on skills, students explored a variety of cultures, sampled foods and listened to a wide range of music from around the globe

Student Erin Gould said the day offered her some real insight into the people living and working in the community.

“It’s really hands on,” she said about the day. “You just kind of get to try new things with new people that you

wouldn’t get to do in class. It’s our story day so we are trying to find our story by doing these things.”

This is the third year the program has been held at the school. Abriel hopes students feel a renewed pride in their community following the event.

“I hope they take an understanding of the fact we are made up of many stories and these stories are enriching and bring a beauty to our lives,” said Abriel.