Kitchener-Waterloo

Grade 8 class donates end of year trip money to Waterloo region hospitals

A group of Grade 8 students at Sunshine Montessori School in Kitchener decided to donate the $3,600 they had raised throughout the year to local hospitals to buy personal protective equipment.

Students raised the $3,600 during the year through bake sales and a hot lunch program

Elizabeth Goad represented her class on Thursday when she handed a cheque over to local hospitals to fund personal protective equipment. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

Graduation parties and end of year school trips aren't happening over the next month in Ontario.

So a group of Grade 8 students at Sunshine Montessori School in Kitchener decided to donate the $3,600 they had raised throughout the year to local hospitals to buy personal protective equipment.

The money was supposed to go toward their end of year trip to Quebec. They had raised it on their own through bake sales and a hot lunch program.  

"We all feel pretty amazing to help someone out you know is in need," said Elizabeth Goad, 13, who gave the money to the Grand River Hospital Foundation's Region Ready campaign on behalf of her class on Thursday.

'Giant family'

But the day was also bittersweet for Goad. She spent part of the afternoon cleaning out her school locker, taking home the things she previously assumed would be needed in school during the spring session before she graduated.

"It's actually pretty sad because there's a bunch of things we didn't finish this year," said Goad. "I started here in Grade 3 and they literally welcomed me in. It's like a giant family."

It's a small graduating class, just seven Grade 8 students in all. Their teacher, Bill Clark, says some have embraced online learning, while it's a challenge for other students.

Teacher Bill Clark says it's been a challenging time for students over the past couple of months. (Julianne Hazlewood/CBC)

"Doing it online in a Zoom meeting is not the same," said Clark. "I think at this age they're so social, that's really hard."

Cheque presented 

Clark had initially raised the idea with the students about donating the money, which the class quickly agreed to. 

When the cheque was delivered on Thursday, everyone wore masks and stood at a distance when talking to each other.

"I can't express how grateful we are to see the younger generation step forward," said Jesse Borden with the Grand River Hospital Foundation.