Cupcake Day didn’t only churn out more than 800 cupcakes for school children and the public to get sugar high, the occasion was a fundraiser to sponsor a Syrian refugee family and to inform students about the global crisis.
The Rupert Syrian Refugee Support group are now first on the sponsorship list in the province to accept a Syrian family. They are close to reaching their goal to take care of one family — $20,000 raised — but ultimately they hope to sponsor two more families and more funding is needed.
Baking dozens of chocolate, vanilla, mint, cherry, Oreo and carrot cupcakes was the grand idea of Kate Lyon, the teacher librarian at Lax Kxeen Elementary School.
“I initially contacted colleagues at the elementary schools, asking them if they were interested in doing a fundraiser together. They all said yes,” Lyon said. All kindergarten to Grade 12 schools in Prince Rupert and the Port Edward Elementary school participated.
On Tuesday, April 19 Caitlin Birdsall, one of the volunteers with the Rupert Syrian Refugee Support group, went to each of the schools to talk about why they held cupcake day and why they were accepting donations.
“We talked about it in terms of acts of kindness and why people in Syria need help,” Birdsall said.
The group shuttled orders of cupcakes to people throughout the community all day and they raised more than $6,500.
Lyon used the sugary distraction as an information sharing opportunity. She compiled a resource package for all the teachers in the district. From kindergarten up to Grade 12, students learned about the Syrian crisis and the role Prince Rupert will play in helping the Syrian families when they arrive.
“These families will most likely have school-aged children enrolled in our neighbourhood schools. With resources given to each school, teachers could choose from a variety of activities and lesson plans that focused on the refugee crisis, vocabulary awareness, as well as a list videos and websites that were appropriate for school-aged children,” Lyon said adding that the kids were excited and asked many questions during the process.
Schools were encouraged to create a display of books in the libraries that focused on world religions, Canadian culture and family diversity with the intention of teaching the students to be global citizens.