Wolfville's Booker School goes silent

Wendy Elliott welliott@kingscountynews.ca
Published on June 16, 2014

Students at the New Booker School in Wolfville marched in the Apple Blossom children’s parade and recently practiced silence for a good cause. - Wendy Elliott, www.kingscountynews.ca

©WEndy Elliott


Imagine a couple of classrooms of kids who are speechless and silent for more than three hours. That’s what the older students at the New Booker School in Wolfville managed for a good cause recently.

Students were studying migration due to war historically and in our era. Teacher Osama Darwish said they took a close look at the civil war in Syria and decided to carry out a sponsored silence.

Tyler Hutchinson said the unit they were studying was about how “migration shapes the way we are.”


Migration plays a role in history

Students looked at the expulsion of the Acadian, visited Grand Pré and took a trip to the site of the former Africville in Halifax and Pier 21, said Alden Mulherin.

Aria MacDonald said the oldest students did individual projects and tried to relate to the Underground Railway, Vietnamese boat people or British children who spent the Second World War here. She looked at Hiroshima, which had to be evacuated due to radiation after the atomic bomb.

Cameron Mullen said he is very happy to live in a peaceful land that he and his parents haven’t been forced to leave.

MacDonald said the unit taught her to sit down every day and give thanks for how super lucky her childhood has been.

Hutchinson told the class about his grandparents who escaped bombing and death during the Second World War.


Proud of efforts

Darwish is quite proud of students for their fundraising efforts on behalf of Syrian refugees and for supporting those who currently don’t have a vote.

Before the day of silence, they welcomed a member of a United Nations refugee team to speak to the school about the U.N., his work and the plight of refugees around the world.

The next school day, they held a 3.5-hour event while the students carried out math, English, phys ed and even ate lunch in silence.

In doing so, Darwish said, the students have raised close to $1,000. He says they will most likely donate the funds to UNICEF to help in the education of the over one million children living in refugee camps.