Students help community on Round Square Day
Bermuda High School
Students at The Bermuda High School took part in Round Square Day last month, which promotes service, internationalism and environmentalism.
Round Square Day at BHS is a chance for the school community to work together to incorporate these ideals into projects which benefit the local community.
Student leaders are given the responsibility of organising the day, learning valuable leadership and teamwork skills, and strengthening relationships between students of all ages throughout the school.
Groups of students were assigned to a location in their home parish for a morning cleanup of their area before they engaged in discussion groups (known as Barazza Groups in the Round Square community), and various service projects around the island.
The morning’s cleanups took place in 12 locations across the island, and Anne Hyde from Keep Bermuda Beautiful helped the students plan their activities.
Some of the afternoon community projects included helping out at Masterworks Museum of Bermuda Art in the Botanical Gardens, the removal of invasive plant species on Trunk Island, and helping younger students at West Pembroke Primary, Hope Academy, Port Royal Primary and Francis Patton.
Groups of students also helped to tidy Meals on Wheels headquarters, visited elderly residents at Lefroy House, assisted with gardens at WindReach and removed boat signage at Royal Bermuda Yacht Club.
The following day BHS hosted its World Fair, an annual event which celebrates internationalism and multiculturalism.
Students were instrumental in the event’s preparation.
One group worked on making blue bird boxes, hair clips and bracelets to be sold at the fair, another designed and produced a World Flag game, while others helped with heavy lifting.
For the second year running, students gathered donations for their trash collection, and this money was used to purchase bike kits. Year 6 students with IB2 support then made the bikes to donate to children in need this holiday season.
Special praise was given to Nick Kempe of Bermuda Forwarders for help in importing the bikes to keep the costs down, and to Mr Mayho for aiding the students with the construction of the bikes.
The bikes will be donated to children in the community through the Toys for Tots programme.
Thanks are also given to the following community partners who helped with the projects at the various locations:
• Roger Parris, Parks Curator, who co-ordinated the project at the Botanical Gardens
• Lawrence Doughty, National Trust Environmental Officer, who led the group at Spittal Pond
• Department of Parks employees who trucked away all the collected debris in the beach and park locations
• Ernest Trott at Wedco who collected all the trash from the group who cleaned up at Lagoon Park in Dockyard
Ms Hyde from KBB said: “KBB is pleased to assist The Bermuda High School in its celebration of being a Round Square School and help organise morning cleanup activities in a dozen locations. This is our second year of partnering on this day of community service and celebration. We are grateful that BHS focuses on the environment as part of their Round Square Day.”
Round Square is a worldwide network of 180 schools in 50 countries which helps nurture the qualities that make successful leaders and prepares students to be global citizens through the ideals of internationalism, democracy, environmentalism, adventure, leadership and service.
BHS is the only Round Square School on the island.
Round Square membership affords BHS students the opportunity to take part in exchanges around the world, and participate in annual Round Square conferences and service trips.
In the past few years, students have travelled to Switzerland, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand, USA, and South America.
There is an Adventure Fund at BHS which helps to ensure that all eligible students have the ability to take advantage of these experiences through funding opportunities.
Followers of fashion
Back for its sixth year at BHS, ecoRUNWAY 2017 delivered on its mission to combine engineering, fashion and environmental awareness.
Teams were tasked with creating two outfits made of at least 50 per cent recycled materials: one ready to wear and one avant-garde.
The designs were judged on originality, wearability and creative use of materials. The six teams used newspaper, plastic bags, rope, cds, books, magazines and lots of glue.
The students worked outside school hours to complete their looks on the theme of Adventure.
Diversity and leadership on agenda
Somersfield Academy headed to Anaheim, California, for the Student Diversity Leadership Conference and 30th Annual People of Colour Conference.
The conference brought together nearly 6,000 adults and students and focused on how to lead, learn, rededicate and deliver.
Somersfield Academy has pioneered the Bermuda chapter of diversity in independent schools and has sent students and faculty to this conference in different venues all over the United States for the past eight years.
Somersfield Academy hosts an annual Diversity Day, which was attended this year by students from Warwick Academy and Bermuda High School.
Somersfield Academy continued to foster the spirit of inclusion by collaborating with Bermuda High School for Girls and Warwick Academy on the trip. to SDLC.
A spokesperson for the school said: “Summer Wood was integral in fostering the collaboration between our school and the others. Summer facilitated transport, accommodations and the overall care of the students during the conference, she should be commended.”
A total of 22 students and faculty travelled to the conference. Tanisha Edwards, a primary teacher at Somersfield Academy, attended the event for the first time.
Ms Edwards said: “The experience of attending my first PoCC/SDLC conference was nothing short of amazing. The fact that hundreds of independent schools with like-minded students and faculty could collectively assemble and embrace differences was truly an empowering experience.
“We still have a lot of work to do, but attending the conference gave me some of the tools for effective teaching, listening and coaching strategies to help foster a truly diverse school environment.”
Stacey Lee-Williams, the director of business, development and diversity at Somersfield Academy wrote: “Once again, I have returned to Bermuda with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and humbleness after having the honour to join 60 facilitators at the National Association of Independent Schools Student Diversity Leadership Conference in California.
“Charged with leading activities and discussions that focus on self-reflection, forming allies and building community, for more than 1,600 students from nearly 300 independent schools, is a huge undertaking.
Students are broken up into groups of around 60 students with two co-facilitators leading them in activities and dialogue around the eight core-cultural identifiers; race/ethnicity, age, ability, gender, socio-economic status, sexual orientation and family structure.
“Students that attend are fully engaged as they openly discuss each identifier. We provide a safe space for them to be authentic.
“Words cannot adequately describe the atmosphere and experience that is life changing for both faculty and participants.”
Violence and gangs not the answer
Students from CedarBridge Academy had the proud pleasure to hear from Leroy Bean about national security and violence on our island.
Accompanying Mr Bean was Mrs Dee-ah Iris from Mothers on a Mission, who spoke of her experiences in our country.
Mr Bean spoke to students about how he has not let his past define him or his future in life.
In regards to people who are not on the right track, he said, “The person that no one has any hope for can start to change the course of their destiny.”
He went on to talk about violence in the community and how students have the power to make the society sustainable.
Moreover, Mrs Iris began to explain an analogy about toothpaste.
Ms Iris said: “What happens when you squeeze too much toothpaste out of the tube?
“Can you try to put that toothpaste back in?
“No, once you squeeze it out the tube it cannot go back in.”
She compared an impulse decision like too much squeezed toothpaste. She further reiterated that because of an impulse action, she lost her son Steven, who was fatally stabbed.
She explained how the decisions of others have not only affected her but her other sons. She continued talking about how she has coped and wants to be a part of the solution to problems like this in the community.
She ended her speech by encouraging students to speak up, get informed, and get involved to make a change.
The last speaker was a 16-year-old young man who spoke about how he was affected by violence.
He noted how he feels strongly that although people try to implement gang life in communities it may seem nice right now, but those people will never understand the impact and seriousness of their actions.
Furthermore, he talked about how “every action has an equal reaction”.
Additionally, he highlighted that consequences will never only affect one person, they affect families, neighbourhoods, and the community. He ended by expressing that the gang life will never lead to anything good and that it will never be worth it.
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