December 15, 2011

‘We’re walking on air,’ school says of Rogers Radio’s gift

Lord Selkirk annex, just off Knight and 29th, is a small inner-city elementary school whose requests for assistance from The Vancouver Sun’s Adopt-a-School campaign were among the most modest received.

Two winter jackets, 15 pairs of winter gloves, 10 toques, two pairs of runners and two pairs of winter boots (sizes provided) were top of their wish list.

Then came an appeal for food gift certificates for some of the families of the 71 students who will be short of money to buy food over Christmas.

In the alternative they asked for food and gift hampers for four needy families.

And finally, help to buy three iPads for five special needs kids with learning problems.

The school, from its scanty fundraising resources, had saved enough for two.

Help to purchase the others would be appreciated.

Such disarming modesty caught the eye of the staff at Rogers Radio in Vancouver; the 100 or so employees of Jack FM, News 1130 and Sonic decided to adopt the school.

On Friday, Jack FM on-air personalities Larry and Willy and as many staff as can be spared will bring a Christmas lunch to the school along with the gifts they’ve requested.

“We’re walking on air right now,” said school secretary Susan Townsend. “It’s wonderful they have offered to take care of our needs.”

Rogers Radio’s Denise Frandsen said staff have been collecting clothes and toys for the school and have taken up a collection to purchase iPads.

“We want to give a gift to all 71 students. We’re a pretty lucky bunch working here and we want to give something back. Normally we adopt families but this year we decided to adopt a school,” she said.

“It’s all a bit last minute but we’re hoping to have balloons, put on a magic show, have pop-corn machines. We want it to be a lot of fun for the kids.”

On Tuesday, students from West Vancouver’s Sentinel secondary handed out pyjamas to all 130 children attending Vancouver’s Admiral Seymour elementary as part of their Adopt-a-School effort.

“It was just beautiful,” said Admiral Seymour headteacher Andrea Wilks.

Many of the students at Admiral Seymour in the Downtown Eastside are from families struggling with poverty.

“The kids just absolutely loved the PJs. I saw some of them wearing them going home. And today they wrote about how comfy and cosy they were when they came to school,” said Wilks, Wednesday.

“Part of the Grade 7 class had an impromptu pajama day [Wednesday] and are going to have a big PJ day in January.”

Wilks was touched by the concern shown by the West Vancouver students and their science teacher, Julie Takahashi.

“Julie noticed some of the pyjamas sizes were a little bit off when the kids opened them. So she took them back to exchange so everyone gets a pair that fits. That was very sweet,” she said.

“On the way out, one of the Sentinel students – our kids just loved them – said they have many clubs in her school and they want to do more. So it was just as rewarding for those West Vancouver high school kids as it was for ours,” she said.

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