Kids write to hockey teams against violence in sport

There’s a lot going on at the Hazelton Seventh Day Adventist school lately and teaching principal, Stewart Schwab was happy to share the successes of the small community school last week.

The SDA students wrote letters to four National Hockey League teams this past March and have been eagerly awaiting a response.

“At the time these students were completing a Street Hockey unit and working on letter writing in Language Arts,” he explained. “Magic happened when some of the students and staff were talking about the violence in hockey that was happening at the time. Several NHL players were out with head injuries and some of the students at the school were playing rough games.”

It is with this in mind that the students and staff decided to write the NHL teams that were being represented in their league play.

“The goal was to encourage these teams to do well, and remind their players in a kind way that children are watching,” Schwab said. “Students wrote letters, completed memory verses, informed these teams that they would pray for them, and asked if the teams would send something to them.”

To the surprise and complete delight of the students and staff all four teams — Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Detroit Red Wings, and the Pittsburgh Penguins  —responded with gratitude.

“A package arrived on May 6. and the students were overjoyed to receive trading cards, posters, pictures of players, T shirts, and ball caps,” he shared. “The local team did not fail either. The Canucks sent a general letter to the class, and then forwarded individual letters to the students who had written their team.”

For Schwab, the best part was that the project allowed his students to take skills they were learning in class and apply them to a worthwhile cause.

“It allowed students to see the purpose of what is taught at our school,” he said. “And to show them to be involved, be concerned, stand up for what is right, do your best, and pray for others.”

He also added with enthusiasm that the class says “Go, Canucks, Go!”

In other SDA news, a kindergarten student reached a reading milestone after reading his 100th book this year in response to Schwab’s challenge that the school read 800 books this year. To date, they have read 670. The students also recently dressed up and acted the part in a program called “The Bible Comes Alive.”

“Students and staff dressed up as the ancient Hebrews,” he said. “During the first half of the morning they faced the wrath of Pharaoh the task master, Mr. Schwab. Mrs. Blabey, an EA at the school and a great grandmother of two of the children that attend the school, read the story of the Exodus to the students. After morning recess Dixie Webb, an Education Assistant at the school, dressed up as Moses continued the story, claiming that God had sent her to free the Hebrew children.