Hi Everyone,

The Better World Project is running a day of silence (24 hours) next week (Thu Apr 17) as part of Free the Children’s We Are Silent campaign.

We need your help.

Our goal is to get over 500 intermediate and secondary students wearing our black masks and buttons. We want to invite media on Thu Apr 17 to film a crowd of students wearing our masks on the atrium steps at lunch.

Why you should participate:

My daughter is 4 years old. She doesn’t know how lucky she is.

  • Malalal Yousafzai was shot in the head because she blogged about life under the Taliban who banned girls from going to school.
  • Malalal lives today. She is 16 years old and she has joined Free the Children to do the day of silence

I am incredibly lucky because I have money and I can provide for my family. I didn’t have to sell my daughter into child labour.

  • Iqbal Masih was sold into child labour. His family borrowed 600 rupees ($16) from a carpet owner. He had to work as a carpet weaver until the debt was paid off
  • Iqbal was chained and forced to work 14 hours a day, 7 days a week. When he escaped slavery, he spoke out against child labour.
  • Iqbal was 12 when he was shot and killed for speaking out.

Right now, there are 215 million children engaged in child labour. They don’t have a voice. Other people don’t have a voice because their rights are denied, they are invisible, or they are bullied.

On Thu April 17, we invite you to take a silent stand so others can be heard.

How can students help:

1. Buy the mask

The Better World Project will have a table set up (in the atrium, or in front of the caf) every day next week: before school, during intermediate lunch, after school. (Unfortunately, we don’t have any volunteers who can sell masks at secondary break – if you’re interested, let me know.)

Black Masks and Buttons:

  • $3.50 regular price
  • $2.00 if you have our Better World wristband
  • If you need to buy a Better World project wristband, it costs $5.00, but you get the black mask and button for free. (The wristband gets you discounts to popcorn and access to a movie buy-in later in the year.)

2. Wear the mask now and you could win cafeteria money. We are giving away $50 in caf bucks.

  • Next week, every day (Mon to Thu), I will be walking around and randomly giving away $5.00 in cafeteria gift certificates every day. You can win multiple times.
  • I will be walking around the atrium in the morning / afternoon, the cafeteria at intermediate nutrition break, and the hallways / classroom during my prep. If you are wearing the mask around your neck and you have the button on, you could randomly win. (I pick a random number and then I count masks. When I get to the random number, I give out the prize.)
  • Intermediate or Secondary students can win. Just be visible in the atrium before or after school.

3. Get pledges. You could win $50 from Broadways

  • If you collect pledges from other people, you could win a $50 gift card from Broadways.
  • Pledge forms are available from our Better World project desk where you buy your mask. (Or you can print them online at Free the Children)

4. Participate in the vow of silence next Thursday: Thu April 17

How can teachers help:

1. Talk about We Are Silent Apr 17 with your students.

  • Read this email.
  • Come up with your own reasons for participating.
  • Spencer West is a double-amputee motivational speaker at We Day. He climbed Mt Kilmanjaro with no legs – just hands. He said: “Getting involved because it’s the right thing to do isn’t enough. You need a why.”

2. Show the video

3. Buy the mask and wear it around your neck

4. Consider how you can tweak your classes on Thu April 17 so your students can still participate while silent.

5. Help supervise Better World Project students at our information / sales desk

  • If you can donate time before school, at break, or afterschool to supervise the students selling masks, please let me know.

6. Other?

  • I’m open to suggestions.
  • By the way, if you have three minutes and want to see how to get a crowd of people to buy into an idea, here’s how you do it: Leadership lessons from Dancing Guy
  • Anyone else want to be a nut with me?

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