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WE Believe Knowledge is Power comes to West Valley Middle School

February 2017

West Vallet Middle School students listening to a speakers at 'WE DAY'

The “WE Believe Knowledge is Power” Speaking Tour is tailored to middle school students, sponsored by the generous support of KPMG. On Thursday, Feb 2nd we were able to be part of this informative and educational tour.

KPMG believes that knowledge is power! Their goal is to empower youth through literacy and lifelong learning. WE is an organization that believes in “Empowering Young People to Change the World”.

The “WE Believe Knowledge is Power” tour focuses on the importance of self-discovery, awareness, leadership, community, empowerment and volunteering. The tour also emphasizes on literacy as a social issue and to help students learn how to take actions to create social change.

WVMS had the pleasure of having Juan and Caro hang out with all of us for the day, where they led an empowering assembly for the whole student body and a special workshop for our student council members. Juan and Caro, who are part of WE's KPMG “WE Believe Knowledge is Power” Speaking Tour have been travelling across the country talking about literacy and looking for future world changers. Juan was born in Costa Rica, raised in Miami, and is now in the United States Air Force. He is the first in his family to graduate college and aspires to be the President of Costa Rica. Caro grew up in the middle of the woods outside of Ottawa and has traveled to 5 continents, taught herself Spanish, has previously helped run a food bank, and is secretly a huge fan of Star Wars.

West Valley Middle School students watching speakers speak

Following the presentation, a workshop run by Juan and Caro was made available to our Student Council leaders. Students were divided into different groups and given an activity that put them at different levels of literacy, with some being 100% literate and educated while other groups had no idea what they were supposed to do!  Afterwards, the students came together to share how they felt during the exercise.  We heard feelings of anger, frustration, and fear that they were not doing it right, silliness and overall discomfort.  It opened the student’s eyes to just how lucky they are to be able to read - something that many take for granted - and the access they have to a great education.  It encouraged the discussion of communication and how important it is to advocate for what we believe in.

WVMS students and student council leaders learned a lot and was grateful to take part in WE’s KPMG “WE Believe Knowledge” is Power Speaking Tour.

From our student council president “As a group, student council will do it’s best to bring awareness to the issue of illiteracy and be part of the movement to help those who lack in education.” -Kaitlyn Springs