Kemptville students fundraise, teachers eat bugs for CHEO

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submitted by UCDSB

While it all came down to who could eat the most bugs in one minute, the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) came out as the real winner.

Christina Lo Basso and Dan Preston’s Grade 7 French immersion classes at North Grenville District High School (NGDHS) raised $800.12 for pediatric cancer patients at the hospital, after reading a French book in class called Tu manges ça.

The book aims to find fun ways to fundraise within a school to help cancer patients. While discussing the book, the classes decided to mimic it, gathering donations to see which teacher could eat the most chili-lime flavoured crickets.

In an epic battle of strong stomachs, Mr. Preston came out on top, devouring 43 insects in the one-minute time limit, to Mme. Lo Basso’s 23.

Students also saw where their fundraising dollars would go during a virtual call and hospital tour with CHEO’s Mandy Arsenault, who explained the importance of the hospital and the Kids Helping Kids program.

“As part of this program, we offer presentations to schools and kids so they can really understand how impactful their support is,” Arsenault said.

“The bug eating competition and fundraiser from NGDHS is one of the most creative and fun initiatives I have seen in my 8 years at CHEO and certainly goes beyond the more typical options!” said Arsenault.

“It’s a great cause. We were just trying to raise a few bucks and have some fun,” said Preston. “Having the virtual call with Mandy was the icing on the cake, it was an eye-opener for the kids.”

“I thought we would raise $100,” said Grade 7 student Josephine Godwin-Sens. “I think it’s good to help out the community and raise school spirit.”

“Mr. P just ate the crickets like they were nothing!” Grade 7 student Zachary Roberts added. “After watching the video with CHEO, we saw all the different machines they have and how much it costs, it made me feel better about giving them money.”

The $800 donation will go towards equipment, research projects, and supporting families, according to Arsenault who said that any school is welcome to contact CHEO regarding a fundraising initiative of its own. 

“No matter the idea, the important part is that we are encouraging our future philanthropists and teaching kids about the impact of giving,” Arsenault said.

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