A rockin’ power chord salute and a round of flying windmills go out to the students at Ecole Selkirk Junior High, who under the tutelage of RRC alum Kris Hancock (Industrial Arts/Technology Teacher Education) have raised more than $100,000 to help support the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.
The students raised the scratch through their wildly successful B.O.S.S. (Building on Students’ Success) Guitar Works program, in which kids are taught to make functioning electric guitars after school. Once built and painted, the guitars are sent to visiting rock stars and other high-profile celebrities for signatures (among them, Bon Jovi, Fleetwood Mac, Gene Simmons and The Tragically Hip), before being auctioned off to the highest bidder.
Last week, ESJH students presented the Friends of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights with a cheque for $68,421, the proceeds from two guitar auctions — one online, the other live — held in May 2013. That amount, in combination with the $32,579 raised during the program’s inaugural auction in 2011, brings B.O.S.S.’s total CMHR donations to $101,000.
“Our motto is, ‘Changing the world — one guitar at a time,'” says Wayne Davies, proud principal of ESJH and co-founder of the B.O.S.S. program.
“Many schools struggle with bullying and issues arising from cultural differences. The Canadian Museum for Human Rights has helped keep human rights top of mind for our students. It’s given them opportunities to find their voices and discover first-hand how they can have a positive impact on the world around them.”
The B.O.S.S. program got its start in 2010 when Davies asked Hancock, “How would you get kids involved in the community?” Hancock’s response was “build electric guitars,” and with fellow teacher Scott Sampson providing expert airbrushing and graphic arts expertise, the program quickly became a hit.