In the last few years, one of the goals of the Avon Maitland District School Board has been to develop positive citizenship qualities in our students. In order to help us achieve this goal, a character education program was developed with input from the community, starting with the identification of ten character attributes that we would like to see our students acquire. Two of these traits are empathy and compassion, which South Huron students demonstrate remarkably well throughout the year by their involvement in charitable ventures, something that has been very evident in the last couple of weeks. The newly formed Junior Optimists group staged a clothing drive, collecting gently used articles of clothing to be turned over to local charitable agencies, which will sell the clothing at very affordable prices. This serves two purposes: it provides clothing at greatly reduced prices for those who may not be able to afford new clothing and it helps the local agencies raise funds to continue their good works. The Junior Optimists collected 2000 items of clothing from staff and students, and they should be commended for the success of this venture. I would like to thank also all the staff and students who supported this endeavour. While they were doing this, the Change Bandits in our SCC DD classes have been collecting pocket change in support of The Children’s Hospital. Their goal is to raise $500, and to date they are more than halfway there. Their campaign continues this week and I have no doubt that their target will be reached. Special thanks goes to EA Joanne Pickering, who has organized the Change Bandits campaign for the past few years. On Friday and Saturday last week, over 130 students took part in the annual 30 Hour Famine. SHDHS has been one of the most successful schools in Ontario in terms of both participation and fund-raising for this event, and this year is no exception. While the participation numbers are down a little from the past couple of years, it looks as though this year’s event will raise almost $10 000 for World Vision. The Character Education Committee took on the task of organizing this year’s Famine, and they report that the students were extremely well-behaved throughout the event, which began on Friday at noon and finished up at 6:00 p.m. on Saturday. The students stay at the school for the thirty hours and the Character Education Committee would like to thank all of the staff, including a couple of student teachers, who supervised the event. Without the support of staff, students, and parents, events like this are just not possible; so a huge “thank you” goes out to all the participants, the supervisors, organizers, and everyone who pledged money in support of World Vision. This week we will be holding an assembly to introduce two more charitable events that will take place later this spring: Hoops for Heart and Relay for Life. Students and staff have been involved in both of these campaigns in the past, and we anticipate high levels of student and staff involvement, and considerable community support of these events again this year. But the fund-raising is only part of the story: what impresses me most about our involvement in all of these things, is the willingness of the students, staff, and community to get involved and the excellent behaviour of all those who take part. The excellent conduct and concern for others are truly impressive and indicative of the character of the whole South Huron community. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the boys’ hockey team, coached by Ryan Soldan and Roger Dougall, for their fine performance at OFSAA, the provincial championships. Though we did not advance to the play-off round of the tournament, the boys had a very respectable 2-2 record against some very tough competition and both victories were shutouts. The coaches reported that the boys were very well behaved and served as excellent ambassadors for the school. There were a number of parents who traveled to Ottawa to support the team, and a few students as well, and I would like to thank them for their support, not only in this tournament, but throughout the year.