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Students from across the Ottawa Catholic School Board recently gathered at the annual Keep the Promise Student Summit to work together to bring an end to child poverty in Canada. Over 65 OCSB students from Grade 5 to Grade 10 brainstormed ways they could make a difference in the lives of impoverished children.

This year’s summit was all about student voice – what they think child poverty looks like in their communities and around Canada, and how they think they can make a difference. Students discussed in groups how their neighbourhoods and communities helped those in need, and were later treated to a human library, where they interacted with and asked questions of people who spend their lives helping fight poverty. It was a day filled with inspiration and with hope.

The origin of the summit comes from a promise made by Canadian political parties in 1989 to end child poverty by the year 2000. Today, 1 in 5 children in Ottawa live in poverty – that’s about 32,000 kids. Keep the Promise is all about raising awareness, connecting to curriculum, empowering student voice, fostering leadership opportunities, and exploring solutions.

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