By Karina Zapata-Roche
Mar 7th, 2017

It´s inspiring to read some of the students’ reflections which were triggered by the implementation of the Global Red Chair Project in Georgetown Preparatory School in Maryland, United States.

At Georgetown Prep there were many actions taken to raise awareness of the millions of children who don´t have access to education and it was done in a variety of creative ways. For example, the project served as a language learning activity for the Spanish class. The students performed the activities and reflected on them in Spanish as opposed to English.

Some students of this school shared their experience by writing short testimonials of what the Global Red Chair Project meant to them. Enjoy!

La Silla Roja was an eye-opening and heart touching experience. I truly felt changed and felt like doing more for the La Silla Roja campaign. I felt by doing this I could help give back to the marginalized of society. It helps us learn and to not take for granted our great lives at this great school. We have so many resources other only dream of. I learned that so many children around the world do not get the same opportunities as we do here.  These children cannot go to school because of various circumstances such as affordability, accessibility, war, isolation, and labor issues. I believe that these children still have a chance and that it is their right to receive their education. The world can be a better place if these kids could access education so they can help build and give back to their communities. If we all help them and spread awareness we can make this issue disappear.   If we all act as men and women for and with others any problem around the world is possible. La Silla Roja campaign must go on so that these children can receive the education they deserve. By Allen Madarang. GeorgetownRed Chair Experience

As weeks passed since we learned about la silla roja, the facts settled and have become more real. I sit here, stomach full, and mind filled with knowledge typing on my computer, as I reflect on those children who are deprived of this opportunity. Whether it is because of poverty, war, their geography, or simply their gender, 263 million children are not able to attend school. Without an education, you are lost, a human without education has no opportunities and no hope to succeed or better themselves and their surroundings. The red chair is empty, but it’s meaning is deep. It represents an empty chair is schools across the world, even in the United Sates, where a child is missing. We were asked not to donate money or supplies, but simply to spread the word. I took my education for granted but not anymore; it is priceless. Our efforts here at Georgetown Prep are miniscule in the big picture, but it is a start. We can use our position as a new generation on earth to make a change for the better. The word needs to continue being spread and I have already taken steps to make this change. Have you started? By Kaleb Fernandez.

The red chair brought an issue that I already knew some about to the forefront of my mind. I realized how privileged I am to be able to go to school regularly and not have to worry about it I will have to drop out to feed my family. This experience brought to my attention the variety of reasons these 263 million children can not go to school, which include gender, economics and violence. Raising awareness of an issue can be more difficult than just donating and forgetting, so this was different than other campaigns we have been a part of in the Georgetown Prep community which require you to spend money instead of your time. This was also new for me as I learned about this serious world topic in another language, as opposed to learning basic vocabulary in previous Spanish classes. This makes you learn how to have deeper conversations in Spanish about meaningful topics. By Benjamin Craig

Georgetown Red Chair Painting

My Silla Roja experience has been one to remember. It all started with a man named Nate coming in to talk to us about the issue. Before he came in I had no idea how many kids don’t or can’t go to school because of lack of money or other reasons. It was heartbreaking. We then went through the power point educating us even more about this world-wide issue. It was very good to know because the amount of kids who couldn’t go to school was un imaginable. Then came the fun part; the painting of the chair. We came in super excited and immediately took off our dress shirts and rolled up our sleeves in preparation of painting. Once we started, it was fun, but messy. We all were painting this chair red to raise awareness for the issue. It made me feel like I was actually doing something to help these people, which felt great. Then we had a free dress day as long as we wore red. It was a great way to raise awareness, because who doesn’t love a free dress day? That same day in Spanish class we all went outside to tell the camera what the Silla Roja meant to us. It was a neat way to express what we thought about the issue and painting the red chair. Then we left the chair outside on the campus for people to see and ask about. When they would ask one of us we would educate them about what it meant and then they would educate other people until the whole school new about it. Therefore, my Silla Roja experience was an inspiring experience that taught me to work hard to raise awareness for world-wide issues. By Michael Amberman.

La Silla Roja represents the 263 million kids across the world who do not have access to education due to various things.  The kids don’t have access to the school system due to wars, poverty, discrimination, and several other factors that children at this age should not have to deal with.  We have learned that we are incredibly lucky to be in a situation where we have access to one of the best schools in the country.  Georgetown Prep painted two chairs and placed them across the campus to spread awareness for the kids who aren’t as lucky.  The color red calls attention to the chair and by working with this program and exposing it to social media, we hope to inspire others to also act, and find out how we can make a change even though it is far away. Care for those kids can start with care for people who are suffering in our own community, such as those who are struggling in school or are in poverty and are struggling to support their families. Pope Francis once said, “to change the world, we must be good to those who cannot repay us.”  This represents what we trying to accomplish, although we will not be repaid, we will be repaid by the happiness we gain from helping others. By Nathaniel de Leede and Steven Gutowski.

Are you currently implementing the Red Chair Project at your school?

Share pictures, videos and a testimonial of this wonderful experience. Just send these to Ciara Beuster, Community Facilitator. [email protected]

If you need to know more about the project, click here: The Global Red Chair Project.

If you need more assistance, the Educate Magis team would be delighted to help! Just follow this conversation to ask any questions or share your ideas for your local Red Chair Project.

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