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Students give their voice to children in need through Day of Silence

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MILWAUKEE -- Middle school students are known for having a lot to say, but the seventh grade class at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School will sound a little different come Wednesday, May 23rd. The students won't say a word throughout the day, to raise money for children in need.

"It's going to be a challenge. They're going to have to go throughout their day using maybe dry erase boards or chalk boards -- not speaking at all," MJDS seventh-grade teacher Mike Hinkens said.

Each year the class comes up with a unique way to raise money for the "Voice of the Children" program. This year, students are planning a day of silence to stand in solidarity with children that may not have a voice.

"It's a metaphor for the idea that in poverty, you can't always stand out and cry for help," Hinkens.

Instead of speaking, the students will wear signs to convey their message.

"My sign says 'I'm silent so they can be heard finally' because they never are heard and we're raising money so they can be heard, and they can have an education, and they can have a life that all children want," seventh-grade student Zach Sinykin said.

Students are focusing their efforts this year on children in Latin America.

Seventh-grader Joel Kaswan knows these struggles first hand, as he lived in both Venezuela and Mexico before moving to the U.S.

"I grew up with poverty and my parents grew up with poverty and they thought it was really special that we got to do this because we got to help those people out," Kaswan said.

Pledges are being collected for each hour the students are silent.

The seventh-graders researched charities, made documentaries and will give presentations before selecting the charity that will receive all of their donations.

"They're not just sitting in a desk learning about geography out of a book. They are doing something very real when they research these child welfare issues and when they raise money to make a difference," Head of School Brian King said.

Learning how to make a difference is a lesson that is priceless.

"It makes you feel so good and proud to be changing the world," seventh-grader Tori Cayle said.

Over the last three years, students at the Milwaukee Jewish Day School have raised about $55,000 for charities around the world.

Learn more about the Voice of the Children project by CLICKING HERE.