Holy Cross Catholic Academy was recently recognized by Settlement & Education Partnership in York Region (SEPYR) staff for its contributions to newcomers in Woodbridge over the last 20 years.
The school welcomed Agnes, Martha, Eric, and Ghada, Settlement Workers from Catholic Community Services of York Region (CCSYR) to its first Advent mass of the season, on December 1st. The Settlement Workers presented the school with a plaque of appreciation for Christmas baskets that the school's community put together for newcomer families throughout York Region, regardless of all faith.
Holy Cross CA has been donating Christmas baskets that are distributed by the settlement organization for at least the past 20 years. Every year, 40 families that are new to Canada receive the care baskets.
The Settlement Workers thanked the school's students and staff for their extreme generosity and remarked that their donations reflect the true spirit of Christmas.
Since schools are one of the first places newcomer families visit after they arrive in Canada, YCDSB and CCSYR partner to provide newcomer families with much needed, multilingual support through Settlement Workers who work out of our schools. This support may include information about the school and education system, English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, advice on how to find a job, open a bank account, and much more.
Settlement Workers also organize a variety of events throughout the school year for newcomer students and their families, such as the Newcomer Orientation Week/Day for high schools students in August and the Welcome to Canada Orientation Day in September for families.
Another event Settlement Workers partner with YCDSB schools for is the Annual Friendship Games, now in its fifth year. This year's Friendship Games took place at St. Joan of Arc CHS in Vaughan on November 27th. Newcomer and ESL students from St. Joan of Arc CHS, St. Elizabeth CHS and Jean Vanier CHS participated in an inter-scholastic sports tournament that included basketball, volleyball and badminton. The Settlement Workers thanked St. Joan of Arc Principal, Brett Crook and staff from the school for hosting and assisting with the 2015 Friendship Games.