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Cyclone Aid at St. Patrick's Catholic High School Set for Saturday, March 24th! 

More than 200 students and 150 parent and staff volunteers from St. Patrick's Catholic High School are set to go door-to-door in Sarnia and Point Edward this Saturday for the 17th annual Cyclone Aid.

"This is really a great thing to do," says Beth Schoenmaker, a Grade 12 student an co-chair of this year's event.  "In one day we collect enough food to help keep the shelves stocked at the Inn of the Good Shepherd for almost a month.  It's good to know we can make such a difference in our community!"

Each year, the volunteers aim for about 30,000 to 35,000 pounds of food.  The Inn of the Good Shepherd typically goes through about 40,000 pounds each month.

Cyclone Aid, which began at the former St. Christopher Catholic Secondary School and continued following the consolidation with St. Patrick's, runs each year during Lent.  It is one of two major food drives at the school.  During Advent, students collect non-perishable food items for Irish Miracle, which supports the St. Vincent DePaul Christmas hamper campaign.

The students say they are amazed every year at the generosity of the community.

"Some people give us laundry baskets filled with food and others have several grocery bags full," says Izzy Kokkinis, co-chair.  "It's nice to know so many people want to help - and we really appreciate it!"

Volunteers will go door-to-door from 8:00 a.m. until noon on Saturday.  Residents can give their donations directly to the students, leave it on the porch, or drop it off at the school.

A kick-off pep rally was held at the school today, attended by Myles Vanni, Executive Director of the Inn of the Good Shepherd; Director of Education Deb Crawford; Trustee Linda Ward; Sarnia Mayor Mike Bradley; and Point Edward Mayor Bev Hand.

Lunch will be provided for the volunteers this Saturday courtesy of the Catholic Women's League.

In the photo above are (L-R) Sarnia Trustee Linda Ward; student co-chairs Izzy Kokkinis and Beth Schoenmaker; and Director of Education Deb Crawford.

Mar 20, 2018

Successful Chess Tournament at St. Matthew Catholic School Still Going Strong After More Than 20 Years 

  Two-hundred-and-ninety students from 13 Catholic schools across Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent participated in a chess tournament that has a long tradition in Sarnia.

  "It was a great day," says St. Matthew Catholic School FSL teacher and tournament organizer Chris Vaillant.  "This event has been running in our Sarnia Catholic schools since the mid-90s.  It's something the students and staff look forward to every year."

  The students competed in six rounds of chess for trophies in age groups that ranged from Grade 1 to 8.

  "Not only is it a lot of fun, but chess also provides great opportunities for learning," says Mr. Vaillant.  "It touches a number of subject areas, including math and helps students to develop skills in critical thinking."

  Participating schools this year, in addition to the host school St. Matthew, were:  Christ The King, Wallaceburg; Gregory A. Hogan, Sarnia; Holy Rosary, Wyoming, Holy Trinity, Sarnia; St. Anne, Sarnia; Sacred Heart, Sarnia; St. John Fisher, Forest; St. Joseph, Corunna; St. Michael, Bright's Grove; Monsignor Uyen, Chatham; St. Peter Canisius, Watford; and St. Philip, Petrolia.

Mar 07, 2018

Family Wellness Night at Georges P. Vanier Catholic School a Huge Success 

  More than 175 students and parents attended a Family Wellness Night at Georges P. Vanier Catholic School in Chatham recently.

  "It was a fantastic event with tremendous support and participation from many community partners," says Americo Todino, Principal of Georges P. Vanier Catholic School.  "I want to thank everyone who attended!"

  The evening was organized by the Georges P. Vanier Catholic School Advisory Council and funded through a Parent Reaching Out Grant.  The goal was to promote health and wellness. 

  Council members sought out community partners who were willing to share information about living a healthy lifestyle.  Participating agencies included CK Public Health, the Kent Dairy Association, CK Recreation, YMCA Chatham-Kent and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.  In addition, representatives of Cornell Irish Dance, Pure Dance, Blenheim Golden Eagles Gymnastics Club, Peak Athletic, the Chatham Granite Club, DrumFit and Cobra Taekwondo were also on hand to provide demonstrations.

  In keeping with the theme for the evening, an army of parents and school volunteers helped prepare healthy snacks, including wraps, veggies and fruit.

  "It was a busy evening," says Mr. Todino.  "Our school library and eight classrooms were needed to host all of our visitor booths and interactive centres.  Thanks also to our Grade 7 and 8 students, who helped run events and stamp participation passports."

In the photo (above) students participate in a Taekwondo demonstration.

Mar 02, 2018
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Helping Keep Children Safe During High Water Events on Local Watercourses 



February 22, 2018

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Melting snow, due to above average temperatures, and the recent heavy rainfalls have combined to produce dangerously high water levels in rivers, creeks and streams throughout our district.  The Lower Thames Valley and St. Clair Region conservation authorities have issued flood warnings for watercourses across their watersheds.

Slippery banks along rivers, creeks and ditches, fast moving water and unstable ice can be dangerous.  Even standing water may pose hazards.  Both conservation authorities have produced educational resources, which include important safety information for children.  We have reviewed these safety tips with our students in class.  It is also important that parents talk to their children about being safe while playing outdoors during the spring melt.

If you have any questions, please contact the Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority or the St. Clair Region Conservation Authority directly.  I wish to thank them for these valuable education resources, which will help to keep our children safe.


Deb Crawford

Director of Education

Click on the links below to review the safety tip resources.

Lower Thames Valley Conservation Authority

St. Clair Region Conservation Authority


Feb 22, 2018
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