St. Clair Catholic and LKDSB Host "Experience the Trades" Event at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham

St. Clair Catholic, along with the Lambton Kent District School Board, co-hosted an Experience the Trades event at the John D. Bradley Convention Centre in Chatham.  The trade fair, in partnership with other area school boards and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent, and made possible through the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, was an opportunity for local business and industry to showcase careers in appreticeable trades.

Students in Grades 7 to 12 from participating schools were able to learn about careers in such areas as construction, industrial, electrical and service-type skilled-trades.  Parents and guardians were also invited to attend a special evening session. 

"This is an important event for students as, along with their parents, they begin to plan their future pathways to education and employment," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.  "We are pleased to work together with our community partners in industry and the trades to bring together a variety of career options for our students to discover."

The Experience the Trades event allowed students to connect directly with skilled tradespeople and to discuss the diversity of career pathways available.  It is a unique event, which offers students and their parents/guardians the opportunity to explore a variety of professions in a hands-on environment and to learn more about educational opportunities, employment and support programs related to future careers in the trades.

No registration was required. 

In the photos (top left) a St. Elizabeth Catholic School student participates in a hands-on activity with the St. Clair College Power Line Program; while (above right) another student works on an activity related to the construction trades.




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Grade 9 Students at Ursuline College and St. Patrick's Participate in 'Take Our Kids to Work Day' as Elementary Students Tour High Schools

"It's been great spending the day at work with Mom and seeing what she does every day," says Zander Veccia, a Grade 9 Ursuline College student, who is participating in the annual Take Our Kids to Work Day, with his mom Deb Veccia, a supervisor with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent's Parks and Horticulture Department.

"All of the students participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day with the Municipality had a chance to visit a number of CK departments during the morning," says Deb Veccia.  "They took part in planned activities at the Chatham-Kent Museum, Public Utilities and Ontario Works departments and at the Cultural Centre.  This afternoon, Zander will be touring parks with me to inspect playground equipment and make sure it's safe and in good repair."

During today's Take Our Kids to Work Day event, more than 300 students at UCC in Chatham and about 250 from St. Patrick's Catholic High School in Sarnia spent the day at work with parents, grandparents, trusted friends or neighbours.

"Not every student who goes to work with a parent is necessarily choosing a career pathway they want to follow," says Sandra Dowdall, Business and Cooperative Education Department Head at Ursuline College.  "But when they come back to school we ask them to give a report to the class and sometimes what they have to say piques the interest of another student and that begins a conversation about their future."

It is hoped that Take Our Kids to Work Day is a springboard that can lead students to an experiential learning journey through a variety of cooperative placements that are available through their high school.

While the Grade 9 students are away from school for the day, both Ursuline College and St. Patrick's invite elementary students in, to spend the day rotating through classes and experiencing some of what their Catholic high schools have to offer.  Tours are organized and led by high school student leaders.

"It's a great day for students in our elementary partner schools get an overview of the many courses and extra curricular activities available to them; and to get a taste of student life at UCC," says Ray Power, Principal of Ursuline College.  "Our student leaders do an amazing job of making them feel welcome and answering their questions."

In the photos (top left) Zander Veccia and his mom, Deb, inspect playground equipment at a Chatham park; (above right) a student from Holy Family Catholic School chats about the media technology program at Ursuline College with a UCC student leader; and (bottom left) students from St. Patrick's Catholic High School participate in Take Our Kids to Work Day at Home Depot in Sarnia.

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Students and Staff at St. Elizabeth and Holy Family Catholic Schools Observe Remembrance Day with Royal Canadian Legion and Indigenous Veterans

Veterans from local First Nations communities joined students and staff for Remembrance Day services at Holy Family and St. Elizabeth Catholic schools in Wallaceburg recently.  Members of the Wallaceburg Royal Canadian Legion also participated in the ceremony at Holy Family Catholic School.

"This was an important occasion as we continue to build awareness in our school of our local Indigenous communities," says Liz Gibson, Principal of St. Elizabeth Catholic School.  "We also wanted to recognize the service of those from our local Indigenous communities - both veterans of past conflicts and those who continue to serve today."

Participants included flag bearer Eddie Taylor of the Walpole Island First Nation; and eagle staff carriers Floyd Case of the Munsee Delaware First Nation, Cliff Henry of the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation and Head Veteran Judy Taylor of the Walpole Island First Nation.

In addition, students in the Grade 6-7 class from St. Elizabeth and the Grade 7-8 class from Holy Family attended Remembrance Day Services at the Walpole Island cenotaph.

In the photo above, eagle staff carriers participate in Remembrance Day services at St. Elizabeth Catholic School, Wallaceburg.



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St. Patrick's Catholic High School Students Produce Exact Replica of Sarnia Cenotaph for 100th Anniversary Remembrance Day Service

Students in the St. Patrick's Catholic High School technology and art classes, with lots of help and guidance from their teachers, produced an exact replica of the Sarnia Cenotaph. 

The creation was the focal point of the Royal Canadian Legion's Remembrance Day service marking the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.  The service, which was moved indoors this year at Sarnia Arena to avoid any complications caused by bad weather, was attended by more than 2,000 people.

"This was a tremendous experiential learning opportunity for our students," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.  "It is also a valuable and memorable act of service to the community on such an important and momentous occasion."

Special thanks to St. Patrick's technology teachers Matt Abbott and Mike Adams, art teacher Kelly Gordon and design teacher Rich Prudom.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, many people lined up to touch the recreated cenotaph and to see it close-up.

In the photos (top left) the exact replica of the Sarnia Cenotaph in place for the Service of Remembrance at Sarnia Arena; and (below) the teachers and students of St. Patrick's who helped make this work possible.



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Flags to be Flown at Half Mast at All St. Clair Catholic Schools and the Catholic Education Centre

In recognition of Remembrance Day, and in honour of the sacrifice of veterans of Canadian wars and peace keeping missions, flags at all St. Clair Catholic schools and at the Catholic Education Centre will be flown at half mast.

"We give thanks to God for the gift of freedom, as we pray for the souls and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in past conflicts," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.  "We also ask for His blessing of protection on those who proudly serve in Canada’s armed forces, both now and for the future."

Because November 11th falls on a Sunday this year, flags at all buildings will be lowered to half mast at the end of the day on Friday, November 9th and returned to full mast on Monday morning, November 12th.


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St. Clair Catholic Student and Staff Learning Highlights Treaties Recognition Week

Learning about the history and relevance of treaties is the focus of Treaty Recognition Week at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.

"Understanding treaties from the perspective of our Indigenous peoples is an important aspect of First Nations history that we want to highlight in our classrooms," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education for the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.  "That is why during Treaties Recognition Week we are bringing some of our most important First Nations leaders together with our educators and students to help further this understanding."

Over two days this week, a total of 50 junior division teachers are participating in a workshop at the Catholic Education Centre, to learn from local Indigenous leaders about the history of treaties and how they are still relevant today.

"We are learning that the Indigenous peoples view treaties as a sharing of the land and relationship with the land; however, the traditional European view is that treaties establish land ownership," says Cortnee Goure, Indigenous Lead with the St. Clair Catholic District School Board.  "It is important that we bring the perspective of Indigenous peoples to our teachers and through them to our students."

In addition to the workshops, a number of events at St. Clair Catholic schools are planned throughout the week.  At St. Patrick's Catholic High School, students in the Indigenous Student Leadership Group interviewed Chief Chris Plain of the Aamjiwnaang First Nation and Chief Jason Henry of the Kettle and Stony Point First Nation about treaties.  The interview was live-streamed to students in their classrooms throughout the school.  David Plain, an author and historian from Aamjiwnaang First Nation will also be speaking to history, geography, arts, religion and English students at Ursuline College this week.

Representatives of the Sarnia-Lambton Native Friendship Centre will be at Gregory A. Hogan, St. Matthew and St. Joseph (Corunna) Catholic schools to teach students about treaties.  Students will also talk about the relationships that are developed through treaties by making their own Wampum Strings.  Students at Christ The King and St. Elizabeth Catholic schools will be making Wampum Strings with Cecil Isaac, Knowledge Keeper from Walpole Island First Nation; and Brenda Collins, a Métis artist from London, will make Wampum Strings with students at St. Peter Canisius in Watford.

On November 8, students at Holy Family Catholic School will honour Indigenous Veterans at a Remembrance Day Service in partnership with the Royal Canadian Legion Branch in Wallaceburg.  Students at St. Elizabeth Catholic School will participate in a similar ceremony on November 12.

In the photos (top left) junior division teachers attend a workshop about treaties at the Catholic Education Centre; (above right) Chief Chris Plain and Chief Jason Henry are interviewed by students in the Indigenous Student Leadership Group at St. Patrick's Catholic High School; (bottom) are (L-R) Cortnee Goure, Indigenous Education Lead, St. Clair Catholic; David Plain, author and historian, Aamjiwnaang First Nation; Cecil Isaac, Knowledge Keeper, Walpole Island First Nation; and Jo Ann Henry, Education Officer, Indigenous Education Office, Province of Ontario.


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WE Scare Hunger Food Drive a Success at Several St. Clair Catholic Schools

For the 13th year, students at Ursuline College in Chatham have gone door-to-door on Halloween night, collecting non-perishable food items for Chatham Outreach for Hunger.  WE Scare Hunger is an initiative of the WE Schools Program through WE Charity, an organization that believes when students come together they can create an even better world.

This year several UCC partner schools joined the effort.  In Chatham, students at St. Ursula and St. Joseph Catholic schools helped out with the food drive, in addition to students at St. Joseph Tilbury, St. Michael Ridgetown and St. Anne Blenheim.  All food collected remains with food banks in the communities in which it was donated.

"Every year as the mountain of canned goods begins to build in our foyer, we are amazed at the generosity of our donors," says Kathy Kearns, the UCC staff organizer of the WE Scare Hunger event.  "Thank you to all of the many students, staff, parents and community members who volunteer each year to assist with this campaign!"

Ford of Canada is also key to the success of this initiative every year, assisting with transporting all of the food collected to the local food banks. 

"We couldn't do it without the support of Victory Ford in Chatham and Lally Ford in Tilbury," says Mrs. Kearns. 

Also participating in WE Scare Hunger this year was Holy Rosary Catholic School in Wyoming.  As is the case in Chatham-Kent, all food collected by students there will remain with the local food bank.

In the photos (top left) staff advisor Kathy Kearns and Principal Ray Power join students from the WE Group at UCC; (middle) students at St. Joseph Catholic School in Tilbury help load more than 800 food items collected during WE Scare Hunger to be delivered to the Tilbury Help Centre; and (bottom) students and staff at Holy Rosary Catholic School in Wyoming tally up the donations for a successful WE Scare Hunger event.

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St. Clair Catholic Senior Staff Scrub and Polish in Support of the United Way Organizations of Chatham-Kent and Sarnia-Lambton

Cars in the parking lot at the St. Clair Catholic District School Board's Catholic Education Centre have a bit more sparkle following a fundraiser today in support of the United Way.  Members of Board's senior administration scrubbed and polished staff vehicles this morning.

For a $10 donation to the United Way, staff got a bumper to bumper, rooftop to rubber polish, courtesy of senior administration, that made their cars shine like they were just driven out of the showroom!

"Every year, members of our staff right across the district support the United Way organizations of Sarnia-Lambton and Chatham-Kent," says Deb Crawford, Director of Education.  "We thought having a car wash would be a great way to help boost our contributions for the current campaigns and have some fun at the same time!"

Staff are also invited to make on-going donations through payroll deductions and to contribute to funds for special events, such as casual Fridays.

"The United Way organizations in both ends of our district do so much to support families and youth, which aligns with the mission of Catholic education," says Mrs. Crawford.  "We are happy to support these worthwhile organizations."

The car wash raised an additional $260 for the United Way organizations.

In the photo above are (L-R) Superintendent Scott Johnson; Executive Manager - Human Resource Services James Duff; Superintendent of Education Laura Callaghan; Director of Education Deb Crawford; Associate Director - Corporate Services & Treasurer Amy Janssens and Superintendent of Education Lisa Demers.

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