Local schools come together to help welcome newcomers this holiday season

“Welcome to the wonderful town of Peterborough!”

The New Canadians Centre Peterborough welcomes over 800 newcomers from across the world each year. The holiday season can be a tough time for new families as they adjust to their new surroundings, language, and even climate. To help welcome newcomers this season, Grade 9 students of Ecole Catholique Monseigneur-Jamot, with the help of teacher Jennifer Assaly, designed special holiday cards with welcoming messages that were delivered to schools, organisations, and community members to fill out.

Over 200 cards were filled out by students of Monseigneur-Jamot, St. Paul Catholic Elementary School, Millbrook-South Cavan Public School, Chemong Public School and Adam Scott CVI, in addition to numerous volunteers, donors, community members, and clients of the New Canadians Centre.

One card from a student of Adam Scott CVI reads:

“To a new Canadian, Welcome to the wonderful town of Peterborough! This town is beautiful and accepting and I hope you have a wonderful holiday!”

Another by Ethan and Emma encouraged newcomers to try poutine – “Poutine is a must!”

The completed cards are displayed at the entrance of the New Canadians Centre, providing a colourful and thoughtful welcome to newcomers seeking settlement services at the centre this holiday season and beyond.

Over 200 Welcome Cards line the entrance of the New Canadians Centre!

Several schools in the city and county also donated food, clothing and baby items. Kindergarten students and parents of the Chemong Public School led by teachers Rachel Robinson, Sharon Pomeroy, Cyndi Kulla, Jen Towns, Michelle Rahian, Lisa Delgarno, and Holly McBride donated gift cards, clothing, food and personal supplies to help stock the pantry at the temporary housing where newly-arrived government-assisted refugees live. Students and parents of the St. Catharines’s Elementary School led by teachers Michelle Clay and Sandy Hale donated baby items for expecting newcomer mothers.

Left Photo: NCC staff Sabina, Faye, and Zebiba sorted donated items from the Chemong Public School
Right Photo: St. Catharine Catholic Elementary School donated baby items for expecting families! Teachers Sandy Hele (l) and Michelle Clay (r) with expecting mother Fadya Falah

These thoughtful gestures, messages, and donations go a long way to help welcome newcomers to their new home in Peterborough. On behalf of the newcomers whose lives are transformed by our community’s kindness, thank you!