The following is part of a 90th Anniversary series that features Catholic trustees from across Ontario sharing insight on the experience of Catholic education at their boards.
1. What singular experience as a trustee at your CDSB can you share that can serve to illustrate the positive impact of Catholic schools in the community?
As a trustee of The Northwest Catholic District School Board I am pleased to highlight a project which highlights the cooperation of school, parish and community for the betterment of the earth. As a CWL member I provide liaison to St. Joseph’s School in Dryden. Our local league was looking for a project to work with parish, school and community. They approached local Catholic schools to partner with for the Colorcycle Project which was to collect and repurpose used markers, highlighters and dry erase markers. This initiative supports Pope Francis’ message to support the Global Educational Alliance an initiative to bring people together for `Care for our Common Home` (Mother Earth). The aim is to keep tons of plastic out of landfills and repurpose vs discard. The Dryden High School originally brought this initiative to Dryden. The Colorcycle program has repurposed more than 70 tons of markers in USA and Canada since 2013. Our parish and schools will collect used markers and plan to ensure they do not go to landfills, instead they may be transformed them into things like asphalt shingles, pavement, etc.
2. What current Good News story about students/Catholic schools at your CDSB would you like to share?
St. Joseph’s School Breakfast Program: Students Serving Others
St. Joseph’s School in Dryden recognizes the direct relationship between healthy nutrition and academic achievement. Its school Breakfast Program ensures that students have the opportunity to have a nutritious breakfast to start their day at school. Initiated several years ago by former SJS teacher Lynn Konkle, this program continues to offer, on a daily basis, a variety of healthy breakfast options to over 30-40 students.
The breakfast program is overseen by teacher volunteers and engages several student helpers, who volunteer on a rotating schedule to prepare, serve, and clean up after meals.
This program is made possible by the support of the Northwestern Health Unit, student/teacher volunteers, and the generous contributions from groups and individual citizens of the Dryden community. The Dryden CWL was approached by students and their teacher to support their breakfast program and the CWL was pleased to make a donation to this worthwhile initiative.
Vice Chair, The Northwest Catholic DSB