Saint-Laurent high school raises money to educate Syrian refugees
VILLE SAINT-LAURENT – As Quebec continues to welcome thousands of Syrian refugees, one local high school is doing its part to help some of them feel right at home.
Education Plus is a private, alternative, co-ed high school that helps struggling students from all walks of life.
“We start our day here saying what’s happening in the world? It’s like a current events class,” said James Watts, principle of Education Plus.
“The students had a lot of questions. What is happening in the Middle East? What is happening in Syria? How about kids our age? What’s going on with them? So we said let’s dig in and let’s find a little bit more about it.”
After a lot of research, the school decided it wanted to help.
They set up a GoFundMe page and started to raise funds.
In less than two months, the school had gathered around $10,000.
“People believe in what we’re doing, they want to help, they don’t know how to help,” said Kim Watts, administrative assistant at Education Plus.
“This is a really tangible way that they can reach out and help so that was really encouraging for us.”
With donations ranging anywhere between $2 to $1,000, the school was able to develop a program for the new students and prepare a classroom.
WATCH: Syrian refugees in Montreal
By mid-January, the school hopes to welcome at least 10 refugees.
“We’re using English, French, math and history as vehicles to integrate students that have not been born in Canada, that are new to Canada, to integrate them into society,” said James Watts.
Money raised will cover thousands of dollars in tuition for the refugees and allow the school to hire new teachers.
Catherine Hotte teaches both French and history at the school and said the students can’t wait to welcome their new classmates.
“We’ve discussed it in class, in French and history, we cover immigration and now they’re literally living a part of history, it’s going to be in the history books in a few years,” she said.
“And they’re going to go ‘I was there! I welcomed some students in my classroom.'”
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