Lakeland Catholic has nominated Action for Healthy Communities (AHC) for the Alberta School Boards’ Association (ASBA) Friends of Education Award.
The Edmonton-based not-for-profit serves local newcomer families through a Small Centres Team, which collaborates with LCSD English Language Learner (ELL) Lead Teacher Sherry Depner on running programming in schools in Cold Lake, Bonnyville, and Lac La Biche.
The organization helps support elementary school ELL students with building confidence and gives them the opportunity to make friends through after-school clubs, paint night events, and conversation clubs.
AHC works with Depner to build connections between high school ELL students through various activities such as curling, and their Virtual Filipino Youth Group.
In addition to offering these programs, AHC has provided the division free access to multi-lingual interpreters and translators, which has allowed Lakeland Catholic to support more families break through isolation and connect them with services on a school and community level.
“Action for Healthy Communities is proud to partner with Lakeland Catholic Schools in supporting the success of immigrant and refugee children. Our communities are richer when people from all over the world are able to gather and feel supported— and nowhere is this more critical than in our schools,” said Small Centres Manager for AHC Lisa DeGara. “We are so thankful for the support we have received from
Lakeland Catholic to date and look forward to growing our supports and services for years to come.”
Lakeland Catholic Schools Superintendent Pamela Guilbault said, “AHC is truly deserving of this nomination because the services they provide foster a caring and welcoming environment where new families feel they belong.”