The Priory's Helping Hands
Students at The Priory School have a long-standing tradition of community service. Students participate in a number of community service initiatives, learning a sense of responsibility and the joy of giving.
Orange Shirt Day
At the Priory, we are committed to empowering our children to ignite positive change. On Tuesday, October 2nd our students, faculty and staff participated in Orange Shirt Day in support of indigenous children, families, communities and cultures who were affected by Residential Schools. Our student assembly leaders read “The Orange Shirt Day Story”, educating our student body how simply recognizing the mistakes that were made in the past is not enough. We also have the responsibility to actively do better and help make a difference, reminding us all that ‘every child matters’.
Following Mr. Gentile’s inspirational words describing Terry Fox, Priory students, teachers and many supportive parents once again participated in the annual Terry Fox National School Run Day to pay tribute to a true Canadian hero and his belief that “dreams are made possible if you try.” Walking hand in hand around the school’s block, Priory students proudly joined over 8,500 schools across Canada to raise money for cancer research and helped share Terry’s example of hope, courage, and strength.
Grade 3 "Right to Play" Fundraiser
As a result of a deeper learning project on fairness of international sporting events, the Grade 3 class decided to support fair game by raising funds for underprivileged children. All proceeds of their sales will go to “Right to Play”, an international organization which gathers funds to help create a healthy and safe world through the power of sport and play. Priory shoppers made their way into the Grade 3 “nut-free bakery” where they were received by the individual bakers and vendors. All proceeds of their sales went to “Right to Play”, an international organization which gathers funds to help create a healthy and safe world through the power of sport and play.
Jump Rope for Heart
With skipping ropes and hula-hoops in hand, Priory children skipped and jumped to raise funds for the Canadian Heart and Stroke Foundation. This year, Jump Rope for Heart mascot, Cardio, joined in on the fun!. Thanks to Phys. Ed. teacher, Mr. Gentile, this heart healthy program, teaches children that an active lifestyle is essential to our health and well-being.
Annual Talent Show and Denim Day
The Paré Howlett Hall was filled with excited children, proud parents and Priory talent on Friday, May 11th on the Priory Denim Day. This year's annual Talent Show revealed once again how our school is filled with remarkably talented and confident children. Parents, classmates and teachers watched on as our aspiring artists from Grades 3,4,5 and 6 sang, danced and performed. Many thanks to Mrs. Rolnick, Mrs. Trionfo, Student Council, our MC’s Marilena Sahlas-Roy and Christopher Torabi and DJ’s Dempsey Hill and Riley McEvoy-Dennis, who provided an afternoon of fun and enjoyment. Outstanding performances everyone! The Talent Show came to a uplifting close when the entire student body joined the Grade 6 choreographers in Cha Cha Slide. Also a big thank you to students and faculty who wore demin to support National Denim Day and helped raise funds for the National Breast Cancer Coalition this year!
Priory students and faculty stood in solidarity with the victims of the Humboldt Broncos and their families on Jersey Day, wearing their favourite sports jerseys to show their support. The message behind the Jersey Day campaign is : 'We are all one team'. Priory students made a $2 donation which went toward the families of the victims who are suffering from their loss, and in a heartwarming act of honouring the Humboldt Community, hockey sticks were left outside the Priory’s front door. Our hearts go out to all of those affected.
Sounds of Hope - Bruit d’espoir
On Friday, April 6th, Priory students joined students from Sacred Heart School in a march for Sounds of Hope - Bruit d’espoir. Walking hand-in-hand together with whistles and other noise makers, students raised awareness for a heartfelt appeal by children for sick children at the Montreal Children’s Hospital. Cars and trucks honked as they passed by the train of student supporters. $6700 was raised through this worthy cause and celebrated during a school rally. Thank you Sacred Heart for showing such appreciation and gratitude.
Hot Chocolate Fundraiser
After hearing about a family's struggle who recently arrived in Montreal after a long journey from Nigeria, the Grade 4 students wanted to help in any way they could. On a cold winter's day, the Grade 4 students held a Hot Chocolate Fundraiser during lunch recess to help support the family in need of home essentials and warm clothes for Montreal's cold winter months. The class is also collecting non-perishable food items and household goods. A warm thank you to the Priory community for their generosity! The 4th grade students raised over $400 from their Hot Chocolate Fundraiser, and will continue collecting non-perishable donations.
Toe2Toe Sock Drive
In keeping with the Priory’s school-wide theme this year of making a difference in our community, the Grade 5 students, for their deeper learning project, “Amazing Race in Search of Amazing People”, met with Dr. Chris Costello, the founder of Toe2Toe. This organization is dedicated to collecting and distributing white socks to Montreal’s homeless population. During an interview with Dr. Costello, Priory students learned that without proper protection for our feet, cuts can easily lead to serious medical conditions. Moved by his story, three of our 5th graders, Callum, Avery and Kennedy, decided to organize a sock drive and collected new white tube socks to donate to Toe2Toe. Special thanks to our Grade 5 students for helping to make a difference in the lives of homeless people. Their thought-provoking questions inspired Dr. Costello to post frequently asked questions (FAQ) videos on the Toe2Toe website to help answer questions in regards to the health care issues facing the homeless population in Montreal
Student Council Organizes Food Drive
In the spirit of Christmas, Student Council organized a food drive to support St Gabriel's Parish Christmas Basket Program. A heartwarming thank you to our Priory families for their generous donations of non-perishable food items. The Christmas Baskets were distributed to senior citizens and low-income families in nearby communities during the holiday season. Student Council thanks you for sharing the spirit of giving!
Santa’s Flea Market
The Grade 6 students put on their elf hats on Wednesday, December 13th, and organized the annual Priory Santa's Flea Market. The spirit of the season is truly evident as our senior students helped our younger students shop for Christmas gifts at bargain prices for their family, and helped wrap their treasures, all the while raising money for charity. A heartwarming thank you to our Priory families for their generous donations.
ANNUAL TOY TEA FUNDRAISER
The cheerful sounds of singing were heard on the morning of Wednesday, December 6th at the 26th Annual Toy Tea that took place at the Ritz-Carlton Oval Room. For the past several weeks, the members of The Choiry had been working diligently to prepare a musical program for the event, and their efforts paid off with an outstanding performance that was filled with positive energy and beautiful melodies. Each year, The Choiry participates in the Toy Tea fundraiser that benefits children living in women’s shelters in the Greater Montreal Area during the holiday season.
PURPLE DAY FOR PREEMIES
In keeping with The Priory's willingness to ignite positive change while helping those in need, Thursday, November 16th was designated Purple Day! Students, faculty and staff donned purple accessories including ties, socks, sweaters and scarves in exchange for a toonie donation. While wearing purple in support of World Prematurity Day, the Grade 3 students alongside their teacher, Mrs. Trionfo, baked, packaged and sold delicious chocolate crinkle cookies to Priory students to raise awareness and money for the Jewish General Hospital Auxiliary’s Tiny Miracle Fund. Thank you to everyone who supported this great cause, $630 raised will go towards the purchase of books for the NICU’s new reading program “Books for Babies”.
Student Council Bake Sale
The Priory Student Council, led by Mrs. Rolnick and Mrs. Trionfo, sponsors two foster children as part of their outreach program. Due to their effort and commitment, our foster children, Ivan from Bolivia and Allassane from Burkina Faso will have nourishing food and new clothes to wear. The annual bake sale is always an exciting event and this year was particularly “sweet” with $1,540 raised! The Student Council would like to thank the school community for supporting this event. Our foster children, Ivan and Allassane, will have a better life thanks to The Priory School!
Igniting Positive Change
Kindergarten participated in some exciting activities with the Grade 5 students on their “Amazing Race in Search of Amazing People” event. Together, they supported a few different charities in and around the Montreal area. The Kindergarten class collected non-perishable food items for donation to the NDG Food Depot and new white tube socks for donation to Toe2Toe (an organization that supplies clean white socks to the homeless). A BIG thank you to our Kindergarten parents for their help in igniting positive change in the community!
Hurricane Relief Fundraiser
Priory siblings Gianluca and Giuliana Cecere along with their Nonna, hosted an “espresso and cookies” fundraiser, as part of the fundraising initiatives for the victims of hurricane Irma. While Nonna Olympia affectionately prepared and served espresso coffee to parents and teachers, Gianluca and Giuliana distributed cookies that had been lovingly hand-packaged for gift giving by Giuliana herself. Donations from the fundraiser were given to the Canadian Red Cross to provide assistance to families impacted by this devastating hurricane. Thank you Gianluca, Giuliana and the Mattei Family who sponsored the espresso, for igniting a positive change by reaching out to others in need. Mr. Pare from the Red Cross (responsable des financement Monteregie) graciously accepted a cheque in the amount of $1,052.37, raised through the generous contributions from the Priory community. Our prayers and thoughts are with the victims and their families affected by this tragic event.
Shoes for Schools
In 3rd grade, Rory Krnjevic celebrated his birthday on October 18, by asking his friends and classmates to bring in used shoes and boots in exchange for a birthday cupcake. Years later, Rory started a school drive fundraiser, “Shoes for Schools” and every year for his birthday, he organizes an annual shoe drive within his community that provides shoes and boots to those in greatest need. During last week’s assembly, Rory invited Priory students to clean out their closets and participate in his shoe drive by donating gently warn shoes. This includes athletic shoes, school shoes, rubber boots and winter boots of all sizes. Please help Rory with his campaign by dropping off your gently warn shoes or boots before October 18th. Shoe collection boxes have been set up at The Priory next to the Art Room. For more information, please visit Rory’s website: www.shoesforschools.ca
West Island Flooding
In response to the devastating flooding in certain areas in Quebec (specifically the West Island) and ensuing hardships suffered by families, Friday, May 12th was designated a "Free Dress Day" at The Priory. Each student participated and helped by bringing in $2 and a non-perishable food item or toiletries.The money raised went directly to the organizations taking care of the victims.
THE PRIORY HEALTHY STUDENT CHALLENGE
What does it mean to make healthy choices? During ‘Nutrition Month’, Principal Tim Peters and our Grade 6 student ambassadors, launched a health awareness campaign and challenged Priory students to adopt healthy habits while raising funds for the McGill University Health Complex (MUHC). During a school assembly, MUHC clinical dietitian, Popi Kasvis, had students demonstrate the amount of sugar in popular beverages and challenged them to make healthy choices. Students were particularly astounded to learn how much sugar is added in some of our popular and favourite drinks. Encouraging their peers and teachers to ‘step up’ their current routines, the Grade 5 students organized a pedometer fitness challenge promoting physical activity and exercise. At The Priory, eating healthy food and exercise are always part of the daily menu. The goal of the Healthy Student Challenge is to encourage everyone at The Priory to pledge to incorporate a new healthy daily habit while in turn supporting the MUHC. Keep fit everyone!
Baking for Others
When Mrs. Trionfo started baking years ago with her class, she knew her students would love it but she didn't realize how much of a positive impact it would have on her class. Today, baking is part of her curriculum and is also used to help others in the community. When Grade 3 students wanted to say thank you to the Kahnawake Social Workers for their compassionate work with their community, the students created kindness hearts, and put their passion for baking at work to lovingly prepare chewy chocolate chip cookies. A special thank you indeed!
Community Outreach Program
During an annual community outreach program, the Grade 1 students understood first-hand what the motto "It is better to give than to receive" feels like. Each child chose a cherished possession from their homes to give to another child in greater need. This learning experience included a classroom activity requiring each student to explain and write about why their gently used book or toy would be appreciated by another child. Their donations were then delivered by their teacher to The Women's Centre of Montreal where these gifts will be placed into Christmas baskets and received by grateful children in our community.
On Wednesday, May 25th, Grade 2 organized a Lemon-Aid Fundraiser for the Fort McMurray Fire Relief through the Red Cross. Over $400 was raised to help those in need. Grade 2 worked hard to develop a plan and make the fresh lemonade. Much thanks to Grade 3 for the cookie contribution, Grade 6 student Grayson Csik for his Lemon-Aid stand, Les 5 Saisons Westmount for the donation of 100 lemons and to everyone who helped to support the cause!
In celebration of Earth Day on Friday, April 22nd, Priory students wore 'free dress' in earth colours of green, brown and blue for a Toonie to help Earth Day Canada grow the global forest. This year, The Priory joined Earth Day Canada’s Rooting4TreesCampaign and, with everyone’s support, $175 was raised. The Priory has pledged to plant 25 legacy trees to celebrate the earth and Earth Day Canada’s 25th anniversary.
The Priory Hosts the 4th Annual Toonie Challenge
Dr. May Khairy, Pediatrician and former Priory student, addressed the participants communicating the two medical equipment proposals that the MUHC wishes to purchase with the Toonie Challenge funds raised. Following her talk, students and staff were invited to visit a series of interactive kiosks designed to describe and explain the work being done at various MUHC departments. Students engaged in proper hand washing, used surgical computerized instruments, manipulated the brain and eyeballs, learned about nutrition and some even received a temporary short arm cast to take home as a souvenir.
Students from LCC, Roslyn, Selwyn House, St. George’s, Willington and The Priory were very grateful for their unique learning experience while realizing that their donations will benefit others. Thank you to the Toonie Challenge Co-Chairs, Andrea Howick and Nicole Small, Priory parent and committee member, Courtenay Price-Gallagher, and their entire volunteer committee who dedicate themselves to helping patients and involving the children in their mission.
Shark Week at The Priory
The Grade 5 and 6 Expedition Group, led by Mrs. Sherriffs, Mrs. Raymond and Mme Martineau, while focusing on a unit of study on Biodiversity, launched a 'Save the Sharks' campaign during the first week of December. Students spent the week creating posters, making announcements during assembly and rallied to raise awareness of the shark crisis in Costa Rica. Thanks to everyone’s support, this awareness campaign raised $1,131 and as part of a raffle draw, four children spent a delightful Friday afternoon with our lovely kitchen ladies, Lucia Mastrogiacomo and Romana Zangrillo baking chocolate chip cookies.
Jethro and Maya Have a New Home
At The Priory, Halloween isn't only about receiving treats and dressing up in costume. It's also about reaching out. Thanks to Priory parents' contributions to last year's Halloween Party, The Priory adopted Jethro, who was born, raised and retired from a medical lab, and Maya, who spent most of her life in a zoo. Both Jethro and Maya can now live out the rest of their lives enjoying retirement at the Fauna Foundation Chimpanzee Sanctuary in Montreal. The contributions help the Sanctuary with the purchase of food, new toys and also help to expand the living environment for the resident chimpanzees.
The Beep Run
For years children have been asking, "how come the teachers don't participate in the Beep Run?" This year was very different because instead of just asking the question, Grade 6 student Chloé Lee-Gauthier turned the question into a fundraiser and ensured its success. The morning of Friday, June 13th, Grade 3,4,5 and 6 students gathered in the gym to cheer on their teachers and Principal Tim Peters, whose goal was to beat the present student record of level fourteen. Thanks to everyone who made a donation, money was raised for 'Right to Play' which uses sport and play to educate and empower children facing adversity.
Daffodils for the Children
The Priory School, remaining true to its tradition of giving and helping others in the community and around the world, called upon a very dedicated parent, Mrs. Suzanne Csik, to help organize a very successful Daffodil Bulbs Project. Westmount Florist and Pinkerton Florist owners responded to Mrs. Csik's request by donating in total over 1400 Narcissus Bulbs arriving from Holland. The Priory Grade 3 class took on the project and advertised, packaged, sold, and delivered the lovely parcels of bulbs to the eager and generous students and their families. After only one short week, the entire batch was sold and $1,110 was raised and will be sent to Child Haven International and Breakfast for Learning Program in Montreal, two organizations dedicated to helping children. Once again the Priory community showed its commitment to help those in need by donating generously.
Shitima School Café
Earlier in September, there was a fire in the orphanage at Shitima Community School in Kabwe, Zambia where The Priory School's former Afterschool Coordinator Cluny Mackenzie works. In keeping with our strong sense of community, The Priory held a school-wide bake sale on Thursday, September 27th for Shitima School, which provides education, shelter and daily meals to orphans, and other vulnerable children who would otherwise live in great deprivation. The Shitima Café opened and students and their families purchased baked goods prepared lovingly by Priory children, parents and staff. This creative initiative raised an outstanding $1877 which will go towards the purchase of personal belongings such as cloths, shoes, school uniforms and towels for 24 children who lost everything in the fire. A big thank you to all our wonderful bakers and to our Grade 6 students who worked tirelessly to make Shitima Café a success.