Fundraiser for Syrian newcomers

The Upper Grand District School Board has been pleased to welcome more than 75 Syrian newcomer students into our schools in 2016. In the fall and winter of 2016, the board sought support from the community in a board-wide fundraising initiative to help Syrian newcomers settle into our schools and community. UGDSB partnered with Orca Book Publishers to raise funds by selling their newly published book entitled, Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Canadian children’s author Margriet Ruurs through school and board websites. For every book sold through the board or school websites, Orca donated $10 to local settlement agencies to support Syrian refugees.

Stepping Stone bookThis unique picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr, who was discovered by chance by Ruurs. She was immediately captivated by the strong narrative quality of Badr’s art, and, using many of Badr’s already-created pieces, she set out to tell a story about the Syrian refugee crisis. Stepping Stones tells the story of Rama and her family, who are forced to flee their once peaceful village to escape the ravages of the civil war raging in their homeland. With only what they can carry on their backs, Rama and her family set out to walk to freedom. Badr’s stunning stone images illustrate the story. This book is a dual-language (English and Arabic) edition.