A day at Ripley’s Aquarium for English Language Learners at Cardinal Newman and Bishop Ryan
On Wednesday, May 2nd, students from Mr. Falconio, Mrs. Martin and Ms. Galus’s ESL classes at Cardinal Newman and Bishop Ryan had the unique opportunity to share a school trip to Ripley’s Aquarium in Toronto. For many students, this was a first-time venture to Ontario’s capital city.
The trip was proposed by YMCA Settlement Worker Parsa Memon, who recognized an opportunity to connect the thriving newcomer communities at each of the two schools. Memon acts as a liaison for many of the students and their families in the school community.
Students from both schools had an unforgettable experience, learning about marine life and taking in the breath-taking views that the aquarium offers. Above all, the trip acted as an opportunity for newcomers to Canada to network and make connections with each other.
Mina Shsha a grade 10 student from Cardinal Newman who arrived in Canada less than two years ago, said, “It was great. I even met some students who came from the same country as me. I met a girl from BR for the first time who was originally from Mosul, where my family came from. It was funny because we found out that our mothers knew each other.”
When asked about her favourite part of the day Mina explained, “I really liked everything at the aquarium, but my favourite part was the opportunity to be in Toronto with my friends. Usually a trip like this would be with my family, so it was really fun to experience something different.”
Maryam Rehman, a newcomer student at Bishop Ryan, expressed her excitement about the day. “This was a great opportunity to be ourselves and meet people from many countries who are also facing the same challenges that we face everyday. It is important to remember that we are not alone.”
The two school communities look to share another learning experience together sometime in the future!