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Our schools are filled with inspiring students and staff that are making a positive impact on the world around them. These stories highlight some of the wonderful things that are happening in Ottawa Catholic schools every day. If you have a story you would like to share, Tweet the link to us @OttCatholicSB or send us an email at connect@ocsb.ca
Jun
29

OCSB students commemorate Battle of Vimy Ridge

Over 200 OCSB students travelled to Europe in April to visit Vimy Ridge on the 100th anniversary of the historic battle. Along the way, they visited many European landmarks, learned a lot, and gained a deeper appreciation for our Canadian heritage. Read their story and see photos from their trip here.

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Jun
28

All Saints students receive Spirit of the Capital Awards

A number of OCSB students were honoured at this year's Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards held on June 5th at Ottawa City Hall.

Ryan Coyte of All Saints High School was a recipient of the Academic Perseverance Award. At a young age, Ryan was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. At his five-year checkup, he received the news that his cancer had returned. After a successful bone marrow transplant, it was discovered that he had relapsed for a third time. Through all of this, Ryan has maintained a winning attitude. He overcame this adversity by being involved in his school community. He was the keynote speaker at his school's Terry Fox assembly, was a counsellor at a camp for childhood cancer survivors, and was team manager for the varsity basketball team. He is an inspiration to the entire All Saints community.

All Saints students Ryan Coyte (left) and Ryan Rodrigs (right).

Ryan Rodrigs, also at All Saints, received the Entrepreneurship & Innovation Award. While carpooling to soccer practice, Ryan's driver got into an accident due to texting and driving. It was a tough time for Ryan, so eventually he decided to find a solution to the problem. He began thinking about technological approaches to combat the issue, and eventually approached his dad with some of his ideas. Together, they filed a patent and began to work on software designed to automatically lock a driver's phone while operating a vehicle, but allowing functionality for passengers. It is currently being released on Google Play and the Apple App store. His dedication to making the world a better place makes Ryan a very deserving recipient of this award.

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Jun
26

OCSB students receive Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards

Ashley with her award at the 2017 Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards.

A number of OCSB students were honoured at this year's Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards held on June 5th at Ottawa City Hall.

Ashley Robitaille of St. Matthew High School was a recipient of the Service & Caring Award. She has raised over $5,000 for CHEO by creating and selling duct tape petal pens locally and in Walmarts. Every penny she earns goes to help others. She has even approached local businesses to provide the materials for her pens, so she can raise even more money. Ashley has also volunteered over 1,000 community service hours at CHEO, teaching karate at schools, and assisting in the Development Education class. Through Youth Ottawa's DILA Youth Program, she hosted a petal pen workshop to show other young people how to make them. Ashley's kindness and compassion is an inspiration to all those around her.

Notre Dame High School's Samuel Hickey received the Max Keeping Award for Personal Courage. He is a role model and inspiration to everyone who meets him. Shortly after starting high school, Sam was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, and eventually had to have his leg amputated. The amputation was too high on his leg for a prosthetic, so he was offered special transportation to school. He quickly discovered that he preferred taking public transportation with his classmates. Through all of it, Sam kept a positive attitude. He is involved in many groups at his school, and has acted in school productions. He's also used his story to educate other students about the Terry Fox run. Sam is always laughing and smiling.

Sam with his supporters at the 2017 Spirit of the Capital Youth Awards.
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Jun
22

OCSB readers celebrate with human library

On June 16th, about 100 students from six schools came together at Mother Teresa High School to celebrate their participation in the Red Maple Reading program. A part of the Ontario Library Association's Forest of Reading, students read 10 fiction and 10 nonfiction that were featured this year. Students from across Ontario voted on the best fiction and nonfiction book, and both winners have OCSB connections. The winner of the 2017 Red Maple Fiction Award was "Shooter" by Caroline Pignat, a teacher at All Saints High School. The nonfiction award winner was "Child Solider: When Boys and Girls are Used in War" by Michel Chikwanine, Jessica Dee Humphreys, and Claudia Dávila. Michel is a former student at St. Patrick's High School.

Members of the Human Library at the OCSB's Red Maple Reading celebration.

At the celebration, the students participated in a Human Library, where they had over a dozen local guests on hand to answer questions and engage in conversation with students. Award-winning author Caroline Pignat was one of the guests, along with OCSB Chair Elaine McMahon. Other guests included blogger Elle Mills, RedBlacks defensive end Connor Williams, mental health nurse Margaret Robinson, and many other interesting people.

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Jun
22

OCSB students propose solutions to global problems

Over 60 Grade 12 students from both the Ottawa Catholic School Board and Ottawa Carleton District School Board participated in The Learning Partnership's first Annual Global Solutions Student Symposium last month. Global Solutions introduced students to a current global problem and provides them the background, tools, and guidance to propose innovative solutions, which they presented to a panel of experts at the Student Symposium. "The greatest impact of this symposium was connecting with students who were both very professional and knowledgeable. I learned the importance of Global Education in schools," said one of the expert panelists.

Participants at the Global Solutions Student Symposium.

St. Patrick's and Immaculata High Schools participated in the inaugural symposium. During their World Issues and Economics classes, students explored problems about birth registration, sanitation, nutrient deficiencies, and banking access around the world. "It gave us a lot of insight into what's going on around the world and not only focusing on ourselves," said one student. Tasked with creating solutions to these global problems, they worked collaboratively and developed their critical thinking and researching skills. Students also prepared and practiced their seven-minute pitch to explain their solution, detailing cultural considerations, challenges, and how it would be financed.

One student looked at micronutrient deficiencies in Guatemala, which have been leading to babies being born with major developmental defects and have been impacting the brain development of young children. She proposed reinventing the look of micronutrient packages called "sprinkles" in order to make the packaging culture-friendly, with clear labelling and instructions. She also looked into teaming up with church leaders to set up booths at local churches, to help educate the people on the importance of sprinkles. Through funding from a local NGO and partnership with the church, people would be able to pay very little for these micronutrient packages.

"Students worked collaboratively and made connections with the research they'd done and the course itself."

Julie Slinger, teacher

Teachers Julie Slinger, Michelle Howe, and Stephanie Pearson noticed that students learned a variety of skills throughout the process. "I think the biggest impact that I saw was in their ability to be critical thinkers. Throughout the project they had to use their critical thinking skills along with problem solving. To make their solutions sustainable I found the students really had to empathize and understand the culture and the people they were going to help," Michelle Howe explained.

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