Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton (BMTM) Catholic Secondary School had a memorable day on Tuesday, April 4th, 2023, when Members of Parliament Arif Virani (Parkdale-High Park) and Yvan Baker (Etobicoke Centre) came to speak to the ESL classes about resources for newcomer students and families, such as immigration services and citizenship classes. The presentation was held in the Maria Pereira Learning Commons, where participants of the Multi-Cultural Club gathered to hear the speakers and learn more about the various government programs that can assist newcomers in settling into their new lives in Canada.
The students enjoyed the presentations that taught them how to access helpful services for themselves and their families. The MPs made it very clear that it was important to aim high in their dreams and aspirations for their new life in Canada. They also provided advice on how to create networks and seek out role models in their areas of interest.
Following the presentations, the MPs were happy to answer questions from our students’ ambassador Peer Leaders (Valerya, Isis, Joao). At the end, the students were invited to participate in games and activities planned by Culturelink’s Children and Youth Centre. Our staff led excited participants in fun-filled and interactive group games which enabled them, regardless of their background, to communicate and socialize with one another.
Refreshments were provided by BMTM teachers Ms. Yap and Mr. Kelly, and CultureLink’s Program Worker Mr. Rojas, and participants showed appreciation for the opportunity to learn from community leaders and interact with their peers.
This was a day that BMTM ESL students will surely remember. The combination of presentations and playful activities allowed them to get information to help their settlement journey, and to feel more comfortable at school and with their new lives in Canada.