New Canadians get a helping hand at Windsor schools
Catholic Central and J.L Forester students show new Canadians the ropes
School doesn't start until next week for most students but 40 teens are back a week early for Newcomer Orientation Week.
It's a program that helps students - who may have only lived in Canada for a few days - to get used to a new country, a new language, a new school, and a new way of life.
Arien Velasquez and Fanar Aziz are student leaders. Both are going into Grade 11 at Catholic Central High School and say NOW can be an important tool for those attending school in Canada for the first time.
"We’re here to welcome them and to make them feel like they're in the land because they're new and they're kind of lost and they don't want to be here. So that's what we're here for – so they can be happy and make them welcome," said Velasquez.
She says the program helped her a lot when she first moved to Canada from El Salvador.
"I came here with no english, not knowing anybody, nothing. And it was really hard. But when I came to this program they teach me stuff about Canada and it was nice to meet more people that are going through the same situation as me," Velasquez said.
Aziz says he remembers what it was like to be a participant.
"Before I came to Canada, I was happy that I was coming to a new country that would be safer than my country. But when I arrived I was worried. I didn't know how to speak english … It was hard," said Aziz. "This program is very important to me because when I came to Canada we didn't have relatives here so NOW supported my language. I met a lot of friends. I helped people and I learned a lot."
Newcomer Orientation Week runs all week at Catholic Central High School and J.L. Forster Secondary School.