Regina backpack project aim to welcome Syrian refugees into schools

The Regina George Lee School Backpack Project was getting back into swing on Tuesday as Campbell Collegiate students put together backpacks as a welcome for refugee students.

Campbell Collegiate students began participating 2 years ago

Jeff Perry, president of the Regina Public Schools Teachers' Association, said the program started two years ago to recognize Syrian refugees in Regina. (Dan Plaster/CBC)

A Regina backpack project is an excellent showcase of students helping students, says one educator.

The Regina George Lee Backpack Project started two years ago in response to Syrian refugees coming to the city, says Jeff Perry, the president of the Regina Public Schools Teachers' Association.

The project stemmed from a desire to make the students feel welcome and to ease their transition to Regina life.

"The looks on the faces of some of the parents recognizing that, for once, there's a place where they're wanted, that they can call home — it's priceless," Perry said on Tuesday. 

Jeff Perry said he thinks the backpack project is fantastic as it showcases students helping students. (Dan Plaster/CBC)

The project saw students from Campbell Collegiate prepare backpacks full of supplies for Syrian students to help them get started with school right away, Perry said. 

There were about 350 backpacks handed out in the first year. This year, the students were preparing about 70 backpacks. 

Perry says the backpack project is a chance for students to meet people and learn new skills. (Dan Plaster/CBC)

"That need is still there and that's why we're doing it," Perry said, adding the teachers' association is reaching out to the community and the government for assistance. 

With files from Dan Plaster