Celebrating World Refugee Day with Stampede Spirit

Jun. 20, 2016

West Dalhousie School staff, students and volunteers put on their best western duds and served up a hearty helping of Stampede hospitality to their friends from the LEAD (Literacy, English and Academic Development) program at Belvedere Parkway School on Monday, June 20.

June 20 is World Refugee Day, and to celebrate, West Dalhousie School students threw a mini Stampede to welcome the LEAD students from Belvedere Parkway School to Canada and specifically Calgary.

The LEAD program is supports the needs of refugee students as they integrate into the Calgary Board of Education.

Earlier this year, the grade 1 and 2 students at West Dalhousie inquired about the past and present in Calgary. Through their conversations and questions, students had an idea about finding out more information about the Syrian immigrant students who had arrived in Calgary.

The students’ inquiry lead them through a journey where they Skyped with their new friends at Belvedere Parkway School.  Through questioning and sharing of information, students decided that they wanted to host a mini stampede at West Dalhousie School so that the LEAD students would receive a first-hand experience of what the stampede is about in Calgary and why is it such an important tradition.

“Through today’s events, our hope is that our new friends will receive an understanding about Calgary’s past and some of our well rooted Calgarian traditions,” said Maria Spagnolo, principal at West Dalhousie School.

Students shared a pancake breakfast, enjoyed entertainment, played midway games, participated in a rodeo and visited many Stampede attractions.

David Stevenson, chief superintendent of schools, told students that he was “very proud of the work they had done today to share an important Calgary tradition with their new friends.”