Stittsville’s Shannon Helleman (pictured above with a patient) spent a week in the Dominican Republic, but she didn’t go for a vacation. A dental hygienist by profession, Helleman joined Health Teams International, a Christian organization that provides individuals living in poor countries with free healthcare clinics. Last month, she was a part of an 11-person team that worked in the outskirts of Cabarete, Dominican Republic. Christine Vezarov spoke with her recently about the experience.Continue reading →
(Above: Police vehicles parked at Fringewood Park. Reader photo.)
Stittsville Public School was on a precautionary alert for about four hours on Monday as police responded to an incident nearby on Lazy Nol Court in Fringewood.
Police placed the Granite Ridge school in a “Shelter in Place” mode around 9:30am until early afternoon. Doors to the school were locked and students were kept inside. Police also advised residents to avoid the area.
Ongoing police operation on Lazy Nol Ct in Stittsville: Officers checking in on safety & well being of a male. Please avoid area #otttraffic
One media report called the incident a “standoff” between police and a man barricaded inside a home on Lazy Nol.
Ottawa Police told StittsvilleCentral.ca that the “Shelter in Place” was a precaution as officers checked on the safety and well being of a male on Lazy Nol. Several police vehicles were seen parked near the street, and one resident reported seeing police with body shields and rifles.
The school board said that students remained safe and classroom instruction continued as normal.
The school sent out this update to parents early in the afternoon.
As a result of a police operation on Lazy Noll [sic] in Stittsville, we were advised to implement a procedure called Shelter In Place. This means: keep everyone indoors, close all exterior doors and windows, keep everyone away from exterior windows/doors and continue normal activities. All doors remained locked. Police were on site to assist.
We have resumed normal school routines. Regular end of the day procedures will continue. Bus students will take buses and students who walk home will follow their normal routines.
Special thank you to all staff, volunteers and students who did an amazing job keeping everyone safe and calm during the procedure.
Police operation on Lazy Nol Ct has concluded. The male was found safe and taken to local hospital for further assessment. #otttraffic
On Friday, June 12, city councillor Shad Qadri and City of Ottawa planning forester Mark Richardson accompanied students in grades 5 and 6 from Stittsville Public School to the Shea Woods. Continue reading →
(Article by Taylor and Rachel, grade six students at Stittsville Public School.)
Since the end of December, the grade six students of Stittsville Public School have been working very hard to bring you this wonderful production of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” Continue reading →
This year’s annual Cakewalk at Stittsville Public School raised $2,455 and featured 286 cakes.
Parents donate the cakes (both home-made and store-bought), and then students and staff can buy raffle tickets for a chance to win their favourite creations.
The event is organized by the school’s parent council, and money raised goes towards classroom equipment (they recently helped purchased iPads and projectors for all classrooms, cultural and learning events (like Scientists in School) and other supplies and activities.
Students in Mme Reed’s Grade 4 class at Stittsville Public School managed to get away with cutting a teacher’s hair.
Students in her class raised $80 for Hair Donation Ottawa, more money than any other class in the school. As a reward, they got to hack away sixteen inches of kindergarten teacher Liz Aitken’s hair on Wednesday, with help from Helene Hutchings of Hair Donation Ottawa. Continue reading →
(Above: Stittsville Public School student Ella S. helps sort some of the many donations received.)
When my eight year old daughter suggested that we “adopt-a-family” from the Food Cupboard on behalf of her grade three class at Stittsville Public School, I thought to myself: “Sure! Why not! What a great little project to do with her classmates”.
Her teacher was immediately supportive, and the initiative grew to include over half the classes at SPS, with nine families being “adopted” by our school. The “little project” became a task of gargantuan proportions, but the payoff was priceless.
I strive to teach my children by example. I hope that they grow into giving, thoughtful and compassionate adults, with a strong sense of social responsibility, and an understanding of the important role of community in an individual’s life. The idea of “adopting” a family appealed to me as a way to include my children in giving to others, and in understanding how very lucky we are.
I started by sending a note home to the parents in each of the classes who had adopted a family. My email was quickly bombarded with offers, sentiments of support, and gratitude that the students were being exposed to something so important. Donations started to flood in faster than I could pick them up, and I was making stops at the school almost every day to pick up items from the classrooms. I had parents emailing and offering to shop for me; to come over and organize groceries in my basement; to have their children take notices door to door to the neighbours to get the community involved too.
I was touched to receive an email from a mom who told me that her grade 5 twins, Courtney B and Cole B, had enthusiastically gone out and purchased items for their families with their allowances.
When my neighbour found out what I was up to, he dropped four frozen turkeys off to be given to the families. I told my doctor what my daughter had started, and her office staff held a bake sale to contribute funds to the purchase of the Christmas dinners.
Another grade 5 student emailed me with a heartwarming question: would it be okay if she knit scarves to donate to the grandma and grandpa who had been adopted in her classroom? She worked very hard to complete gorgeous, handmade items to be included in her basket My fourth child’s preschool teacher volunteered herself and her two sons to do the grocery shopping for the baskets, as well as to help me pack the items and deliver them to the Food Cupboard.
A member of a church in our community showed up on my porch with a $400 donation. Another SPS student donated a $100 gift card for groceries from her church as well. I was contacted by two local banks who found out about what we were up to, and wanted to donate funds to our cause. A local baker brought me nine dozen cupcakes for the families’ desserts. A fellow Stittsville mom spent her Sunday baking meat pies.
A grade three student came to my house, held out her mittened hand and gave me a twoonie that she had just received from her Grandma. She wanted to know if she could help me sort food, instead of give money, as they did not have much to give. She, her Mom and her Grandma came back after school the next day, and saved me hours of work in sorting, had I had to do it on my own.
A mom and her grade three son came to help and I overheard her tearing up as she hugged her son and told him: “what we are looking at here is Christmas for nine families. Can you just imagine how wonderful this will be for them?” As they left, the mom thanked me for providing them with the opportunity to help.
Who could have imagined the response would be so great? I was nervous to send my letters home to the SPS families, hoping that no one would feel I was forcing them to donate to my cause. I would never have predicted that not only would I receive overwhelming response from the school, but that the community would reach out to me, unprompted, and provide more than I could have asked for.
As for my desire to lead by example and teach my children through my actions? My children have been witness to this outpouring of kindness. They helped me carry and sort the donations. They welcomed strangers into our home, and assisted with whatever tasks these people had come to do. They saw their peers and their community giving so much to those in need, and they have learned even more than I could have hoped.
In the words of some of our grade six students: “It is great to help families in need… it inspires everyone. It is not just for the families who need help, but also for us, because it inspires us to help others. It helps our community and school to understand the importance of giving to others. Stittsville Public School is PROUD to support adopt-a-family for the Food Cupboard!” –Sabrina L., Ally G., Grace M., Tanner G.
The staff, students and parents at Stittsville Public have overwhelmed me with their support and generosity. This year we are supporting nine families: who knows how many we will be able to help in the future! I would like to extend a sincere “Thank You!” to all the SPS staff, students and families, as well as those in the Stittsville community as a whole, who have made this possible.