The Homelessness Housing Umbrella Group (HHUG) recognized the work that Suddaby PS does for their school community by presenting them with the Outstanding Housing Community Leader Award on November 15.
The award, presented by HHUG at a National Housing Day announcement, recognizes a group or individual who has demonstrated exceptional leadership, commitment and dedication to improving the quality of life or reducing social isolation of residents within their housing community.
Every year, Suddaby PS welcomes students from the YW Emergency Shelter in Downtown Kitchener. Students start at their new school with little to no possessions. They arrive at the shelter in the middle of the night while leaving dangerous living situations. Staff at Suddaby make sure the students have a backpack, lunchbox, basic school supplies and in some cases, a winter coat, hat and mittens. Staff from the YW Emergency Shelter nominated Suddaby for the award.
“When we created this award, we imagined it being given to landlords or tenants,” says Lynn Macaulay, a coordinator with HHUG. “Suddaby PS has made such a positive impact on this community we couldn’t say no. They deserve the recognition for what they do.”
Staff at Suddaby PS don’t think twice about making sure the students are ready and prepared to start school. “We want to make sure they arrive at school with what they need and feel welcome,” says Suddaby PS Principal Wendy Daley. “We have fundraisers and donation drives that we use to collect hats and mittens and backpacks. We also pick things up throughout the year when items are on sale; we’re savvy shoppers.”
When asked if the school and its staff were proud of receiving the Outstanding Housing Community Leader Award, Principal Daley said yes, but they also feel they are doing their job. “It’s just what we do,” she said, “It’s the right thing to do.”