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Promise Partnership brings holiday cheer to Hazen White-St. Francis

Author: UNB Newsroom

Posted on Dec 23, 2020

Category: UNB Saint John

Program coordinators from the University of New Brunswick Saint John’s Promise Partnership got into the holiday spirit last week as they helped to prepare a festive holiday dinner for the students and staff of Hazen White-St. Francis School.

Every year, the Promise Partnership staff help the school prepare a Christmas meal for students and staff, as well as helping to wrap gifts for the children.

“This year has been different for everyone, and the Promise Partnership is no exception,” explains Sara Thurlow, Promise Partnership program coordinator. “We were delighted to still be able to continue our Christmas tradition of spreading some holiday cheer to Hazen White-St. Francis.”

Staff from the Promise Partnership helped wrap 153 books and tie ribbons around pyjamas that were then gifted to each child. They also prepared and delivered a holiday meal to staff and students.

Instead of gathering in the gym for the celebration as in previous years, students were served their meal and given gifts within their classroom bubbles.

“Things were certainly different this year, and it was amazing to see everyone come together and help out to make this happen for the children,” continues Thurlow. “It really put us in the Christmas spirit!”

“We were absolutely delighted to have the Promise Partnership team help us prepare and deliver this much-appreciated meal to our students again this year,” says principal of Hazen White-St. Francis Megan Donovan. “Even during this unprecedented time, the unwavering support of the UNB Saint John Promise Partnership is very much appreciated by our students, staff and families.”

UNB’s Promise Partnership works with Hazen White-St. Francis year-round as part of its Student Mentoring Program to provide educational support through structured literacy activities.

This year was special for the Promise Partnership as it celebrated its ten-year anniversary. Launched in 2010, the initiative connects UNB Saint John with the local community through a number of programs, all aimed at closing educational attainment gaps associated with low socio-economic status.

“This year has certainly been a challenge for all of us, but I am proud of the way our staff, volunteers and students have shown resilience and adapted to the new normal,” says Dr. Joanna Everitt, director of the Urban and Community Studies Institute and the director of the Promise Partnership Program at UNB Saint John. “We proudly celebrated our ten-year anniversary this year and are looking forward to continuing working within our community.”

Media contact: Fiona Hendrie

Photo credit: Hazen White-St. Francis School