Partnership Enables Bellview Public School to Support Community in Time of Need

A group of students poses in two rows in a school hallway

Caption: When Walsh Public School heard about the flooding in Brantford, its student senate quickly organized to help one of the school communities most affected.

Overnight in late-February, milder temperatures combined with heavy rainfall and melting ice caused the Grand River to swell dangerously beyond its banks. The following morning, Brantford Police went door-to-door to evacuate homes in the Holmedale, Old West Brant, and Eagle Place neighbourhoods as residences lost power and a state of emergency was declared by the City. Approximately 4,900 people had to leave their homes, uncertain of when and what they would return to.

The flooding directly affected five Grand Erie schools including Bellview Public School in the heart of Brantford’s Eagle Place neighbourhood. All were closed for three days during the state of emergency.

“Bellview has a long history of supporting the Eagle Place community, and is proud to offer food and clothing donations to ensure families have what they need throughout the year,” said Dennis Wright, principal at Bellview Public School. “But when the flooding hit, and people were forced to leave their homes, we quickly anticipated that the need would increase in our community.”

What students and staff at Bellview Public School didn’t anticipate, however, was the kindness and support from another Grand Erie school more than 50 kilometers away.

In Simcoe, Walsh Public School students listened to reports of what was happening in Brantford and wanted to help.

“The student senate at Walsh Public School decided to do what they could to help, and involved all students in the collection of new and gently used clothing items to donate,” said Heather Robinson, principal at Walsh. “They also organized a special Kapow Pop fundraiser, with sales of lollipops used to purchase gift cards to grocery stores to replace food lost due to the power outages.”

The result was a mountain of clothing and a substantial amount of money in the form of gift cards to provide to Eagle Place families.

“We were honoured to receive such a generous gift,” said Wright. “We were also able to extend the help to nearby Princess Elizabeth Public School, which was also significantly affected by the flooding. Seeing this partnership between schools materialize when it was needed the most shows genuine caring and compassion, and is something all of Grand Erie can be proud of.”

Community is a pillar of Grand Erie’s Multi-Year Plan, celebrating the partnerships that contribute to and enhance the learning experiences of students. While Grand Erie covers a vast geography, the unprecedented flooding in Brantford brought two school communities together as neighbours, despite being a considerable distance apart.

This outpouring of support will enable a special Wish Closet shopping day – Wednesday, March 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. – during which Eagle Place families affected by the flood are invited to visit Bellview Public School to take what they need. Clothing, non-perishable food items, and gift cards will be available at no cost. For more information, please contact Bellview Public School directly at 519-752-7414.

Bellview Public School Wish Closet:

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

97 Tenth Ave, Brantford

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