This Week in Hamilton Wentworth District Schools.

Syrian newcomer parents of students at Cootes Paradise Elementary School hosted a potluck of home cooked Syrian food for the staff of the school to show their appreciation for all the help the school and its community have provided since they arrived just over two years ago.

Parent Maha Alkadah shares photos with ESL teachers Louise Booth (left) and Laura Puric (right).

Education Manny Figueiredo carries a plate of food at a potluck meal at Cootes Paradise Elementary School Tuesday morning.

Scott Gardner, The Hamilton Spectator

Rebekah Gwynn, 18, a student at Sir John A. Macdonald Secondary School in Hamilton reads her piece for the audience during the “Crossing the Street ” workshop of the The Louder Than a Bomb Hamilton Youth Poets Festival at the Art Gallery of Hamilton Thursday. The festival takes place May 10 – 17 and features student poets from eight HWDSB secondary schools and eight HWDSB middle schools in their inaugural Middle School Program. This kick off workshop included writing and presentation workshops for students of all levels.

Lama Al Smadi, 13, a student at Lawfield Elementary School in Hamilton speaks during the “Crossing the Street “. Scott Gardner/ Hamilton Spectator

Maddy Greenhalgh works on her zentagle drawing in the low light calming effect in the gym Wednesday during a Cathy Weaver Elementary School Wellness Day Open House for Mental Health Week May 7-11. Student cycled through various stations including yoga, drawing zentangle, an artwork doodle using repetitive patterns, making stress balls, yoga and making mandala (making patterns with everyday items). The program was initiated by two teachers at the school in September and is  has been getting attention from across the school board.

A student works on a mandala Wednesday during a Cathy Weaver Elementary School Wellness Day Open House.

Teacher Stephanie Breckon and student Zuleyma Castro have a quiet talk reminiscing about kindergarten when Breckon taught Castro Wednesday during a Cathy Weaver Elementary School Wellness Day Open House for Mental Health Week.

A student stops to look at her artwork in calming low light in the gym Wednesday. John Rennison / Hamilton Spectator

Students from elementary and high schools from both school boards climb the stairs for an hour Friday for the 12th annual Climb for Cancer at Tim Horton’s Field. The students climbed up and down the stairs of the lower level of the stadium past seats with the cancer logo and the word climb spelled out with white seat covers on the stadium seats. The fundraising this year past $1 million over the passed 12 years of the event.

John Rennison/ Hamilton Spectator

Avery Irwin,left, and Angeela Alivaktuk a high school student from Pangnirtung on Baffin Island have fun shopping Thursday afternoon at Limeridge Mall. An extraordinary school board-organized exchange between 16 local indigenous students from Westdale, Westmount and Sir John A. MacDonald Secondary Schools and 16 Inuit youth from Pangnirtung have been twinned for a week long cultural exchange. The girls were enjoying some free time during their busy week of events in and around Hamilton.

Rosemary Alivaktuk ,left, from Pangnirtung  and Mackenzie Whitehouse from Hamilton shop Thursday afternoon at Limeridge Mall. Cathie Coward/ Hamilton Spectator

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