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Stepping Stones for Syrian student success

Book sales will support students
20161101 SteppingStones ro
Upper Grand District School Board will sell copies of this book to support Syrian newcomer students. Supplied image.

As Syrian refugee families have arrived in Guelph over the past year, Syrian children and youth have entered local schools. Those kids need support.

Nearly 75 Syrian newcomer students have enrolled in schools in the Upper Grand District School Board since January. To ensure those students have what they need to succeed, a board-wide fundraising initiative has been launched to help them better settle into the classroom and their new communities.

Upper Grand has partnered with Orca Book Publishers to raise funds. The newly published Stepping Stones: A Refugee Family’s Journey by Canadian children’s author Margriet Ruurs, will be sold through school and board websites.

For every copy of the book sold, Orca will donate $10 to local settlement agencies to support Syrian refugees.

Margriet Ruurs’s picture book was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist Nizar Ali Badr. The strong narrative quality of that art is at the heart of the book.

Using illustrations of Badr’s pieces as a narrative tool, the author tells a compelling story about the Syrian refugee crisis.

Stepping Stones is a story about Rama and her family. Forced to flee their once peaceful village to escape the ravages of the Syrian civil war, the family members can take only what they can carry on their backs. They set out on an epic walk to freedom.

To order a copy of the book visit