iPad App of the Week – Songza


Relaxing…working out…studying…chilling with friends…whatever you are doing, Songza will play the appropriate music. This free app starts by welcoming you. For example, “It’s Wednesday morning, play music for: Waking up happy, Singing in the shower, Reading the paper.” You can also choose from a wide assortment of other playlists. If you sign up with Songza, it will remember your playlists and allow you to share them.

There is also a web version of Songza. You will be blown away when you see how much great music is available through Songza!

Thanks Alex B. for sharing this awesome app.


Food Hampers

This is a story of Christmas spirit and school spirit.

A month or so ago, we started collecting food for Christmas hampers which will be delivered to some less fortunate families in our community by St. Michael Resurrection Parish.  St. Michael is the parish for the family of schools in our area.  The school part of this food hamper project was spearheaded by our school Chaplain, Mrs. Kim Bremault.

Each block 4 class was given a decorated box and a list of non-perishable food items. For the next few weeks, students were responsible for bringing a food item to add to the hamper. Yesterday, all of the food items were brought down to the staff room so that the hampers could be prepared for today’s delivery.  The staff room looked like the food bank! A group of volunteers prepared the hampers, ensuring that each one contained all of the required items. Some of the hampers were short some of the items so an announcement was made over the intercom, encouraging students and staff to give a cash donation so that last minute items could be purchased.  In ten minutes, we had OVER 700 DOLLARS…this is amazing and shows what is possible when we work together to make a difference.  This not only allowed groceries to be purchased but it will also enable us to provide a large donation on behalf of Austin O’Brien High School.

We were so happy that we were able to put together 30 hampers, in all. These will be delivered to 30 Edmonton families hopefully making their Christmas a little bit brighter. Some of our classes even wrapped Christmas gifts to add to the hampers.  Also, our Foods classes baked cookies and put them in awesome Christmas tins.

All of the hampers were loaded on to one of our school vehicles and we headed over to the Parish.


Father Mitch and Mrs. Lynn Smarsh (a former ECSD teacher who now volunteers at the Parish) were so glad to receive the donation of the 30 food hampers plus all the additional food which was donated by our extremely generous school community.


In the words of our school Principal, Mrs. Debbie Rowley in a message to Mrs. Bremault:


Thank you for the tremendous amount of work you put in to coordinate the hamper project– it was a huge success. Your daily reminders and challenges out to the kids really made a difference. Thanks to everyone on staff and our student teachers for your contributions.

Many people in our school community and at large, will have a brighter Christmas because of the generosity of Austin O’Brien 🙂

It is amazing what can happen when a school community works together in a well-connected and meaningful way.  A proud day to be a Crusader!