"My name's Hannah and my world is on fire"

Submitted by Lauren Hawes

Lauren Hawes remembers introducing kids evacuated from Fort McMurray to students at St. Dominic Catholic School. 

"[I said], boys and girls, this is Hannah and she's joining us from Fort McMurray. Will you welcome her? And she looked at them and said, 'My name's Hannah and my world is on fire.'"

It was difficult for Edmonton teachers to explain to kids what was happening. 

Grade 2 teacher Waverly Turriff said it was important to talk through the situation with students, and she answered questions as honestly she could. 

"Children need to be able to say that they're feeling scared, they're feeling afraid, they're feeling lonely. It's all part of their mental health." 

Along with reassuring evacuated kids they were safe, students at the school also collected donations. 

Lauren was proud students were making sure evacuees felt loved. 

"I said, will you welcome her, and they all threw their arms open and said, 'Hannah, we're your friends now." 

It was one of the most pure moments I’ve ever witnessed as an educator.
— Lauren Hawes, Acting Principal, St. Dominic Catholic School

Watch Lauren's story below: