The holy month of Ramadan is a special time for Muslims around the world, but for those fasting for the first time, there's a new significance to the occasion.
Ahead of Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, CBC Windsor spoke with three first-time fasters at An-Noor Private school.
Grade 3 student Fatema Alrummaithay, 9, is fasting for the full month for the first time, abstaining from dawn to sunset.
She said it was hard but it taught her "to be patient" and understand how some people are less fortunate.
"It makes me feel happy and makes me feel patient and really helpful, grateful," she said.
Grade 4 student Hawa Shglouf, 9, said she decided to fast this year for first time because she was encouraged by her brothers and she wanted to know how those less well off feel.
It also taught her patience and generosity toward others, and left her wanting give to the poor.
"They have no homes and they're out there ... they sleep sometimes on the streets," she said.
Grade 4 student Rania Amin, 10, said she decided to fast this year to make her parents proud and get closer to God.
"I learned to be generous and kind and nice and feel how other people feel without food," she said.
A month-long celebration
Principal Amney Behiry said that Ramadan is her favourite time of year at the school.
"It's a month-long celebration. Even though most of the kids are fasting, you can see the happiness and the excitement in their faces every day."
In the Muslim community, youth fast during Ramadan when they hit the age of puberty. At younger ages, fasting is optional. The school likes to get younger children familiar with the practise so they are prepared when the time comes.
Behary said educators also give students an understanding of why they fast.
"We want them to understand that just because they have a full belly at night, that other people don't," she said.
"So they understand and they can be empathetic, they can be patient, they can be understanding, they can be generous, because this is a month of giving."
Throughout the month, there are activities and students are encouraged to be kind. The school hosted a Ramadan food drive last week.
"We make sure that every day is full of something," Behary said.