Raising kids is a tough job. From talking about tragedies to navigating social issues, help is available.
The following list of organizations, workshops, articles and other resources was started in 2021 as a way to support Howard parents and caregivers.
We add to this list whenever new resources come our way. If you have a topic you would like to see added, please email email@example.com.
Indigenous Sovereignty Solidarity
Maria Montejo of Dodem Kanonshe’ will ground parents, caregivers and teachers on instilling the importance of Indigenous sovereignty solidarity work in schools and at home. Join us for this healing journey to empower our future generations with these indigenous teachings. This will be facilitated through zoom with webinar style facilitation, with a questions and answers function. (This session was held on May 28, 2021 6:30-8pm as part of the “Anti-Black Racism, anti-Indigenous racism and Anti-oppression Parent Capacity Building Sessions” funded by a PRO grant and supported by PIAC)
Equity and Human Rights
Latinx, Afro-Latin America Abya Ayala Education Network (LAEN) will facilitate on equity and human rights in the Ontario education schooling system and the intersection between parents / Caregivers, students and school authorities. A particular focus will be on school discipline and the removal of the School Resource Officer program from TDSB thanks to LAEN, Freedoms Schools Toronto as well as other community advocacy groups, and the impact of this precedential decision across Canada. Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) will also be invited to speak to share their experience as allies to LAEN in this work. Join us to see how allyship activism among several coalitions can serve as a model for parents and caregivers. This will be facilitated through zoom with webinar style facilitation, with a questions and answers function. (This session was held on June 1, 2021 6-8pm as part of the “Anti-Black Racism, anti-Indigenous racism and Anti-oppression Parent Capacity Building Sessions” funded by a PRO grant and supported by PIAC )
Black Liberatory Practices
LeRoi Newbold and Nauoda Robinson from Freedom School Toronto, will facilitate a powerful session on practical ways to support students in and out of the classroom through Black Liberatory practices. Freedom School Toronto is a youth and parent driven initiative that intervenes to fight against anti-Black racism in the school system and to creative educational alternatives for Black children. They will be speaking from their own experience as Co-Directors, activists, and caregivers. This will be facilitated through zoom with webinar style facilitation, with a questions and answers function. (This session was held on June 9, 2021 6-8pm as part of the “Anti-Black Racism, anti-Indigenous racism and Anti-oppression Parent Capacity Building Sessions” funded by a PRO grant and supported by PIAC )
Video coming soon…
National Day for Truth & Reconciliation (Orange Shirt Day) September 30th
In the spring of 2021 the government passed legislation to make September 30th a federal statutory holiday called the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. This day provides an opportunity for each Canadian to recognize and commemorate the legacy of residential schools. This may present itself as a day of quiet reflection or participation in a community event. Although not a statutory holiday in Ontario, there are likely to be a number of initiatives to mark the day.
The Orange Shirt Society tells us that Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission (SJM) Residential School (1891-1981) Commemoration Project and Reunion events that took place in Williams Lake, BC, Canada, in May 2013.
As spokesperson for the Reunion group leading up to the events, former student Phyllis (Jack) Webstad told her story of her first day at residential school when her shiny new orange shirt, bought by her grandmother, was taken from her as a six-year old girl.
The annual Orange Shirt Day on September 30th opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools. It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind. A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation. A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected. Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.
Refer to the “Reconciliation Through Education: A Toolkit” blog post by The Howard PS parent/caregiver Equity Committee volunteers for links to books, videos and other resources.
Visit the Orange Shirt Society’s website for additional age-specific resources.
Speaking to Students About Tragic Events
A statement from Howard’s Principal & Vice-Principal:
As part of the TDSB, Howard joins the school board in being horrified and deeply saddened by the hate-based attack on a Muslim family in London, Ontario that led to the tragic deaths of four people and left another with serious injuries on Sunday evening. Our hearts go out to their friends, family and all those who knew them following this hateful and cowardly act.
As we grieve with their loved ones and the whole Muslim community, we know that this attack may lead to students and their families feeling unsafe and vulnerable. Please know that Howard is here to support you and that Howard along with the Toronto District School Board, is committed to confronting and interrupting Islamophobia and all forms of racism, hate, and discrimination. While Islamophobia is a reality for many families within our communities, it has no place in the TDSB and should not be tolerated anywhere.
TDSB Professional Support Services staff have prepared the following information that may be helpful for parents whose children are experiencing difficulties and a range of reactions and emotions. As always, should families require additional supports, Social Work support is available and can be accessed by reaching out to your teacher, Suzy or me. Alternatively, families may wish to connect with the following community resources:
Arab Community Centre of Toronto
5555 Burnhamthorpe Road, Unit 209
Etobicoke, ON M9C 2Y3
Muslim Community Information & Legal Aid Services
491 Parkside Drive
Toronto, ON M6R 2Z9
Naseeha Youth Helpline-Mental Health 1 (866) 627-3342 naseeha.org
Information from the TDSB on the COVID-19 Vaccine
- TPH’s COVID-19 Vaccines webpage with more information on children and vaccines
- TPH’s COVID-19 Vaccine Resources website for more information on the vaccine, including posters and infographics available in multiple languages.
- TPH COVID-19 Vaccine Resource List for Youth.
- We have also added a COVID-19 Vaccine Tab on our school web page, and parent web page.
- Children’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Table www.kidshealthfirst.ca
Please continue to visit our website at: www.toronto.ca/COVID19 to stay up-to-date. Information specific to school communities is available at: COVID-19 school information for parents & caregivers. If you have general questions about COVID-19, please call our Hotline at 416-338- 7600, Monday-Sunday 8:30 AM – 8:00 PM. Interpretation services are available. If you need immediate health care assistance, please call Telehealth Ontario 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-866-797-0000.
About The Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Grants
The PRO Grant program is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Education under the 2020 – 2021 Priorities and Partnerships Fund. This funding supports projects with a focus on the identification and the removal of barriers that prevent parents and families from participating and from engaging fully in their children’s learning.
The Toronto District School Board (TDSB) was allocated $131,563.00 for projects that demonstrate a commitment to respecting the role of parents in students’ educational experiences.
The Anti-Black Racism, anti-Indigenous racism and Anti-oppression Parent Capacity Building Sessions were offered with the generous support of the Parent Involvement Advisory Committee (PIAC)
X Movement Classroom is an on-demand streaming platform with more than 300 videos featuring fitness, dance, yoga, mindfulness, meditation, sports, martial-arts and more. You’ll find the same energy and engagement of their live experiences in each video, leaving students feeling happy, healthy and smiling. All movement is physically distanced for the classroom or home. Students stand up and follow along, and they aren’t over-exerted. Plus there’s no training needed for teachers or parents.
- find a video
- press play