There are a number of committees Withrow parents, students, and staff can get involved with each and every school year. Here are some of them for 2021-22.
The Anti-Bullying Committee is dedicated to promoting a safe and positive learning environment through educational initiatives for staff and students. The group is actively involved in planning for Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. You can learn more about some of their initiatives here.
Here are some helpful resources for you and your family:
The Anti-Black Racism (ARB) Committee was established by Withrow parents in 2020 to understand and address anti-Black racism and promote a positive, inclusive, and equitable learning environment where all students feel respected and valued, and where parents can participate in the process of supporting anti-racist learnings and diversity and equality initiatives at the school and in the community.
To date, the ARB Committee has hosted the Freedom School three-part series on Anti-Black Racism in Canada. The workshop provided participants with foundational knowledge for understanding anti-Black racism in Canada. Workshop leaders deconstructed the myth of the great free North by examining Canada’s legacies of colonialism and enslavement, and by exploring the ways in which anti-Black racism manifests today.
The committee successfully secured Parent Council funds in the fall of 2021 to coordinate the purchase of books for the Withrow Library that celebrate Black and Indigenous achievement and perseverance. Applying a learning from the Freedom School Workshop, the books will be purchased where possible from BIPOC-owned businesses, including potentially:
• Old’s Cools General Store
• A Different Booklist: An African-Canadian Bookstore that showcases the literature of the African and Caribbean Diaspora and the Global South.
• Good Minds: A First Nations family-owned business located on the Six Nations of the Grand River in Brantford.
• Strong Nations: In the fall of 2021, the committee secured funds to bring in a speaker on Anti-Black Racism (stay tuned!).
Want to learn more and help educate your kiddos? Here is a list of helpful resources to read through.
As well, Mountview Alternative Public School’s Equity and Social Justice Committee partnered with Parents of Black Children to create a toolkit to assist families in talking to children about race and racism. It’s called The Race Talk Guidebook.
The Outdoor Learning Committee (OLC) advocates for and facilitates outdoor learning opportunities. It develops and maintains the school gardens in partnership with the teachers, students, and community and supports local food charities when there is excess produce to share.
What has been accomplished in the past:
• With help from former outdoor learning educator Rachel Wagner, the OLC secured log benches, stump seating, and an outdoor chalkboard;
• Revamped the edible garden, removing overgrown plants and disintegrating raised beds and added three new stock tank planters;
• Sourced plants and additional planters, donated by Withrow families and the community;
• Facilitated the planting of flowers along the Withrow boulevard garden by preparing garden beds and providing seeds and bulbs;
• During the spring of 2021, distributed take-home garden kits for classrooms to use during virtual school;
• During the summer of 2021, coordinated volunteers to help maintain the edible garden.
• Along with the Aanse teachers will focus on developing an Indigenous-focused garden (north-east of the play structure);
• Will support the preparation, planting, and care of the edible garden for the spring and summer;
• Will represent Withrow families in the planning of the replacement of the Friendship play structure.
Email the OLC for more information on how you can get involved. (They’re always looking for volunteers!)
We acknowledge the land we live and meet on is the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. We also acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.