On Feb. 11 and 12, more than 500 students and staff will gather at the HJA Brown Education Centre for Peel District School Board's annual Spotlight on Black Heritage events. The events will be held from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will feature keynote speaker Alisha Tatham, a former Peel student and Olympian, who played for the Canadian women's basketball team at the 2012 London Summer Games.
"These events help students learn about and celebrate the rich culture, achievements and contributions of black Canadians," says Tony Pontes, director of education. "While we celebrate Black History Month in February, our schools are committed to recognizing the importance of celebrating all communities and cultures throughout the year."
Students attending the events will participate in a variety of educational workshops incorporating music, arts and storytelling. Cultural performances and artwork displays will also be showcased at the events. Students in grades 7 to 12 will attend the event on Feb.11 and students in grades 2 to 6 will attend the event on Feb.12.
Many Peel board schools will host the Black History Month celebrations in February. At Rowntree Public School in Brampton, the Grade 5 students will complete a novel study on the book, Underground to Canada and integrate math to understand the geometry of the freedom quilts. Staff and students will also participate in an assembly that will include a carnival parade, drumming, step dance and folksongs in Swahili.
The Black History Awareness club at Mayfield Secondary School in Caledon will be making posters to display in the school throughout the month of February. Students will participate in a school-wide assembly, which will feature cultural music and drama performances.
Students at Oakridge Public School in Mississauga will receive a lesson on hip hop and how it relates to youth having a voice in the black community. Children's book author, Peta-Gaye Nash will also be speaking to students at an assembly.
The HJA Brown Education Centre is located at 5650 Hurontario Street in Mississauga. Rowntree Public School is located at 254 Queen Mary Drive in Brampton. Mayfield Secondary School is located at 5000 Mayfield Road in Caledon. Oakridge Public School is located at 2060 Stonehouse Crescent in Mississauga.
Neil Ekels, Principal, Oakridge Public School, 905-274-3601, [email protected]
Kent Armstrong, Principal, Mayfield Secondary School, 905-846-6060 ext.405, [email protected]
Kyra Kristensen-Irvine, Principal, Rowntree Public School, 905-840-4601, [email protected]
Audrey Crasto, Multicultural, Settlement and Education Partnership Assistant, 905-890-1010, ext. 2462, audrey.cr[email protected]