Increasing Student Engagement through Community Partners
Nearly 70 community agencies and organizations who serve Black communities attended two recent workshops to learn how to engage and partner with the TDSB.
“Community educators are invaluable contributors in supporting the creation of educational experiences in schools,” says Karen Murray, Centrally Assigned Principal for Equity. “These workshops were organized as a way to support the Black community by filling a void in the community programs that were offered to our students and as an opportunity to respond to community voice.”
The workshops walked potential partners through the partnership application process with the goal of bringing in additional culturally-relevant educational opportunities and experiences that can support Black students’ achievement and well-being within the TDSB.
Educational partners provide programming, workshops, seminars, presentations, performances or educational services during instructional time. The organizations and agencies who attended facilitate learning within, but not limited to, financial literacy and entrepreneurship, community art-based learning experiences (photography, dance, music and visual arts), mindfulness practices, innovation and technology (focusing on inventors and contributions across civilizations), and culturally relevant literature.
“We currently have 27 partners who offer programming relevant to the Black community,” says Murray. “Kids want to see themselves in areas beyond their curriculum and through this effort, we hope that there are more opportunities for community agencies and organizations to serve and support our students.”
These sessions further support our commitment to providing learning experiences and opportunities that keeps students engaged and excited about school. In particular, we are focused on impacting access, opportunities and changing outcomes for Black students across the TDSB and having relevant, dynamic and engaging programming that resonates with Black students is a key part of that strategy.