A growing educational partnership is helping some of our province’s most vulnerable youth connect in safe spaces while they must be apart. The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and the Canadian Centre for Gender and Sexual Diversity (CCGSD) have come together again to offer students a virtual opportunity to attend workshops and sharing sessions. Building on the relationship formed earlier in 2019 with successful in-person events, Virtual Forum: Free to Be Me 2020 offers an opportunity to learn and connect, re-imagined through the District’s Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI).
“Students have been away from their school communities since the middle of March but their safety and well-being has been our focus ever since, particularly for those who may feel the most alone,” said Tony Stack, CEO/Director of Education of the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District. ”The solid partnership we have built with CCGSD in recent years is not only helping to grow understanding and respect within our school communities, but now, when it is most important, it is helping us reach out and let those students know we are with them.”
Registration for the student-focused workshops and sharing sessions is already underway, with more than 40 junior high and high school students attending the kick-off event last week. Two more student sessions are being offered and a Keynote address for students and staff with Rahim Thawer of Affective Consulting will take place on June 11. Educators will also be able to avail of an opportunity to connect in a session on Sports Inclusion (June 17). Over 100 teachers have already registered. More information on these events can be found in the attachment linked below.
“For CCGSD, serving our communities means going where we are invited to help create safe environments for everyone,” noted Cameron Aitken, Executive Director (Acting) for the Centre. “During the global pandemic, that has evolved from in-person conferences and workshops into working even harder to find and support youth currently displaced from their usual support networks. We are so proud of our strong partnership with Newfoundland and Labrador schools to help expand programming in new and dynamic ways and our collective willingness to meet students where they are. Particularly during Pride Month, it is so important that we overcome the physical distance to create and provide safe digital spaces for all of us to collaborate, express challenges, and gain inspiration from speakers and peers attending.”
Students and staff interested in attending are able to access specific information from their school administration.