This year was a struggle, we were in class until December, online until February, back in class for 6 weeks and then back online for the rest of the year. Unfortunately, Brampton was considered a COVID-19 hotspot. It made for a difficult year for many of our SKC kids but we accomplished a lot! During January while working online, we talked about goals for the year and how to achieve them. We worked on identifying our skills and strengths and encouraging others.
In February, the students transitioned back to in person learning. This brought a lot of challenges as our students often deal with a lot of change in their personal lives. Some students needed more help adjusting than others. For the students who needed extra help, the SKC room offered in class support to students (in one cohort at a time). SKC assisted in the classroom as well as providing support with socializing and getting back into routines. We reflected on Black History Month, discussing the important contributions that so many African American people have made in our world as well as how far we have come. We also discussed that there is still work to be done when it comes to equality and opportunity.
We celebrated International Women's Day in the Clubhouse. The SKC students had a great time making posters for the “Choose to Challenge” campaign. The students were introduced to Shania’s song “Man, I feel like a Woman” and had a fun time dancing and expressing how it feels to be a girl. We discussed important women in history as well as women's rights. We also discussed the concept of gender and how some people are born female but may identify as male and vice versa. The SKC students learned that the song is a powerful anthem for anyone who feels like or identifies as a woman. This month was a tough month for some of our students as March Break was pushed back until mid-April. Many of our students experienced burnout but SKC was there to provide support and motivation.
In April, the SKC students celebrated Earth Day. We learned about the importance of nature, climate change and how we can become better citizens of the earth. During this month, we switched back to online learning. As such, the SKC students were not able to do in person activities. Therefore, SKC took the students on multiple virtual field trips. We “visited” the Toronto Zoo, The Rainforest at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, Walking Mountains Science Centre in Colorado and the Wild is Life Animal sanctuary. The SKC students felt so compelled to learn more about how we can protect our trees and our wildlife. We made a poster on Jam board (a component of Google Classroom) expressing concerns over saving our trees and greenery.
In May, Pierre (who is one of our lovely donors) reached out to SKC and asked if we were interested in virtually adopting some cats from St. Marguerite Island. Boy oh boy, were the SKC kids ever interested! Pierre sent us photos of the cats which our students absolutely loved. Our most interested students had the opportunity to decide which cat in the photos they wished to “adopt” and what to name it. We also spent time learning all about the island the cats are living on, what the weather is like there, etc. We took a google maps virtual tour! We corresponded with Pierre and felt so fortunate to have had the opportunity to name and adopt these cats.
We were very sad to hear about the 215 children found at the residential school grounds in Kamloops. Many of our students had so many questions about the circumstances surrounding this event and were feeling very sad and uneasy so we focused on learning about the history of residential schools in Canada. We found a kid friendly video on the history of Residential Schools in Canada and learned more. The SKC students reflected on how thankful they are to be a part of such a safe school in Canada.
Towards the end of the month, we wished our two SKC Graduates, Kaylee and Teshayna, all the best as they go on to high school! We are cheering them on and always will be.