Parents Reaching Out Grants

Ogden Community School – Thunder Bay

Lakehead District School Board
Parent Engagement Symposium Series

Parents Reaching Out grants help parents to identify barriers to parent engagement in their own community, and find local solutions to get more parents involved. Parents who are involved in their children's education help to support their children's achievement and well-being.

This video is part of a series that features successful parent engagement projects funded through the Ministry of Education's Parents Reaching Out (PRO) grants.

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Donica Leblanc [Principal, Ogden Community Public School]:

The Parent Engagement Symposium Series was composed of three evenings where school and community came together to grow and learn in supporting our children. Well, this series all began with three symposiums, one on literacy, one on numeracy and one on anti-bullying. And those occur in the evening where parents and community are invited into the school with the children as well and we set up different centers or different speakers and the community is invited to listen and take home with them strategies that will help them support the children in learning. We do have large aboriginal population in our school. Because of that, we try to make the aboriginal presence known in our school, so we have artists that come in and do a lot of work with the students and you will see it in our building, around the building, you will see art work. During October, we have a feast so we invite the drummers to come in and we celebrate the fall harvest and so the drummers come in and they, parents come and we have community representatives and they all come together and we eat a meal together.

Ron Kenutski [Parent and Volunteer]:

Well as a parent I have been actively involved with the school for several years now providing a variety of Aboriginal programming in the school. So I have worked very closely with the principal and the student – like the school council. I think any extra curricular activities is valuable to students and that and it makes the school not just sort of a 9:00 to 3:00 place to be when you start doing things in the evenings, it makes sort of a hub or a center of activity so kids can you know I guess build a stronger bond or connection with the school.

Jim Hamilton [Artist, Teacher and Volunteer]:

My involvement in the Parent Engagement Symposium Series is that of an artist. I was asked to come into the school to work with the community members, the parents, the students of all level. I am a singer, songwriter and a performer and a teacher and I was asked to come in and work with them to create a community song. So I came in, we set up some prompting questions for example, what do you like about Ogden, how do you define trust, some pretty tough questions to talk about and we went into all grades and I took that information back to the drawing board if you will as a song writer and wrote this community song for them. There has been times when they refer to it when something goes on in the play ground and it's a bit of a moral fiber song really, their own anthem.

Donica Leblanc [Principal, Ogden Community Public School]:

These community events are very important to the school because they show the community that it's not just the school that is responsible for learning, but it's also the parents, the agencies and everyone around us. And so we kind of have this wrap around effect with our students, when we have a student in crisis, we all come together and help support that student, supporting the parents in helping their students, the children do homework and keeping them involved in school, coming to parent teacher interviews and just letting them know that the more they are involved, the more learning that will happen with their child.

Ron Kenutski [Parent and Volunteer]:

I think the school is important when there is a family connection and then learning is actually shared instead of individualized.

[Song]

To learn more visit: www.ontario.ca/EDUparents