Grade 6 and 7 boys from Milliken Mills P.S. engaged in a day of learning at an in-house conference geared towards building further understanding of mental health, equity and inclusivity using a blend of arts, drama, nutrition and athletics.
The morning session, led by retired teacher and author, Jim Giles, used arts and drama strategies to explore the importance of inclusion and gender interactivities. Students took part in tableaus that explored gender roles and stereotypes while focusing on the importance of inclusive education.
For their lunch break, attendees participated in an exercise to expand on their knowledge of nutrition in which they prepared their lunch and developed new life skills while discussing gender stereotypes.
The afternoon session was led by coach and mentor, Kenneth Daniels, who spoke with the Grade 6 and 7 students about goal setting, perseverance and the importance of perspective. Daniels used these concepts to encourage the boys to challenge perceptions of gender stereotypes and how they relate to social identities.
“We are so grateful to have had Jim Giles and Kenneth Daniels come to our school to build greater awareness and understanding amongst our Grade 6 and 7 boys about the importance of inclusion and the interconnected nature of social categorizations,” said Harald Grammenos, principal of Milliken Mills P.S. “This is essential learning to ensure that our students grow up to become caring global citizens.”
“Engaging our students with the topics of equity and inclusivity to explore social identities and intersectionalities is of the utmost importance,” said Jordan Appelberg, vice-principal, Milliken Mills P.S. “If we are to create a more inclusive society in which all social identities are celebrated, we must start with our young learners and build an understanding that they carry with them throughout their lives.”
Milliken Mills P.S. has spent the past two years focusing on educating students about mental health, equity and inclusivity through various student and community events.