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YRDSB Celebrates Black History Month
News Release
YRDSB Celebrates Black History Month
Aurora, ON – York Region District School Board is hosting a series of events throughout York Region schools to celebrate Black History Month and to commemorate the history of people of African heritage. These events intend to increase awareness of the contributions of persons of African descent on the cultural, economic, political and social fabric of Canada dating back to the 1600s.
“We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the rich history and contributions of people of African heritage in our communities. This is an exciting time and we invite York Region District School Board students, staff and community members to participate in the Black History Month events being hosted throughout the Board,” said Louise Sirisko, Director, York Region District School Board.
“Black History Month is an excellent opportunity to work with our community partners to celebrate the diversity of our schools and the contributions of members of the African-Canadian diaspora,” said Cecil Roach, Coordinating Superintendent of Education, Equity and Community Services.
Shaun Booth
February 1 - Musician and inspirational speaker Shaun Booth to perform to Grades 4 - 8 students at Julliard P.S.
George Elliott Clarke
February 8 - Award-winning author and Canadian Parliamentary Poet Laureate, George Elliott Clarke, to speak to staff and students at Thornlea S.S.
Patrick Walters

February 13 - Poet and spoken word artist, Patrick Walters, to provide two interactive sessions for students in the library at Milliken Mills H.S. 

Dwayne Morgan
February 23 – Famed Canadian poet Dwayne Morgan to visit Bill Crothers S.S.
Bernice Carnegie
February 20 – Life Enrichment speaker at Herbert H. Carnegie Future Aces Foundation, Bernice Carnegie, to speak at Bill Crothers S.S. from Noon – 2 p.m.
Culture Fairs
February 15 - Thornlea S.S. students will share classic African-Canadian/American poems alongside original student work.
February 22 - Different countries and cultures within the African diaspora to be represented in a series of pictures, music, cultural artifacts and food from various countries at Thornlea S.S.
February 27 – Black History Museum tours to be hosted by Grade 7 and 8 students who will run workshops at Julliard P.S. for parents and community members.
School Assemblies

February 14 - Markham Gateway P.S. ​to host an assembly in the gymnasium to hounour the rich history of the African continent and the diaspora. The musical presentation will feature the organization known as PEACE (People Everywhere Actually Coexisting Equally) from 8:45 a.m. - 9:45 a.m. 

February 22 - Milliken Mills H.S. to host a school assembly featuring Juno-nominated songwriter and guitar player Glenn Marais from 10:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. in the gymnasium. 

February 23 - Honouring the Past and Inspiring the Future with guest speaker Inspector Chris Bullen from the York Regional Police at Charles Howitt P.S.​ from 11:30 a.m. - Noon.

February 27 – Guest speaker from the York Region Alliance of African Canadian Communities, Lee Miller, to speak at Stephen Lewis S.S.
February 28 – Thornlea S.S. to host a school assembly featuring a student dance group, a presentation of African-Canadian history moments, a motivational speaker and a student vocal performance.
March 8 – Aldergrove P.S. to host three productions throughout the day focusing on understanding and valuing Black identity within Canadian society. Two stories will be shared, The Wings of Ikarus Jackson and a narrative based on merchants and professionals from the Markham community. Themes of wisdom, friendship, solidarity and striving for social justice will be reflected in words, music, song, dance and images.
Writing, Poetry and Art Contest
February 28 - Hosted by Inclusive School and Community Services the annual Writing, Poetry and Art Contest is open to both Elementary and Secondary students. The theme for 2018’s contest is social identity and fighting racism.

York Region District School Board is the third largest school district in Ontario with over 124,000 students in 177 elementary schools and 33 secondary schools. York Region students consistently perform above average in provincial testing and the Board is one of the top achievers in Ontario. For more information about the York Region District School Board, please visit the Board website and follow @YRDSB on Twitter.

For more information contact:
Amanda Burnett
Corporate Communications
905-727-0022, ext. 2272

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