Community Classroom launches fifth year in Oakville with new videos on local arts, culture
Published January 17, 2023 at 11:54 am
An online Oakville classroom that helps students interact with local organizations and increase their sense of belonging in the community is back for a fifth year.
The Oakville Community Foundation’s Community Classroom returns with both archived and new, free interactive videos spanning local arts, culture, heritage and environmental programming for Halton students.
Developed in 2018 with the goal of “No Child Left Behind” in Oakville, Community Classroom addresses the unequal access to community programs and local arts, culture, heritage and environmental organizations in the community.
The introduction of online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed Community Classroom to reach even more students.
“We know that interacting with local organizations increases our sense of belonging in our community and that inclusivity and diversity is important to help everyone feel like they belong,” said Frances Pace, Director of Fundholder and Community Engagement.
This year’s program kicks off with students and teachers invited to celebrate Chinese New Year with the Halton Region Canadian Chinese Association and the Yuan Yin Group.
They’ll tell stories, show examples of Chinese musical instruments, play traditional Chinese music and more. Additional videos will be added in May to recognize Asian Heritage Month.
Community Classroom will go on to celebrate Black History Month with the launch of a brand new mini-series that follows along with the recently released report Belonging and Racial Identity in Halton.
Other content that will be offered includes an exploration of steel pan drumming with the Canadian Caribbean Association of Halton and a virtual tour of The Underground Railroad exhibit with the Oakville Museum. This programming is available through registration only.
Community Classroom will also recognize Treaty Day on February 28 and National Indigenous History Month in June.
Oakville elementary schools in the Halton District School Board and Halton Catholic District School Board will be able to register for a Moccasin Identifier kit, which aims to help understand Indigenous relationship to the land. Additional content includes pre-recorded videos by Elder Peter Schuler of the Mississaugas of the Credit as he reflects on First Nations history and culture.
Also new in April, to recognize Sikh Heritage Month, there is the addition of Bhangra, a traditional dance of Punjab, with Gurdeep Pandher of Yukon.
Pandher is known for posting Banghra dance videos filmed in the beautiful scenery of the Yukon, and this special video just for Community Classroom will be available through registration on the Community Classroom website.
“Community Classroom supports so many local organizations and continues to offer students the opportunity to experience something fun, educational, local and free,” said Pace.
“We are so grateful for the continued support and the opportunity to offer these exciting experiences.”
As well, pre-recorded favourites of past years will continue to be available, including dance workshops, art classes and musical instrument exploration as well as environmental programs.
All pre-recorded videos and links for registration are available at: https://www.theocf.org/initiative/community-classroom-online/
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