Engage the Larger Community through Mutually Beneficial Partnerships
One of the goals of our 2017-2020 Strategic Plan (The World Needs More Mabin) is building community. Specifically, we want to “engage the larger community through mutually beneficial partnerships.”
Next week, we plan to have our first Moms of the World Unite Dinner at Rose Avenue Public School. Rose Avenue and Mabin were Canada’s first Ashoka Changemaker Schools, both designated as such in May, 2016. In many ways, the schools could not be more different. Rose Avenue is a big old school in the centre of the high-rises of St. Jamestown at Wellesley and Sherbourne. It is a large school, with over 700 students. Many of the students speak English as a second or third or fourth language. Many are living in significant poverty. And yet, the students at Rose Avenue are true changemakers. They demonstrate leadership, problem-solving, teamwork, and empathy and put that empathy into action every day. Inside, Rose’s walls are covered with art. The music program is spectacular. Rose houses a parenting centre, a daycare, and a variety of other wrap-around services. Together the community has taken on Islamaphobia, racism, and other social justice issues. One of our dads, Gideon Chemel (father of Talia in Grade 2) is part of the dynamic team of teachers at Rose Avenue.
Less than a year ago, a group of Rose Avenue moms and group of Mabin moms started getting together to think about how the two communities could be changemakers together. This “steering committee” of passionate women has come up with two brilliant ideas:
- Monthly drop-in dinners to discuss issues of concern to moms everywhere. Our first Moms of the World Unite Dinner will be on Thursday, January 25 from 6-8 pm at Rose Avenue in the old gym. It’s worth the trip to Rose just to see the gorgeous art adorning the hallways — but even more importantly, there are incredible, resilient women there to meet. If you are interested in attending, please join us next Thursday. Childcare and a delicious meal will be provided. To register, click here. If you really enjoy this opportunity to get together with other moms from Mabin and moms from Rose, feel free to join us at our next steering committee meeting.
- A Creativity Festival for both communities: both Rose Avenue PS and The Mabin School are highly creative places of learning. We suspect that creativity is strongly tied to changemaking, and in our world, where change is a constant and the future is difficult to anticipate, creativity is more important than ever. As an act of changemaking, we plan to bring the two communities together for a special family event — tentatively booked for the morning of Saturday, June 9. We haven’t planned it yet, but we hope it will be an opportunity to nurture creativity in our kids and our families. If you are interested in getting involved in the planning, please let me or any of the current members of the steering committee (Rachel Northup (SK/3), Christina Hodnet (4), Lily Safrani (1), Vanessa Eckstein (5), and Shan Li (4)). Again, we think our communities have a lot to gain from spending time together and getting to know each other better. And let’s face it — being creative is just plain fun.
Finally, there is so much talent in our parent body, we couldn’t resist the opportunity to build mutually beneficial partnerships among ourselves! On Tuesday, February 13, in honour of Family Day (February 19), we will be hosting our first (hopefully annual) Parent2Parent Learning Conference. In today’s Choosing Times, you will find some information about the event, which should be spectacular. Come learn and be inspired by your fellow Mabin community members. There will be great speakers, time for conversation, wine, beer, and even childcare! A more detailed program will go out to you this week via e-mail. We hope that you will join us in what promises to be a great evening. To register, click here.