Celebrating Sikh Heritage Month in April 2022
In April 2022, staff and students from across the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB) were invited to celebrate Sikh Heritage Month by taking this opportunity to learn more about Sikh culture, language, identity and heritage. The WRDSB’s Sikh Affinity Group, along with staff from the Indigenous, Equity, and Human Rights Department (IEHR) offered three innovative learning opportunities for students, depending on their grade-level:
A virtual interactive choice board
Allowed students to explore a selection of resources to learn more for Sikh Heritage Month
Reading of Kamal’s Kes, written and illustrated by Baljinder Kaur
A live-streamed reading of the 2021 children’s book that focuses on body positivity and confronting female standards of beauty
Keynote address from Dr. Jaspreet Bal
The live-streamed address from Dr. Bal focused on Sikh identity and experiences of Sikhs in the classroom
While these learning opportunities support students and staff who identify as Sikh, they go further than that. Every student’s learning is enriched by gaining a greater understanding of the diverse communities that exist in Waterloo Region.
The Sikh Affinity Group would like to thank the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) – Sikh Heritage Month Volunteer Planning Committee for their collaborative partnership in the creation of these learning materials for students.
WRDSB Acknowledges Sikh Heritage Month & Celebrates Vaisakhi
Students and staff were also invited to revisit the following video, originally created in 2021, to help extend their learning for Sikh Heritage Month.
Affinity Groups offer spaces for WRDSB employees to come together with facilitators who have a shared lived experience. Affinity Groups were created as a direct response to data from the WRDSB Workforce Census which demonstrated a need for employee networks based on lived experience.
All WRDSB employees work to support the development and success of the students we serve, and we know that they model mental health and well-being for students. With this in mind, Affinity Groups aim to offer spaces that are healing, supportive and offer a voice for employees whose identities are marginalized.
We know that achievement in the classroom is directly supported by a student’s well-being, a factor which is impacted by the well-being of the educator in front of them. Ultimately, Affinity Groups are just one more way in which the WRDSB supports the academic success of the students we serve.