On Thursday, September 28, the students of Westmount Public Schools observed a very special day – Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt day was an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The students attended a school wide presentation that helped them understand residential schools and their impacts on our society. As Orange Shirt Day is observed on Saturday September 30, Westmount Public School observed Orange Shirt Day in advance on Thursday, September 28.
“We continue to look for ways to help our students learn about and understand the legacy of Residential Schools,” says AJ Keene, Principal of Westmount Public School. “The story of Orange Shirt Day helps to provide even our youngest students the context of what occurred in Residential Schools.”
Orange Shirt Day was developed following the story of a Residential School student who had her shiny new orange shirt taken away immediately upon her arrival at a Mission School. The date of Orange Shirt Day was chosen because it is the time of the year where Children were taken from their homes to Residential Schools.
Following the presentation students in the Westmount Public School Global Citizen Academy will be walking to the former site of a Residential School on the Corner of Arthur Street and Franklin Street.
The Westmount Public School Academy, focused on Sports & Recreation, Fine Arts and Global Citizenship, is one of three pilot project Lakehead Public School Learning Academies. The Academies provide Grade 7 and 8 students with the opportunity to learn in an experiential and rigorous environment while meeting the requirements of the Ontario Curriculum. The pilot academies provide opportunities for students to participate in inquiry and/or project activities that encourage students to learn through active experience, reflect on the experience and apply their learning to various aspects of their lives.