Written by Ashima Suri, Program Facilitator with TDSB Welcoming Communities (Newcomer Services)
Afra, a mother of 4, came into the culinary program not knowing what to expect. Her introduction to the parent engagement experience began with a warm cup of tea served with care from our culinary expert, Susan Ng. Once the soothing tea reached her lips, her willingness to learn something new began to expand. What was next? How could she contribute?
With gentle guidance, Afra along with other moms in the Thorncliffe Park school community began to create inspiring dishes that would open hearts …and bellies! The moms created nutritious dishes that were filled with vibrant rainbow-like colours that could make one feel like it was Spring every day!
Each week, the moms consistently came back to a safe space where they could create and contribute. They built their skills and confidence while feeling a stronger sense of belonging to their community.
Filled with emotion, Afra was eager to let us know that out of all the days of the week, she most looked forward to Thursdays. It was her day to dress up. Her day to spend some time engaging and learning. It was her time for herself – to give her the space to just be. And that was exactly what the experience at TDSB Newcomer Services – Welcoming Communities was all about.
As the last session ended, the group of dedicated mommas gave each other hugs wishing their new friends a Happy Mother’s Day! They all knew inside that this was just the beginning for them and that their creativity from now on will just continue to grow.
We thank you, mommas! And can’t wait to see what more will be created!
Upcoming Culinary Parent Events:
VOICES – celebrating students and parents in the Thorncliffe community
Date: Tuesday, June 19th
Time: 3:30pm – 5pm
Location: Thorncliffe Park Public School
Community Potluck! Summer and Eid Celebration
Date: Thursday, June 21st
For more information on this and other settlement, employment, language training and skills development programs, please visit www.tdsb.on.ca/communityservices.