Black students can earn credits in summer program

Black students entering Grades 9 or 10 can earn a high school credit by taking part in a summer program that offers activities and workshops designed to prepare and support them as they navigate high school and beyond.

“When I first came in, I came in for the credit, to be honest. But then I stayed for the culture and what it did for me,” Jamel, a Grade 9 student says of the York Region District School Board’s Come Up Program. “It really helped me affirm my identity. I knew who I was.”

Students entering Grade 9 will earn the Grade 10 Civics/Career compulsory credit in a program that will cover topics like positive identity formation and affirmation, career pathways, emotional intelligence, social media and Black history.

Students entering Grade 10 will earn a Grade 11 Black History elective credit and can use that credit to fulfill the compulsory Grade 10 Canadian History requirement. They’ll explore the history of Black and/or African peoples in Canada, historical developments and events in the countries of origin of Canada’s Black/African population, the factors that influenced voluntary and forced migration to Canada, and their contributions to Canadian identity and heritage.

The Come Up Program also includes guest speakers, field trips and swag. It runs Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 3:35 p.m. from July 5 through 28 at Milliken Mills High School at 7522 Kennedy Rd. in Markham or Tommy Douglas Secondary School at 4020 Major Mackenzie Dr. in Woodbridge. Attendance for the full duration of the program is mandatory.

Parents and guardians of students registered in the program can take part in a virtual two-part workshop series. The first session, Understanding the Secondary System, explores structure, rights, policies, attendance, credit recovery and individual education plans, and will be held Tuesday, June 27 from 6:30 to 8 p.m. The second session, Support Your Child, offers information on mental health supports, tips and strategies and will be offered Tuesday, July 11 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

The links for each of the workshops will be emailed to parents and guardians once their child registers and is accepted into the program. Self-identifying Black students can register for the program through Friday, May 26. Lunch will be provided on Mondays and Wednesday. Click here to complete the registration form. Contact [email protected] with any questions.

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