Central Technical School students at Christie Pits Park

Equipped with their masks, wipes, sanitizer and other COVID-19 protective and personal gear, the Central Technical School’s Peer leaders, mentors, mentees and other newcomer students headed to Christie Pits Park to meet with their Settlement Workers and schoolmates on September 4, 2020. It was a glorious Friday afternoon and most of the students were really happy to be outdoors. Some students had not left their homes since schools went into lockdown on March 12th, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

After nearly six months of zoom sessions, it was wonderful to have a face to face check-in to see where students and their families were at and to provide any settlement supports needed, including information for online school registration. The session also included an overview of the NOW Peer Leader training.

The students were involved in a number of fun and socially-distanced physical activities that included games with individual balls, skipping ropes, bean bags and one coveted basketball. The session ended with students having free time to ‘catch up’ with each other.

This session was focused on getting students out and back together as they prepared to begin the 2020 – 2021 school year. The joy on the student’s faces as they interacted with each other far outweighed the detailed planning needed with the many COVID-19 safety measures that had to be put in place.

This activity would have done wonders for the student’s Mental Health. Even though there was so much uncertainty for the beginning of the school year, the students left looking forward to school reopening with much more anticipation.