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Integrating TOYBOX: A Training Session with Frontier School Division Librarians

May 22, 2024

Librarians and staff from the Frontier School Division gathered for a training session aimed at integrating the TOYBOX project into their schools and communities. The TOYBOX team kicked off the session by introducing the project and sharing their rich experiences in collaborating with various groups to develop culturally relevant strategies, particularly for First Nations communities.

The highlight of the session was an outdoor practical activity session where participants created letter and number strategies using the natural environment. This hands-on experience allowed attendees to brainstorm and discuss how these strategies could be seamlessly implemented during library time, after-school programs, and community events. The participants were enthusiastic, suggesting creative ways to incorporate nature-based learning and diverse communication methods. They also explored the potential of using these strategies in school BBQs, welcome-to-kindergarten events, and mom-tot programs.

Throughout the session, the importance of understanding children's needs and interests was emphasized. Making children feel recognized and valued was highlighted as crucial for their success. The TOYBOX team distributed three strategy packages—Deck of Cards, Directions, and Shapes—which were used as examples to showcase the project's capabilities and provided attendees with tangible resources to implement in their communities.

The practical application of these strategies was well-received, encouraging active participation and thoughtful discussions on how TOYBOX could fit within different educational settings. The collaborative spirit among the librarians was inspiring as they effortlessly generated numerous strategies for teaching numbers and letters.

Overall, the session was a resounding success, equipping librarians with practical tools and valuable insights to enhance children's learning experiences and foster stronger community connections. The TOYBOX project continues to empower educators to create meaningful, culturally relevant educational strategies that support the diverse needs of their students.

Thank you to Frontier School Division for supporting this training opportunity!

Written by: Madison Young, Jessica Shapiro, and Taylor Bear

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