Orange Shirt Day is a day that we honor and remember the Indigenous children who were taken from their families and sent to residential schools across Canada.
Why do we wear an orange shirt on September 30th?
Phyllis Webstad was given an orange shirt by her grandmother before she was sent to a residential school. When she got to the school, they took her clothes and belongings, including her beautiful new orange shirt. She never got it back. When this happened to her, she felt as though “my feelings didn’t matter, how no one cared and I felt like I was worth nothing.”
For more information, please watch Phyllis’ story here.
Your child may be learning about this and participating in special activities related to this day at school. Here are some ways you can further the conversation with your child at home. It is a great time to target some language goals too!
- Read books that talk about the first day of school: Jessica by Kevin Henkes, Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt or The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn.
- Talk about feelings: You and your child can take turns to talk about your feelings about your first day of school. Brainstorm feelings words about how children would feel to be at residential schools (e.g. scared, angry) and then how they should feel (e.g. safe, happy, respected) instead.
- Retell Phyllis’ story: Read or watch Phyllis’s story and retell the story in order using words such as first, next, then, later, in the end.
For more child friendly resources and information, check out these websites:
Also check out these children’s books by Indigenous authors: Some great books are featured right here on CBC Kids!
This will be a back to school year like no other! We will be smiling behind our masks and are excited to see everyone again. Wearing masks helps reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community but it can sometimes make communication more difficult, especially for people who have trouble speaking or hearing.
• Masks make voices muffled and harder to hear.
• Masks cover facial expression and prevent speech reading. Without visual cues, people with hearing loss or communication difficulties may have even more trouble understanding what they are hearing.
• People with communication difficulties may not be able to make themselves understood through a mask.
Communication strategies when wearing a mask:
• Move to a quiet place, or reduce competing noises in the environment.
• For those who wear hearing aids, ensure they are working well.
• Face your communication partner and make sure nothing is blocking your view.
• Get the attention of your communication partner before you start talking.
• Ask what you can do to make communication easier for both of you.
• Speak a little more slowly and slightly louder than usual, but do not shout or exaggerate your speech.
• Use your eyes, hands and body movements to add more information to your speech.
• Use a voice amplifier.
• Ask if your communication partner understood you. If not, repeat, rephrase or write it down.
• Use speech-to-text apps to transcribe speech in real time.
Please see General Public Masks Info Sheet by Speech-Language and Audiology Canada for further information.
Have a safe and healthy school year!