Settlement and Education Partnerships in Toronto (SEPT) is a school-based outreach program that helps newcomer students and their families settle in their school and community. SEPT staff from North York Community House connect newly arrived families to a variety of services and resources in order to help them settle and succeed. Over the last four years, the school settlement (SEPT) workers at NYCH have assisted over 20,000 newcomer parents and secondary students within elementary, middle and secondary schools. The SEPT program also provides service at Yorkwoods Public Library during the summer months.
NYCH provides SEPT services in over 200 schools in the North York and Rexdale areas. Our SEPT team consists of 29 school based Settlement Workers that can deliver services in over 30 languages.
Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) is a peer led program that helps recently arrived newcomer high school students learn all about their new schools and community. NOW helps the students become oriented to their new home and make friends.
Welcome and Information for Newcomers program (WIN) helps middle school students and their families become more familiar with their new school and communities. WIN is unique because it also gives an opportunity for parents to become more engaged in the school and learn about the Ontario school system.
Digital Storytelling in the Community
Digital stories are 2- 5 minute videos, created by people of all ages and backgrounds, where participants share their own life story through voice, images, and music. While the term “digital storytelling” has been used to describe a wide variety of new media practices, what best describes our approach is an emphasis on first-person narrative, meaningful workshop processes, and participatory production methods. While media is often used to create documentary or informational videos produced by experts/filmmakers, NYCH’s process is unique in that the storytellers are also the producers of their own films.
Over and over again, newcomers tell us how isolated they feel, especially when they first arrive in Canada. Sharing feelings and stories with others can be challenging due to language barriers, and a lack of self-confidence. Digital storytelling workshops offer a safe, supportive environment in which participants can explore their histories and reflect on events that shaped how they got to where they are. Participants enjoy the benefits of learning new computer skills to produce their stories and are given the opportunity to express themselves in their own way, in their own words.
Our SEPT team facilitates digital storytelling workshops in a number of schools. SEPT staff also use the digital stories to inform school staff and community members about the challenges faced by newcomer youth and families.
For more information about the SEPT program, please contact 416-781-7457 or email Adnan at firstname.lastname@example.org.