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Black History Month – February 2021

February is Black History Month in Canada and is an opportunity to celebrate the history, culture, and achievements of Black Canadians, past and present. Below are resources for teachers and students with a uniquely Canadian perspective.  

Library and Archives Canada has compiled a list of resources and documents pertaining to Black history in Canada including online resources, newspaper articles and links to maps and museums.  

The Canadian Encyclopedia has a vast collection of information regarding Black history in Canada, including biographies of notable people in the arts, sports and civil rights movement.  It also includes articles, teachers’ guides and quizzes for use in the classroom.  The encyclopedia contains an impressive interactive timeline spanning centuries, from 1600 to the present day. 

Historica Canada has created a Black History Guide for intermediate and secondary students based around The Book of Negros by Lawrence Hill. It contains the history and timelines of the Black experience in Canada starting in the 1600s.  

Curio, the educational streaming service from the CBC, is a great site to access resources for Black History month, including a concise and informative video about civil rights activist and businesswoman, Viola Desmond. Other valuable resources can be found in Curio by searching “Black history”.  

Please contact your library staff for passwords and suggestions for additional books and resources.  

The LRC has created a bookshelf for Black History Month featuring online picture books, fiction, and non-fiction titles for different reading levels. There are many more excellent titles in the Sora app that users can access by searching “Black history.”  

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International Holocaust Remembrance Day – January 27, 2021

UNESCO has designated January 27, 2021 as International Holocaust Remembrance Day to mark the 76th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau. This day pays tribute to victims of the Holocaust and aims to spread awareness and education about racism, anti-Semitism, and religious intolerance and persecution. HCDSB will honour and commemorate this day with online liturgies for both elementary and secondary schools, as well as age and grade appropriate lessons about the Holocaust. Teachers and staff can access the Liturgy of the World by following: 

Staffnet Home Page – Board services – Curriculum Services – General Resources -Annual Event Resources – Holocaust Memorial Day  

HCDSB has approved the following videos for use on January 27: 

Pope Francis calls for Holocaust remembrance (1:05mins) 

2020 Tribute to Holocaust survivors produced by The Canadian Society for Yad Vashem (58:10mins) 

They are taking us to our death by The National Post (3:49mins) 

Kids meet a Holocaust survivor by HiHo Kids (10:25mins) 

The atrocities of the Holocaust touched every corner of the world, including Canada, and there are many resources that highlight the Canadian perspective. Canada and the Holocaust and Anti-Semitism in Canada are articles available through the Canadian Encyclopedia. The Government of Canada has compiled a list of recources for the purpose of education and research. The University of Toronto offers resources for teachers of elementary and secondary students including lesson plans, teacher guides and reproducibles.  

The slide below contains links to these and many other reputable resources.  

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First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario (FNMIEAO) Student Resources

First Nations, Metis and Inuit Education Association of Ontario (FNMIEAO) is offering ready to use digital resources to support our students working from home. Their latest resource, “Truth and Reconciliation in the Classroom” can be found on FNMIEAO’s website under the Student Resources tab. Here you will find videos that can be uploaded to an online classroom with accompanying activities, student guides and teacher guides in both English and French. “Indigenous languages will also be embedded to enhance learning and provide authentic, accurate information from direct sources (e.g., language speakers such as Oneida, Anishinaabe, Oji-Cree and Cree)” –FNMIEAO. 

To access the full extent of the resources offered by FNMIEAO, please use HCDSB’s login information, which can be found on the Staff Digital Tools – Passwords and Links page of our website. Resources are for HCDSB staff and students only. To maintain our agreements with our vendor partners, we must ensure we are not posting passwords in any public forum. If you have any questions about accessing FNMIEAO or the Staff Digital Tools – Passwords and Links page, please contact your school library professional or email us at

**Featured image copyright © FNMEAO 2020

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Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ / Fully Alive Bookshelf

As we saw the end of 2020, we also saw the end to the outdated program Flash Player. With this change, there has been a transition to new eTexts for items that required Flash Player, including eTexts for Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ and Fully Alive. You can currently find the following texts as web-based PDFs in the Growing in Faith Growing in Christ / Fully Alive Bookshelf

Growing in Faith, Growing in Christ 

Grade 1, Student Book, Big Book 1, Big Book 2 and Posters 

Grade 2, Student Book, Big Book 1, Big Book 2 and Posters 

Grade 3, Student Book and Posters 

Fully Alive 

Grades 3-8 Fully Alive Student Book 

The Growing in Faith Growing in Christ / Fully Alive Bookshelf is available on our Library Services website under Staff Digital Tools – Passwords and Links. This page is password protected and teachers are reminded that these pages can only be used in password protected spaces. Please do not share via other public multimedia platforms. 

If you have any questions about accessing these links or the Staff Digital Tools – Passwords and Links page, please contact your School Library Technician or email us at

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Snuggle up and read

Things will look different this Christmas and you may be looking for things to do, especially on those chilly days with nowhere to go. Snuggle up with a blanket, grab some hot chocolate and read or listen to one of the many e-books available to you through Library Services!

Tumble Book Library has many e-books that students of all ages can enjoy, including picture books, graphic novels, non-fiction titles and more. Some of the popular titles you can read or listen to include: 

For our older readers, check out Teen Book Cloud for e-Novels, graphic novels, non-fiction titles and more. 

For even more fun, visit Storyline Online to hear picture books read aloud by a variety of celebrated actors. 

If you have questions about accessing Tumble Book Library, Teen Book Cloud or any of the digital resources offered through Library Services, please email us at

We wish you a safe and relaxing break, and a very Merry Christmas! 

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Advent is the special time leading up to Christmas. In Latin, Advent means “coming”. This is a peaceful time that allows us to reflect and pray as we wait for the coming of Jesus. On the Advent wreath there are four candles, three purple and one pink, symbolizing hope, love, joy and peace. Below are a variety of Advent resources for use in the classroom and at home.  

Busted Halo has released its 2020 Virtual Advent Calendar, filled with activities, reflections and the brilliant and concise Advent in 2 Minutes video.  

The Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops (CCCB) has created a weekly video series called Journey Through Advent that is available through the Diocese of Hamilton website.  These videos help Catholics to prepare for Christmas, the birth of Jesus and to remember the true meaning of the season.  

The Catholic Association of Religious and Family Life Educators of Ontario (CARFLEO) has collected various Advent resources including videos, pamphlets and infographics for use in each week of this Holy season.  

Check out Christmas and Advent from Pearson Education. There are some great resources including reference sheets for teachers and families. 

Loyola Press also provides many great Advent resources, including activities for classrooms and families, prayers, Advent calendars and more. 

For more information visit your school library or the LRC.   

Be patient, and be ready; the coming of the Lord is near. James 5:7-10

*Featured image taken from Loyola Press 

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TVO Learn

TVO has been a source of educational resources in Ontario for almost 50 years. They have a variety of resources to support student learning from grades K-12 through digital technology. Now, you can find TVO’s resources from, tvokids, mPower, and Mathify all in one convenient place… TVOLearn

Here you will find resources including videos, articles, activities, podcasts and games that are curated by TVO’s Ontario certified teachers and are aligned with the Ontario curriculum. These resources are separated by grade and subject for ease in finding the best supports for student learning in the classroom and virtually. 

Links to TVO resources, along with many other resources to support teachers and student learning can be found on the Library Services website under Staff Resources

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International Day of People with Disabilities

On December 3rd, we recognize International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD), with the 2020 theme “Not all Disabilities are Visible.” IDPWD is meant for celebration, learning, optimism and action. One of its many objectives includes education around barriers to inclusion.  Some disabilities are not visible or apparent and many individuals do not seek the medical help they need in order to avoid stigma.  So, education and understanding are crucial! To learn more about the impact this organization and day has, visit International Day of People with Disabilities

HCDSB and Library Services have numerous resources to support awareness, education, and inclusivity. On Learn 360, you can find videos like Real Life Teens: Teens and Disabilities.  The video explores the different ways that disabilities can impact a teen’s life and how the general student population can support people with disabilities. This resource comes with a Teacher’s Guide. Curio also has a great series for Secondary students called You Can’t Ask That with episodes focusing on specific disabilities, individual stories, and challenging assumptions about life with a disability or difference. 

Books have the power to promote empathy, awareness, understanding, and allow us to see things through new perspectives. Check out these fictional books featuring differently abled characters and non-fiction books for a deeper understanding of differing abilities. These titles are all available through the LRC and Library Services. #LRCCheckItOut 

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Check First. Share After.

“To ask why we need libraries at all, when there is so much information available elsewhere, is about as sensible as asking if roadmaps are necessary now that there are so very many roads.” Jon Bing (Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law)  

As Library professionals, we have always advocated against the spread of “fake news”. Check out Mediasmarts as they tackle this important initiative, focusing on why verifying sources matters! 

During this time of COVID-19, this becomes especially important. We can stop the spread of misinformation. When you read an article on social media, follow these simple rules before you share it.

Remember – Check First.  Share After. 

  1. CHECK where the information originally came from. 
  2. CHECK that the source is a trusted source. 
  3. CHECK what the government and public health officials are saying. 
  4. Once you are satisfied that the information is ACCURATE 
  5. Then SHARE. 

The same holds true when conducting research. This is especially important for students as more of our information sources become digital. A great starting point for finding accurate and relevant information is checking out the databases through the Library Services website or your school’s OPAC. From EBSCO to GalePebbleGo to Infobase, there are so many options and databases to use based on the grade and subject you are looking for. If you need assistance with passwords, please reach out to your library staff or

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4Canoes Digital Bookshelf

HCDSB recently purchased a fully licensed bookshelf of digital texts to support literacy and media literacy development along with various themes in Social Studies, History & Geography and Canadian & World Studies. These digital resources also support cross-curricular connections with Religion, Indigenous Studies, Health and the Arts. 4Canoes is a Canadian publicationformerly known as Canoe Kids, that is focused on empowering and authentic Indigenous voices. The publication was created in response to The Truth and Reconciliation Commision’s Calls to Action and “…focus[es] upon: Cultural Rights, Human Rights, Environmental Rights & Equity.” 

The 4Canoes Digital Bookshelf can be accessed through Library Services to support student learning both in school and at home. Some of the titles included in this digital bookshelf are: 

Wah buuny-vah is a little book that is big on culture. It is especially wonderful because it is a talking eBook. As you turn the pages, follow along with the audio narration in both the Yavapai Language and English while a beautiful Yavapai song plays softly in the background. 
Residential Schools, With the Words and Images of Survivors, A National History honours the survivors of residential schools.  This eBook offers a first-person perspective of the residential school system in Canada, as it shares the memories of more than 70 survivors from across Canada as well as 125 archival and contemporary images. 
Aundeck the Crow is a beautiful Ojibwe story about learning to listen and having empathy for those around you in order to find your purpose in life. This is a talking eBook with both Ojibwe and English text & audio narration. 
Whispers on the Water is another talking eBook in both Ojibwe and English. It shows how cultures today have learned from their ancestors about living in harmony with Mother Earth. 
Canoe Kids Vol. 3 The Mi’kmaq of Ktaqamkuk is one of four issues currently available to us in an ongoing 24 edition series appropriate for kids of all ages. This issue focuses on the Mi’kmaq of the North Atlantic Coast.  Canoe Kids, through the generosity of the Council of Flat Bay and Conne River, travels through this traditional territory learning about the Mi‘kmaq of Ktaqamkuk (Newfoundland).

If you have questions about accessing these or any of the digital resources offered through Library Services, please email us at

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