GENTLE Family Reception Centre
The GENTLE Family Reception Center (Guided Entry to New Teaching and Learning Experiences) is an example of TVDSB’s commitment to meeting the needs of our students through an innovative practice. It was created to respond to the challenge of supporting school based reception, orientation and initial assessments for the unprecedented surge of Syrian families who had been displaced due to the crisis in their homeland.
In January 2016, GENTLE opened its doors and created a welcoming environment for Syrian families to register for school and begin the process of orientation to school in Canada. In recognizing the multitude of needs for some of the families, GENTLE was purposefully staffed with ESL/ELD (English as a Second Language/English Literacy Development) staff, Arabic speaking educators, a social worker, a team of retired educators, staff from the SWIS (Settlement Workers in Schools)-London partnership, Educational Assistants and an Early Childhood Educator.
During the four months of operation, GENTLE, which was located at White Oaks Public School, welcomed over 450 students along with their families. The Centre successfully:
The GENTLE Family Reception program was so impactful that it was recognized with the Pillar Non-profit Network Community Innovation Award at a ceremony on November 23 2016.