Our Grade 11 Biology students spent last week at the Huntsman Marine Science Center in St. Andrews, New Brunswick. Located at the mouth of Fundy Bay, the research center has the unique opportunity to study incredibly diverse ecosystems that thrive among the highest and most powerful tides in the world. Here, our young biologists explored the diversity of marine life on the beach and deep ocean floor, investigated the characteristics and behaviours of various aquatic life forms, and presented their findings to their peers, teachers, and Hunstman staff. Students learned first-hand that sea stars can hold more than 3 times their body weight, rock crabs are surprisingly adept at escaping lab benches, when digging for beach worms keep a keen eye out for poop piles, and skates really enjoy belly rubs, just to name a few. We hope that all students left with a greater awareness of the diversity in our Canadian waters, a sense of stewardship towards the environment, and a lasting curiosity for the sciences.
The grade 6’s braved the rain yesterday for a great afternoon trip to the Kortright Centre for Conservation. Students learned about some of Ontario’s invasive species (like the Emerald Ash Borer), how scientists classify organisms (Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, Species), Ontario’s turtle and snake population (and were able to pet a snake!), and the importance of biodiversity to our world. The grade 6 teachers are appreciative of the students’ flexibility in dealing with the rain and their respectful and positive attitude throughout the trip.
-Ms. S. Suckstorff
Born in the small town of Klimontov, Poland in 1938, Saul was only an infant when Europe transformed into a war zone. He was born into a loving family: his father was a banker, his mother was a homemaker, and he had two older brothers. Saul remembers very little of this briefly relatively peaceful life before his family was transferred to Tzozmer ghetto when he was three years old.
While Saul’s story is one of survival, it is also one of loss. Like many other families, the Shulmans were separated during the Holocaust, with no knowledge of each other’s whereabouts or well-being. Saul clearly remembers his tragic separation from his two older brothers. After this traumatic experience, Saul and his mother were deported to a concentration camp. Sometime thereafter they were deported to Auschwitz; it is truly a miracle that Saul survived. He remembers the sleepless nights he endured in cramped barracks.
Eventually, Saul and his mother moved to Canada to start a new chapter of their lives. They arrived here in 1948, when Saul was nine years old. While Saul suffered the devastating loss of his father, brother, grandparents, aunts and uncles, he was thrilled to discover that Perry survived the Holocaust after being liberated from Buchenwald, a German concentration camp. Saul feels proud to live in a nation that espouses the values of diversity, anti-racism, and human rights.
We are proud to have heard his story, and are thankful that he invited us to his home in October 2016, where students Taylor Frankfort and Jonah Patel interviewed him.
Oral History Project November 5th, 2016
For all the hard work done by the Eco Team this year, Crestwood School treated them to a morning at the ROM. The team has been hauling recycling and meeting at lunch times to discuss and plan a greener school all year long. We thought this warranted a reward.
On May 1st, Mme. Martin, Ms. Seligman, Myles Abitbol, Cameron Veisman, Daniel Cui, Samantha Kirkconnell, Matthew Laslop, Evan Prosserman, Tal Shram, Luke Tavone, and Dylan Wilkinson all hopped on a bus and went to the museum.
There, we were greeted by a ROM Educator, Bethany, who taught us all about the importance of conserving energy and resources. She took us on a tour through the gems and minerals, the dinosaurs, and the Schad Gallery of Biodiversity. The kids loved Bethany – she was intelligent, informed, and really really funny!!! She taught us so much.
The team behaved like perfect representatives of Crestwood – they were polite, interested, and respectful. We are already looking forward to doing this trip again next year!!!
Shaun Boothe is a fixture in the Toronto hip hop community, one we have been proud to host a number of times at Crestwood. He first visited The CHC classes in 2011, where he showed Mr. Masters’ and Mr. Hawkins’ classes an alternative approach to modern history, using hip hop as a means to teach about some key figures in recent history. These can be seen at http://shaunboothe.com/1.0/biography-series/.
We were so impressed that we had to have him back, and he was the keynote, end-of-day speaker at Crestwood’s First Diversity and Human Rights Symposium in November 2013, where he delivered a message of hope to hundreds of students from schools all across Toronto. This year he visited Crestwood with John T. Davis and Shelley Hamilton, whose interviews are also posted on this webpage. The three together delivered a Black History Month presentation on music and the generations, showing how music creates an important thread in the African-Canadian community.
Oral History Project March 17th, 2014
Next week, the grade 11 biology students will be headed to St. Andrews, New Brunswick for a 4-day field work and research trip. They will get the opportunity to study the effect of tides on the diversity of life in the intertidal zones, examine invertebrate behaviour, classify various species, dig for various marine worm species, and perform scallop drags to investigate sub-tidal species. This experience will give students hands-on biology experiences that just cannot be replicated in the classroom.
Sally Wasserman is the only child survivor of the Dambrowa ghetto, which was located in southern Poland, not too far from Auschwitz-Birkenau. When her family was forced into the ghetto, her mother encountered Mr. Turken, a man who did work for the authorities in the ghetto. He and his wife agreed to take Sally in as a hidden child, and they kept her safe for the duration of the war, as the ghetto was being liquidated. Sally’s immediate family did not survive the Holocaust. After the war, Sally left the Turkens and Poland; she ended up in the Belsen DP camp before she made her way to New York City and eventually to her aunt in Toronto.
Sally is an entrancing speaker who works with both the Holocaust center and the Center for Diversity. She has shared her story with many Crestwood students over the years, including at our Human Rights and Diversity Symposium in November 2012. She was interviewed for this project by Stephanie Tanz and Kaily Wise. In 2015 Sally again visited us, speaking to Miss Young’s class and then doing an interview with Amanda, Minami and Tomer.
Oral History Project January 11th, 2013
Hedy Bohm grew up in prewar Romania, in a region that later came under Hungarian control. As the war escalated, she and her family increasingly came under the influence of the Nazis, and the family was deported to Auschwitz in the summer of 1944. Hedy was able to survive Auschwitz-Birkenau for three months; at that time she was relocated to a work camp, where she spent the remainder of the war as a forced labourer, producing military equipment for the Germans. After liberation by American troops, Hedy went home, where she was able to meet up with cousins, and where she married her husband Imre. They were able to escape to Prague, where an aid organization arranged for this group of Hungarian orphans to get visas to Canada, where she arrived in 1948.
Hedy has visited Crestwood many times now. She brought with her some remarkable photos, including an old school drawing book, where many of her friends made sketches. She has spoken to students from YARRD (Youth against Racial and Religious Discrimination) as part of their ongoing initiative to interview community members about human rights causes, and she also brought this message to our first Human Rights and Diversity Symposium in November 2012. For this project Hedy was interviewed by Jake Pascoe and Natalie Krause in the fall of 2012, with supplements added in 2016 based on an interview with History 8, 10 and 11 students.
Oral History Project January 10th, 2013
Pardeep Singh Nagra is a Canadian athlete and human rights activist. He came to speak to Mr. Masters’ History 10 class in the spring of 2010 and again in 2011, which he followed up with an interview by student representatives from the YARRD club. Pardeep’s story is an inspirational one; he came to Canada from India when he was an infant, and he grew up with an evolving idea of what it means to be Canadian. He was also an excellent athlete who found his boxing career cut short by old rules that stipulate that boxers are not to wear beards. Pardeep challenged the rules in the Canadian courts, winning an important victory for all Canadians. He has since dedicated himself to the goals of charity, diversity, and tolerance.
Crestwood has been very fortunate to build a partnership with the Noor Cultural Centre in the last few years. Kassim Ebrahim and Samira Khanji have welcomed us and have taught Crestwood students some very important lessons about Islam and tolerance and diversity. We visit each year, and members of the Noor community generously have shared their personal stories and views and have agreed to be part of this project. One of the people we met this year was Charazad Fahmy, who was interviewed by members of Mr. Hawkins’ World Religions class in April 2012. Mrs. Fahmy shared with the students her impressions of the Arab Spring, and of her own life in Egypt, and she brought to life so many of the issues presently facing Canadian Muslims.
Max Eisen is a Hungarian Jew who was deported along with his family in the summer of 1944. While the other members of his family were murdered, Max was able to survive slave labour at Auschwitz-Birkenau as well as other camps, as well as the death marches at the end of the war. He is a passionate speaker and educator who works through the Holocaust Center, the Simon Wiesenthal Centre and the Center for Diversity. He has been coming to Crestwood for many years now, and his message of tolerance and respect has reached many Crestwood students. We were happy to host Max on two occasions in 2017; he spoke with Justin Soberman at his home, and he visited Mr. Masters’ classroom, where Alexa Gibson took the lead on his interview.
On February 10th, 2012 the students in the grade 9 Geography of Canada course will in participating in Crestwood’s annual Multicultural Day celebration. This event allows for students to expand upon their understanding of the variety of cultures that have come together to help create the diversity that makes Canada so unique. Please come by to share in our students efforts! Groups will be researching assigned countries, creating visual displays of their countries, dressing in appropriate cultural attire and serving dishes that demonstrate their assigned country’s cuisine. The festivities will occur during junior and senior lunch (11:30am-1:30pm) on February 10th. Hope to see you there!
Crestwood School is a Gold Certified Eco School. Through the Ontario Eco Schools program students learn the importance of energy conservation, waste diversion, gardening and biodiversity. The school community works together to perform energy and waste audits, greening projects and composting.
Crestwood School has a dedicated Eco Team made up of Grade 3 to 6 students. Currently there are 74 members of the Eco Team! These students meet every Monday to discuss ways to “green” our school, field trips and educating our community. Members recycle every Wednesday and Friday. The Eco Team has implemented several campaigns including No Idling, Battery and Cell Phone recycling and Litterless Lunch.
As a community, we work together to improve the school’s natural environment. All students are required to pack a litterless lunch using reusable containers, cloth napkins and metal cutlery. Lunch waste is taken back home as part of our Boomerang Lunch program. Food waste is composted and added to our Learning Garden. Students and parents assist in the maintenance of our garden. Parents are asked to turn off car engines when stopped for more than 10 seconds. Plastic water bottles are a thing of the past at Crestwood as we have installed filtered tankless water systems thanks to the efforts of our Parents’ Association.
At Crestwood School we are proud of our green initiatives and aim to educate our community on ways of protecting our environment. We all believe it’s easy being green!
admin June 27th, 2012