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Games Day, Lunch and Learn, In-Person Meeting for Parents of BIPOC Children, Photos, and More!

Topics covered in this post:

Four singers perform on stage for music night
Art and Music Night 2022-2023

1. Games Day

Wednesday, May 31, 2023

We are delighted to be able to organize our annual JK to Gr 6 Games Day on the morning of Wednesday, May 31 (rain date is Thursday, June 1). Information will arrive home soon about “team colours”. Pairs of children from each class are grouped in multi-age teams and together they rotate through a series of fun challenges run by JICS staff such as limbo, Pictionary, bean bag toss, etc., in and out of the school. Snacks and drinks are kindly provided by the Parents’ Association and parent-volunteers.


2. Congratulations, Krista!

JICS’s Krista Spence awarded the Inaugural Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize

On May 23 in New York, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, an imprint of The Quarto Group announced that the inaugural winner of the Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize (FLCLP) is Krista Spence, Teacher-Librarian at the Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School in Toronto. The FLCLP award recognizes children’s or teen librarians in North America who champion diversity and inclusion in their collections and communities.

Krista Spence

Krista Spence’s work as a librarian and educator has focused on growing a thoughtful community of young readers and compassionate citizens. In a statement from the FLCLP committee, it’s noted that Spence “is a leader who embodies the values of diversity and inclusion within libraries but also understands the importance of centering the perspectives of BIPOC people for healing, reconciliation and a better world.” Her work has fostered genuine and respectful relationships with Indigenous partners in Toronto, highlighting Indigenous voices and knowledge when teaching young people. In addition to her work with children, Spence mentors University students and leads lectures and workshops on Indigenous collection development.

Dara Gonzales

Dara Gonzales, Children’s Services Coordinator of the Memphis Library Foundation, is the inaugural FLCLP honoree. In a statement from the FLCLP committee, Gonzales is described as “a marvelous example of how one person may use a position of power to do the most good for the most people.” Dara’s work extends to a variety of different capacities, from large scale equity audits of the collection, to creating designated sensory spaces for children on the autism spectrum in her libraries, and to establishing the Rainbow Family Storytime for LGBTQIA+ families—creating a space of support, notably during a tumultuous time in Tennessee.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to shine a spotlight on the incredible work of librarians like Krista Spence and Dara Gonzales. As book banning becomes more and more prevalent, we know that librarians are on the frontlines, championing diversity and inclusion across their collections and communities. We are glad to support this important work.” said Peter Marley, Publisher of Frances Lincoln Children’s Books.

The FLCLP is a part of the year-long events in celebration of the Frances Lincoln Children’s Books 40th anniversary. The founding publisher of FLCB was a trailblazer in diversity and inclusion in children’s books. She published books and authors that changed the face of children’s publishing forever, including seminal titles such as Amazing Grace (rights under Dial in the US) and Through My Window.

As a publisher of picture books and non-fiction for children that celebrate the richness and diversity of our world, FLCB continues to uphold its original core values of championing innovative creators, high-quality art and design and inclusivity. This includes #1 NYT best-seller This Book is Anti-Racist, the Little People, BIG DREAMS series, and award winners like Greta and the Giants, Race Cars, and The Great Big Body Book.

For further information on the Frances Lincoln Children’s Librarian Prize visit For press inquiries about the prize and Frances Lincoln Children’s Books 40th anniversary plans, please contact Mel Schuit at


The Quarto Group is the leading global publisher of illustrated books. Its children’s arm Quarto Kids is comprised of a portfolio of distinct imprints who publish diverse, educational and engaging books for children and the whole family.

The Quarto Group sells its products globally in over 50 countries and 40 languages and employs c.330 people in the US and the UK. The group was founded in London in 1976. It is domiciled in the US and listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: QRT).

For more information, visit or follow us on social media at @TheQuartoGroup and @QuartoKids.


Krista Spence has been a Library and Technology Teacher at Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study Laboratory School for over fifteen years. She holds an Honors Bachelor of Arts in World Literature and Religion, a Master of Arts in Education, and is a Registered Early Childhood Educator, and has done an additional qualifications course in First Nations, Metis, and Inuit Education. Krista is currently a guest lecturer for the University Master’s program, and she is participating in two research studies, one about bringing Indigenous perspectives into land-based programs, and another about the appropriateness of doing 'Land Acknowledgements' or 'Thanksgiving Address' when the school gathers for assemblies.


3. Lunch and Learn with Ellie

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | 12:30–1:30pm

Lunch & Learn Series with JICS Social Worker Ellie Lathrop

Join us for the last JICS Lunch and Learn of this year on Tuesday May 30th, from 12:30 to 1:30.

Ellie is joined in the discussion with Richard and Chriss to talk about School Home Collaboration. We will discuss JICS philosophy and practice regarding 'mis' behaviour and responding to child concerns, highlight some strategies used to support children at school, share the purpose and hopes from school when communicating about your child's behaviour, and discuss suggestions on how to support your child with concerns or lagging skills. As always, we will have a 30 min recorded talk, followed by 30 min of unrecorded discussion and questions.

Ellie, Richard, and Chriss


4. In-Person Meeting for Parents of BIPOC Children at JICS

Tuesday, May 30, 2023 | 7:00–8:30pm at JICS, rm 120

Created by JICS parents for JICS parents, this meeting is designed for conversation and advocacy for families at JICS with BIPOC children. All parents of a BIPOC student at JICS are welcome, including those that have never been to a meeting before.

This is the final meeting for the 2022-2023 school year. It will be in person at JICS in Rm 120. Snacks will be provided.

Looking forward to seeing you there!


5. Message from Ellie, JICS Social Worker

Dear Parents,

It has been a great pleasure to offer the Roots of Empathy Program (ROE) in partnership with Raadiyah's Grade 1 class this year. We were thrilled to have Baby Owen, as our teacher and witness his growth and development. Owen is the son of our very own Nick Song, Special Education Teacher (and tech wizard) and Becky, also a Teacher (and talented musician). The Roots of Empathy program demonstrates the power of a secure attachment relationship between infant and parent – the first and most powerful model of empathy and uses this relationship to support children's understanding and experience of themselves and one another. The program runs from Sept/Oct - May/June and includes a total of 27 classroom visits over the course of the year, including 9 visits with parent(s) and baby.

Photo of father, mother, and baby in classroom
We are looking for a parent and baby volunteer for next school year

I would love to be able to offer this program again next year at JICS. To do that, we are looking for a parent and baby volunteer. Because of the nature of the ROE program, and the focus on observing and responding to baby during the first year of development, ROE babies must be between 2-4 months of age at the start of the program, September/October 2023 (born between June - August, 2023).

Please reach out to me if you are interested in joining.




6. Art and Music Night Celebration

Last night was a spectacular celebration of the Arts at JICS. The school was transformed into an art gallery and concert hall. The creativity, joy, collaboration, and talent displayed by the students was incredible. The night felt extra special as it was the first time in four years that we've been able to gather as a community for Art and Music Night. You would have never guessed that it was many students first time performing in front of such a large audience. A huge round of applause to every performer!

We want to thank and congratulate Tara, Suzanne, and Russel for being the creative forces behind this night. Thank you for your work in helping prepare for last night and for all the work you do every day in bringing the Arts to the JICS students in such a meaningful way.

We have always believed that education in the arts is essential to students’ intellectual, social, physical, and emotional growth and well-being. The Arts provide a natural vehicle through which students can explore and express themselves and whereby they can discover and interpret the world around them. It is well researched that the intellectual and emotional development of children is enhanced by the study of the Arts.

Last night, we raised $630 in cash donations and $51.95 online for The Patrick Harvie Arts Fund which enhances the arts education and arts experiences for the students of the Lab School by involving professionals from the arts community. Thank you to everyone who donated!

If you wish to contribute, you may donate here:


7. JICS Hot Dog Night: Fun-filled Entertainment and a Call for Volunteers

Wednesday, June 7, 2023 | 6:00 – 8:00pm

Join us for our cherished annual JICS Hot Dog Night event!

Hot Dog Night Poster with event info

About the event:

What: casual community celebration with food and games. Please note that Hot Dog Night is a dry event this year.

Who: all JICS families and teachers

Where: Lab School gym (and surrounding areas)

When: Wednesday, June 7th 6:00-8:00pm

Cost: $20 for adults, $8 for kids, or a maximum of $56 for the whole family

Please purchase your tickets online and in advance to avoid line-ups and delays. Early purchase will also help the organizers plan for food and activities. Please save your confirmation email to present at the door for entry (proof of purchase will be electronic to avoid paper waste).


Call for Parent Volunteers:

We have many fun activities and a lot of delicious food planned for Hot Dog Night! The event will take place inside the school (due to playground construction) and entertainment will include face painting and temporary tattoos, a magician, and a scavenger hunt with many more activities and games taking place in the gym and around the school. Get your tickets soon! Buy tickets online here.

Volunteers are crucial to making this parent-led event a success!

In addition to helping run activities inside the gym and in special activity stations throughout the school, we’ll also need assistance with admissions; food and drink service; set-up; and clean up. Please sign up here to help bring this JICS treasured event to life!:


Please note tickets will also be sold at the door cash only at a cost of $20 for adults, $8 for children.


8. June Camp

Monday, June 19, 2023 – Thursday, June 29, 2023

If you are interested in learning more about the DayCare’s June Camp, please refer to the May 11 POST. The deadline to register is June 2.


9. Photos from the Week at JICS

a. Clay Day

Last Friday, Paul Stewart visited JICS to teach the Junior Grades how to use pottery wheels to make ceramics. It was a huge success and every student left with their very own bowl.

This visit was made possible by parent donations to the Patrick Harvie Arts Fund. Thank you to everyone who has donated for making experiences like this possible for the students!


b. Grade Two Sculptures with Joanie Ellen

Last week, the Grade Twos worked with Joanie Ellen (parent of Clyde and Roscoe) to create life-form sculptures from alternate models and plaster. It was fantastic! Thank you Joanie for making this possible.


c. Other photos from the week


10. Upcoming May Events

May is Asian Heritage Month

Thur 25 to Sat 27 – Shavuot

Tues 30 – Parents of BIPOC children meeting (rsvp here)

Tues 30 – Lunch and Learn with Ellie (register here)

Wed 31 – Games Day


11. Upcoming June Events

Canada's National Indigenous History Month & World Pride Month

Fri 2Deadline to register for ICS Daycare June Camp (June 19-29)

Wed 7 – Hot Dog Night (Info and Tickets)

Thur 15 – Grade 6 Graduation

Fri 16 – Last day of school. Noon dismissal. (Daycare open until 6:00pm)

Mon 19 to Thur 29 – Daycare June Camp

Fri 23 – Report Cards posted online

Fri 30 – UofT President’s Day (all UofT closed, including JICS building)





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