ETFO partners with Ontario Science Centre, ROM for June 5 public event
TORONTO, ON – This June, the Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario (ETFO) will partner with education-focused institutions including the Ontario Science Centre, Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), Toronto Public Library and others in a mass event to demonstrate the value of play-based learning for children.
Thousands of families and children are expected to participate in The Ultimate Block Party, a free event to be held June 5th at Toronto’s Fort York National Historic Site. Presented by ETFO, the event is modelled after the very successful Ultimate Block Party held in New York’s Central Park last October.
“We’re proud to be working with partners like the Ontario Science Centre, ROM and Toronto Public Libraries to engage kids and demonstrate to parents that play is what feeds children’s brain growth,” said ETFO President Sam Hammond. “Play-based learning is not only a key part of Ontario’s new full-day Kindergarten program; research tells us that play is how children learn throughout elementary school.”
With a site map in hand, children aged 3 to 13 and their families will tour and participate in over 20 play centres presented by educational partners including community-based organizations, children’s theatrical companies, universities and colleges, and others involved in early learning and elementary education. Along with an author’s corner featuring well-known children’s writers, there will be an interactive stage area featuring a variety of artists.
“The evidence is clear that play-based learning fosters creativity, initiative, collaboration and problem-solving,” added Hammond. “The Ultimate Block Party is not only going to be fun; parents will gain a better understanding of how to be a partner in their children’s play-based learning at home.”
A leading advocate for the science of play, ETFO has developed a significant body of professional learning for teachers and early childhood educators to develop and implement play-based curriculum in Ontario elementary public school classrooms.
The Elementary Teachers’ Federation of Ontario represents 76,000 elementary public school teachers and education professionals across the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.