Closing the Opportunity Gap for Racialized and Under-Resourced Communities through the Community School Initiative

Event Date: 
Thursday, December 9, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm EST
Event Location: 
Online event

This webinar will share findings from a SSSHRC funded project titled "COVID-19: Closing the Achievement Gap through Remote Learning for Children and Youth in Racialized and Under-Resourced Communities". The Community School Initiative is a partnership between the Youth Association for Academics, Athletics, and Character Education (YAAACE) and Spirit of Math offering extra-curricular supplementary programs outside of school hours. The goal of the program is to close the opportunity gap for racialized and under-resourced communities. The program offers the Spirit of Math curriculum to students in grades two to eight supported by parents, coaches, and Ontario Certified Teachers (OCT). Findings indicate that the achievement gap can be closed by focusing on minimizing the opportunity gap by creating access to high quality educational programs that align curriculum with the needs of the community. For more information:


Dr. Ardavan Eizadirad (@DrEizadirad) is an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Education at Wilfrid Laurier University. He is an educator with the Toronto District School Board, author of Decolonizing Educational Assessment: Ontario Elementary Students and the EQAO (2019), and co-editor of Equity as Praxis in Early Childhood Education and Care (2021). Dr. Eizadirad is co-editing two books forthcoming in 2022 titled Counternarratives of Pain and Suffering as Critical Pedagogy: Disrupting Oppression in Educational Contexts and the International Handbook of Anti-Discriminatory Education. He is also the founder and director of EDIcation Consulting offering equity, diversity, and inclusion training to organizations. His research interests include equity, standardized testing, systems of accountability, community engagement, anti-oppressive practices, critical pedagogy, social justice education, resistance, subversion, and decolonization.

Brice Baartman (@bricebaartman) is a Canadian/South African student in his 2nd year in the Master of Teaching program at the University of Toronto. His BA in Sociology is from Ryerson University, and he has a College Certificate in Pre-Health Sciences from George Brown College. He has been working and volunteering with children and youth in under-resourced communities for over 10 years through the Community Healing Project, People's Elite Basketball, Stella's Place, the Kiwanis Boys and Girls Club, Green Thumbs Growing Kids, the Toronto District School Board, and other organizations in the Greater Toronto Area. His research interests include financial literacy education, mental health, anti-discriminatory practices, asset-based community development (ABCD), and social justice education. On his spare time Brice enjoys going on long bicycle rides, reading, playing basketball, going on hikes, and watching anime.

Sally Abudiab is a Palestinian Canadian who recently completed her Master of Science at the Rehabilitation Sciences Institute (2019) and a Bachelor of Science in Mental Health Studies at the University of Toronto (2016). Currently, she is doing her Master of Social Work at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work. She has experience working with organizations at various levels including non-profits such as the Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation and Daughters for Life, and governmental agencies such as the Department of National Defence. Her research interests include disability studies, equity and social justice, health and wellbeing, and the experiences of athletes. During her spare time, Sally enjoys rollerblading, baking, and clearing the clutter.

Devon Jones is the founder of Youth Association for Academics, Athletics, and Character Education (YAAACE) and educator with the Toronto District School Board

The CBRCanada webinar is part of a 8 part series: Community-Based Research & COVID-19: Addressing Widening Inequities and Amplifying Community-based Visions for Change. One week following the webinar, we will host a live discussion facilitated by presenters.

The zoom link will be emailed out to prior to the event.***

We hope to see there!

The CBRCanada Team



***This event is for CBRCanada members only. If you are employed, studying, or affiliated with any CBRCanada member institution, you are already considered a member. If you are unsure if your institution is covered, learn more here. Individuals whose institution is not on this list are welcome to register as an an individual member.