Winter 2021
DCPIC Newsletter
The Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee is a statutory committee of the Durham Catholic District School Board. Our goal is to make parental engagement a priority by providing ongoing support on a system-wide basis and promoting communication and dialogue between school councils, the Board and members of the community.
Message from DCPIC Chair
Melissa Bevan - Chair of DCPIC
I trust that your children have continued to thrive through this school year whether your family routine is online or back in class now that schools have re-opened. This year has certainly challenged us to be flexible and open to learning in new ways. 

Throughout this Year of Love, DCPIC continues to remain committed to providing opportunities for parent engagement across our Board. 
So far we have journeyed with parents through the Advent Season with our online Advent Calendar, and had close to 250 participants in our Edsby Parent Workshop which was offered earlier this month. 
As the Lenten Season is beginning with Ash Wednesday this week, I invite your family to participate in our family Lenten craft activities. We will be posting six Lenten craft videos - one for each week of Lent.

Visit our website ( or follow us on Twitter (@DCPIC) for more information and for Lenten and Easter craft activities that you can do at home. 
If you have any questions, please email me at

Yours in Faith,
Melissa Bevan
Chair, Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Committee
Faith Formation
Lenten Calendar and Activities
palm leaf, cross, nail and crown of thorn
February 17 marks the start of Lent with Ash Wednesday and this year, DCDSB's Faith department has created an online Lenten calendar for students and families to follow and complete daily activities.

To support this initiative, our committee is offering virtual Lenten craft nights using materials in your home. We will be creating short videos which will be posted to our website and to our Twitter page @DCPIC.

We welcome you to send a photo of your completed craft project each week to us at along with the name and age of your child. We also invite you to tag us on Twitter @DCPIC with photos of your finished crafts. Each week we will be doing a random draw from the submissions for e-gift cards.
Holy Family Parish Podcast Series
Holy Family Parish in Whitby has a series of podcasts from Father Laszlo that we wanted to share. The most recent podcast is titled Back to School: Calming our Kid's Fears.

Screenshot of podcast from Holy Family Parish website
Mental Health
Parenting During COVID-19 – Taking Care of Your Own Mental Health
Taking care of yourself is especially important during this challenging time. By doing so, you are helping yourself be the best caregiver you can be, and also providing a positive example for your children to follow.  
Here are some tips for taking care of your mental health during COVID-19: 
  • Take breaks from watching news stories about COVID-19. Too much negative news can contribute to anxiety and can actually change our world view.

  • Practice healthy social media habits. Set boundaries on how often you engage with social media platforms, to protect your mental health.

  • Look after your physical health. Aim to get 7 to 9 hours of sleep each night, nourish your body, hydrate, and stay active - preferably outdoors, when weather permits.

  • Try to maintain a routine during the day, even though your routine may not be exactly the same as before. Routines can help us feel more in control and centered.

  • Connect with your own support network through virtual chats and phone calls.

  • Set aside time to engage with hobbies and things that bring you joy.

  • Try to fit mindful practices into your daily routine to help calm anxiety and reduce stress.

  • Last, but not least, reach out to professional supports as needed:
  • Wellness Together Canada connects you to mental health and substance use support, resources, and free virtual counselling with a mental health professional: click here for website.

  • The Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA) has information, resources, and provides free wellness programs such as BounceBack.

Male adult reading
Female adult painting
Male adult taking pictures
Black Mental Health Day is on Monday, March 1, 2021
Join us for a workshop with Asante Haughton
Date: March 1, 2021 
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.
Speaker name: Asante Haughton
Title:  Blacked Out: Impacts of Race on Mental Health 
Workshop Description:  
Asante Haughton has an abundance of experience thinking about, writing about and talking about race and mental health. In this talk, Asante will share his experiences, wisdom and knowledge of all the obvious, and not so obvious ways race and racism impact how we think about and access mental health. Asante hopes that his presentation will resonate with those who share similar experiences moving through the world and for those who don't, Asante hopes it will open eyes in such a way as to promote conversations and more importantly action from non-Black allies. 

For more information on Black Mental Health Day, pease visit:
Meeting Dates
Parents and guardians are welcome to attend our Durham Catholic Parent Involvement Meetings. Our meetings are currently being held virtually at 7:30 p.m. on the dates below. Visit our website for the link to upcoming meetings.

  • March 4, 2021
  • April 8, 2021
  • May 6, 2021
  • June 10, 2021