The Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) is offering free online speaker sessions for parents and caregivers. These events are designed to engage, equip and energize parents and caregivers in getting through the rest of the school year.

Registration is required for each session you are interested in attending.

The events are supported by the Ontario Parents Reaching Out (PRO) Regional Grant.

Session #1

Date: Wednesday, April 7, 2021
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Theme: Energize Your Thinking


  • Rob Bebenek – Opening Comedy Act

Rob is a home-grown comedic talent who was a WRDSB student and is now entertaining people with the lighter side of life. To learn more about Rob, visit his website.
  • Jennifer Kolari, MSW, RSW – Parenting is an inside job: Helping your child to thrive with connected parenting.

One of the nation’s leading parenting experts, Jennifer Kolari is a child and family therapist and author of Connected Parenting: How To Raise A Great Kid and You’re Ruining My Life! (But Not Really) Surviving the Teenage Years with Connected Parenting. Jennifer’s wisdom, quick wit and down-to-earth style help parents navigate our modern-day parenting struggles, offering real-life examples and practical strategies. To learn more about Jennifer, visit her website.

Register for this event.

Session #2

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021
Time: 7 – 8:30 p.m.
Theme: Engage


  • Dr. Jean Clinton, BMus MD FRCP(C) – Resilience: How can we support our kids and ourselves in these challenging times?

Dr. Jean Clinton is a Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences at McMaster, division of Child Psychiatry. She is on staff at McMaster Children’s Hospital with cross appointments in Pediatrics and Family Medicine, and an Associate in the Department of Child Psychiatry at Sick Children’s Hospital. She is a Fellow of the Child Trauma Academy, as well as a Zero to Three Academy Fellow since 2013. She has been a consultant to children and youth mental health programs, child welfare, and primary care for over 30 years. Dr. Clinton was appointed as an education advisor to the Premier of Ontario and the Minister of Education 2014 – 2018.

Dr. Clinton is renowned nationally and internationally as an advocate for children’s issues. Her special interest lies in brain development, and the crucial role relationships and connectedness play. Jean champions the development of a national, comprehensive child well-being strategy including a system of early learning and care for all young children and their families. She is equally committed to ensuring that children’s and youths’ needs and voices are heard and respected.

Dr. Clinton has also authored her first book, Love Builds Brains which can be ordered online through Tall Pines Press, on Amazon and in book stores everywhere. To learn more about Dr. Clinton, visit her website.

Register for this event.

Session #3

Date: Saturday, April 10, 2021
Time: 9 – 11:30 a.m.
Theme: Engage and Equip


  • Jonathan Hood – How to Thrive and Feel Alive during tough times: A mental health, wellness and inspiration session.

Jonathan Hood is a former linebacker and top special teams player in the Canadian Football League (CFL). During his athletic career in the CFL, Jonathan finished his Master’s degree at Western University, and became a motivational speaker, leadership coach, and youth mentor. Jonathan created the non-profit organization called Ahead of the Game to focus on youth empowerment based on the research on physical activity adherence and support during his Master’s degree in kinesiology from Western University. The formal mission of the organization is “to provide ‘side-lined’ (marginalized) youth with the support, motivation and resources they need to succeed, while increasing their self-confidence, and developing leadership skills to help them take charge of their lives and become engaged, contributing members of their community” ( Jonathan completed a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree in psychology at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Jonathan is now currently completing a doctoral degree in the Faculty of Kinesiology and Physical Education at the University of Toronto. With these academic and professional activities overlapping over thplease e years, Jonathan has been able to use research to inform his professional activities, while also using his leadership and advocacy to inform his research interests. His current research includes engaging young people in community based participatory research (CBPR) methods to design and facilitate mixed methods research projects in their communities. He also takes a scientific approach to the corporate world where he uses his skills as a researcher to help organizations (including charities) with curriculum development, program evaluation, organizational culture, leadership training, and sustainable practices. Jonathan is a sessional instructor and co-supervises thesis students at the University of Guelph-Humber. To learn more about Jonathan, visit his website.
  • Selam Debs – Anti-racism Workshop.

Selam Debs is an Ethiopian antiracism educator, an anti-oppression coach, a social justice advocate, a student in dismantling anti-Black racism, an accomplice in dismantling anti-Indigenous racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia and a believer in LGBTQ2S+ & disability rights through an intersectional lens.

Selam Debs is the founder of Juici Yoga, a yoga and meditation instructor, a restorative yoga teacher trainer, a holistic life coach, a reiki master, and a Lululemon Ambassador.
Selam Debs is first and foremost, A MOTHER. I am a singer and a songwriter, a poet and a practitioner of self-acceptance, self-love, and radical compassion.

Selam Debs’ antiracism work is rooted in the understanding that we must acknowledge and identify the insidiousness of white supremacy before we can dismantle colonial belief systems. The process of undoing, unlearning and re-educating is necessary for white communities to embark on, to support the healing journey for our racialized communities.

To learn more about Selam, visit her website.

Register for this event.

If you require translation or other assistance to participate in these sessions, please contact PIC at or 519-570-0003 ext. 4555.