Join us in welcoming Leah, our newest addition to the team at Creating Together! Leah begins today, and we are so thrilled to have her. Below is a letter from Leah, introducing herself and sharing her background, interests, and passion for community.
Hello Creating Together Community!
This is Leah Shoemaker, my pronouns are she/her and I am writing you from my home in Parkdale, Tkaronto/Toronto. I am so excited to be joining the Creating Together community although I admit it is one of the strangest times to start a new job. Not being able to physically introduce myself and get to know you all is going to be a challenge, but it is not impossible. I will be making an introduction video for the Facebook page and would love it if you left a hello comment for me to read! I would love to hear from you on what kind of support I can provide for your family as we move through the pandemic.
I moved to Toronto just over two years ago to continue my education in the field of early childhood studies. In my studies I focused my own research on children’s relationship with nature and continue to think about the ways that children build relationships with more-than-humans such as plants, sky, rocks, animals, etc. and how these aspects of the world are important and valuable.
As I get to know you all over virtual programming, I hope to share with you the different aspects of nature in Parkdale that have helped me heal from the trauma and difficulty that has come with living through a global pandemic. My work with children and families prioritizes joy and healing and I know that it is important to recognize the difficulty that we are all collectively going through currently. We don’t have to pretend everything is okay when we get together online – but we can think about how important it is to come together to build community in new and different ways.
Before living in Toronto I worked in childcare centres and as a librarian in the small, rural town of Invermere B.C. situated in Ktunaxa Nation nestled between the Purcell and Rocky mountain ranges. I will tell you more about my home town during virtual programming and introduce you to my cat, Tara, as well as some of my houseplants! I am also a big Toronto Raptors fan – Go Raps, Go! I can’t wait to read stories, sing songs, play games, and share moments with you over the coming weeks.
Outside of my time working with the Creating Together team I am also an advocate for national universal childcare, children’s rights, and anti-racist, anti-oppressive education in the early years! Families and children are such important parts of community and contribute so much to society. I look forward to spending time with and learning from you!
I hope to see you online!