Summerside Public School Iftar Brings Community Together

Summerside Public School Iftar Brings Community Together
Posted on 04/17/2024
Summerside Public School Iftar Brings Community Together

From March 10th until April 9th, many students, staff, and families in the OCDSB community observed Ramadan – a period of prayer, fasting, charity-giving and self-accountability for Muslims all over the world. 

During Ramadan, Muslims gather at sunset for a meal called the Iftar, which means “fast-breaking.” Several schools across the OCDSB hosted Iftar gatherings in collaboration with families, Muslim student associations, and community partners. We caught up with one of these schools to learn more about their experience.

In March, Summerside Public School organized an Iftar event that welcomed students, families, and friends for an evening of community and connection. Families were invited to bring traditional foods from their cultures to share. The school provided a large prayer space in the gymnasium for those wishing to pray as they were breaking their fast after sunset. Close to 250 people from multiple generations were in attendance!

This event was a collaborative effort, made possible by Summerside’s administrative, teaching and custodial staff; staff from the District’s Equity and Family & Community Engagement departments; and the school’s Multicultural Liaison Officer. Dedicated parent and student volunteers provided meals and prayer mats, and volunteered their time to support the clean-up. 

Masjid Bilal, a community-oriented Muslim organization in Orleans, generously donated $1,000 of delicious catered dishes to support the potluck. Imam Mohammed Badat from Masjid Bilal has supported several other learning experiences at the school, including a meeting with the Islamic Excellence Club, a staff tour of the masjid, and an information session for parents and staff, where Imam Badat spoke about respect and acceptance of diversity.

Families who attended the Iftar expressed their gratitude for the event and shared how special it is for their children's religious and cultural identities to be celebrated at Summerside. They also mentioned how happy they were to meet neighbours and fellow families at an event that brought the community together. 

Students were proud to show off their school to their parents and celebrate the Iftar with generosity and camaraderie. The event highlighted the school’s ongoing work to foster intercultural understanding and create a community of acceptance, engagement, and belonging.

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