Help us make our school library more inclusive!

As announced at the end of February, the PAC’s Hastings Anti-Racism Committee (HARC) is working with our Teacher Librarian, Erin Rickbeil and Iron Dog Books store (2671 E Hastings St) to launch a new project – a book drive to help make the school library more inclusive! We’d like to ask for everyone’s help in making our school library more representative of our school community.
We want to hear from everyone –  what books would you like to see added to the library? Help us diversify the library by making suggestions! We’ll also be raising funds to help with the purchase of some of these new books. There are many ways that everyone – students, teachers and families – can contribute!
    1.    Fill in our online form to tell us what topics or characters you’d like to see more of. And let us know if there is a particular book you’d like to see in the library
    2.    Students and teachers can visit the library to write down their book suggestions and put it in the box that Erin has set up. Or if they can’t make it to the library, they can also fill in the Book Drive form in Teams. For students, it will be posted in the All Students @ Hastings Elementary channel. For teachers, it will be in both the general staff and library channel.
    3.    ​Starting Thursday, Iron Dog Books ​will have a bin full of books that Erin has already selected as ones that she’d like to add to the library. Visit the store to look through the books and recommend ones you think should be prioritized or choose others from the store to recommend.
    4.    ​If possible, support the purchasing of some of these new books. Any amount helps! Also starting Thursday, you can donate to the dedicated Hastings Book Drive account at Iron Dog Books or purchase one of the books Erin has selected (Iron Dog will set them aside for the school). You can also donate ​at any time through the School Cash Online donation form by selecting ‘E-Hastings PAC’ and specifying ‘Book Drive’ in the message section.
Before making your suggestions, we would appreciate if you could please check if Hastings Library already has the title, author or subject you are interested in. Follow these steps to check the library catalogue:
    1.    Visit:
    2.    Choose “Hastings Community Elementary”
    3.    Search by keyword, author, title
    4.    “No matches found” message means the library does not have the title.
Suggestions will be taken throughout the month of March, so everyone can make as many submissions as they like. Please keep in mind that all suggestions should be to actively diversify the library catalogue. Keep an eye out for posters around the school about the book drive and talk about it with your friends. We want to hear from everyone at Hastings!
And speaking of books, who’s getting excited for the CBC’s annual battle of the books – Canada Reads. It’s happening all this week!  Whoot, whoot!
Thanks to everyone in advance for your support of this all important initiative!

Safe Online: Info that Clicks!


Speaker Series Volume 3: Parenting Online and Parental Controls Online

The PAC will present the third installment in our Speaker Series this year! Coming Tuesday, March 9th from 7-8pm,
join Merlyn Horton for an informative, engaging and useful look at
parenting online today and some immediately accessible tools and
techniques to manage our current challenges. A custom website, with
links to all resources and tools referenced in the webinar will be
provided to access to all. More info at

Reserve your tickets now. Please pay what you can afford. Donations to
cover the cost of the speaker are very much appreciated. Tickets available through Eventbrite now

Inspiring Stories and Resources

Happy Black History Month! And Happy Lunar New Year too!

Hastings Anti-racism Committee (HARC) has another week’s worth of inspiring stories and resources!

We hope you enjoyed all the stories from last week’s email and have shared some of what you learned with your kids. Now let’s dig in to this week’s stories!

1. Joe ‘Seraphim’ Fortes was so beloved by Vancouverites that more than 10,000 lined his funeral procession in 1922.
Learn More…

2. What you may have ‘learned’ about The Black Panthers may be far from the truth!
Learn More…

3. COINTELPRO was a counterintelligence agency that targeted and infiltrated groups that were deemed a threat to US politics. Both Martin Luther King and the Black Panthers were main focuses of the organization. One of COINTELPRO’s main core goals was to equate Black people and the civil rights movement as a constant, disruptive threat to white people and civil society. Sounds familiar!
Learn More…

4. Markiel Simpson is a local Black activist and a Hastings Elementary Alumnus(!) He works with the BC Community Alliance – an organization working hard to combat anti-black racism in BC schools. Listen to Markiel HERE
And donate to the BC Community Alliance’s important work

5. Maya Penn is an environmental activist, sustainable fashion designer and TED speaker, among many other talents….and she’s only 20 years old!
Learn More…

6. Visit Iron Dog Books, on Hastings St, to support local and pick up your next book by a Black author!
Follow their instagram for book suggestions
Connect with Iron Dog Books
Check out the VPL’s kids list

7. The Ensemble Theatre Company, in Vancouver, are running an online festival – Us: A Black Peoples Month Festival.
Learn More…

8. An online speaker’s event is happening this Friday at 10am! Changing The Narrative – is ideal for educators or anyone wanting to learn more about Black history in BC.
Learn More…
P.S. Some of our favorite kids’ books: A Place Inside of Me by Zetta Elliott, Happy to be Nappy by bell hooks, When Stars Are Scattered by Omar Mohamed & Victoria Jamieson, A Good Kind of Trouble by Lisa Moore Ramee. Tell us yours!

The PAC Celebrates Black History Month

Happy Black History Month!

It has been 26 years since the House of Commons officially recognized February as Black History Month in Canada. Despite history being formed by everyone – no matter the colour of their skin, systematic racism ensures that the stories that are told in society are those of the dominant – ie: white – culture. February has become a month to spotlight those stories that aren’t in our kids’ textbooks yet and to celebrate the accomplishments of Black people.
Over the next four weeks, the Hastings Anti-Racism Committee (HARC) will send out a weekly email with some of those stories. We encourage you, as parents, to bring some or all of these stories to your kids. They are interested to hear what you learn about too! If you are not already receiving PAC emails, simply subscribe to the enewsletter on this site or email
Also, come to HARC’s on-line meeting on Monday, March 1st and tell us what you learned and liked through these emails.

Speaker Series Volume 2

Mental Health and Wellness Tools for Children and Families during COVID

This online workshop explores the impact of COVID on the mental health of children & families, and provides tools to support better mental well being.

Date and Time
Thu, February 11, 2021
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM PST
About this Event
We are more connected today, than we have ever been in human history; however, in some ways we have never been lonelier. COVID has exacerbated this separation and has resulted in a mental health crisis, not only in Canada but globally, and this has particular implications for our children.
At this workshop, Ali will explore how our mental health is being impacted during these challenging times, and will introduce various clinical tools to support ourselves and our children. He will also focus on how to best provide a supportive environment for our children.
**This is a donation-based event and everyone is welcome. You may attend for free, or provide a donation that will help cover the costs of the speaker.**
About the Speaker
Over the last twenty years, Ali Afzali has had the privilege of working with and supporting individuals and groups in achieving their social and emotional goals. He have clinical experience in various sectors including child and youth mental health, addictions and foster care, and has extensive training in trauma, depression, anxiety, stress management, and relationship issues. As a father, he understands the struggles that come with parenting and is here to help you come up with positive, creative solutions.
For more information, go to
For planning purposes we appreciate if you can register ahead of time. Simply click below to secure your spot. We hope to see you there!

Speaker Series, Vol. 1 Michelle Wing

Wednesday, January 20, 2021 |7:00 – 8:00 pm | Zoom

We have a parent education speaker focused on anti-racism. On Wednesday, January 20th, from 7:00 – 8:00 pm, join Michelle Wing to discuss what is anti-blackness, decolonization and white fragility. She will also share how racism shows up in schools and how it can be addressed.

Cost: By donation (sliding scale of $0-$20)

Register now!

Anti-Racism Committee Meeting

Monday, January 18, 2021 | 7:00 – 8:15 pm | Zoom

Any Hastings parent or guardian who is interested in supporting the work of anti-racism in the PAC is invited to join.

The PAC is committed to supporting the work of anti-racism at Hastings. At the end of the last school year, the PAC issued a statement of support for standing against racism, and committing to playing a role in creating a safe, inclusive and equitable environment at the school. While some members of the PAC executive have had some initial conversations about how we can work towards this goal, we believe that this is important work that many parents may be interested in being involved in.

To this end, we are hosting a series of Zoom meetings. We are inviting any parents who are interested in sharing and brainstorming ideas about what kind of anti-racism work we can engage with together. We will collectively decide on some actions to move forward with and look at roles we can all play.

You are invited to join us for this important conversation.

Black Shirt Day

Friday, January 15, 2021

The Anti-Racism Coalition Vancouver (ARC) is proposing Black Shirt Day in B.C. schools for January 15th, in support of anti-racism, and to mark the date of Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday.

While Black Shirt Day won’t be an official event this year, ARC is working hard to make it a reality for 2022. This year’s inaugural event will be an important step in raising greater awareness of the civil rights struggle, and help foster solidarity against all forms of racism.

A small action can make a big difference. Join ARC to raise awareness this Friday, January 15th by wearing your black shirt.

Watch the segment from Global News.