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MONTREAL, DECEMBER 12, 2013 – Anchored by the throngs of volunteers from the St. Laurent Adult Centre, the English Montreal School Board, along with CTV Montreal, once again completed a successful Spirit of Giving Campaign.

A total of 40 schools and centers participated in this year’s campaign, collecting non-perishable goods, toiletries and toys for nine different charities: Share The Warmth, West Island Assistance Fund, Renaissance Montreal, Multicaf, Parc Extension Share Store, Le Bon Dieu Dans La Rue, the N.D.G. Food Depot, Batshaw Youth and Family Services and La Mosaique. 

In all, the combined efforts of the EMSB, its schools and facilities generated over 600 boxes of non-perishable food, and over 40,000 toys and miscellaneous items. These boxes were then transported by the Canadian Grenadier Guards to the St. Laurent Adult Centre where their students volunteered to sort and categorize the donations.

The following schools and centres participated in the 2013 Spirit of Giving campaign: James Lyng High School in St. Henri; Rosemount High School and Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount; St. Dorothy in St. Michel; Dalkeith Elementary and the Almage 50+ Community Centre in AnjouEdward Murphy School in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve; Cedarcrest, Gardenview and Parkdale Elementary Schools, St. Laurent Adult Centre and Annex, and LaurenHill Academy (Senior Campus) in St. Laurent; St. Monica Elementary School in N.D.G.; Coronation Elementary School in Cote-des-Neiges; Dunrae Gardens and Carlyle Elementary School in the Town of Mont-Royal; Elizabeth Ballantyne in Montreal West; Sinclair Laird in Park Extension; East Hill and Michelangelo Elementary Schools in Riviere-des-Prairies; Merton Elementary School and Mountainview School in Côte St. Luc; Hampstead Elementary School; St. Pius Adult Centre, John Caboto Academy and Our Lady of Pompei in Ahuntsic; Galileo Adult Centre, Gerald McShane Elementary School and Lester B. Pearson High School in Montreal North; Dante, Leonardo Da Vinci Centre, Honoré Mercier, Pierre de Coubertin and General Vanier Elementary Schools as well as the Centre Leonardo Da Vinci, John Paul I and Laurier Macdonald High Schools in St. Léonard.

“Our students responded tremendously,” said Marysa Barassi, Principal of the St. Laurent Adult Centre. “They have rolled up their sleeves and they are providing a great service to the community by completing the wonderful collection efforts which took place across our school board.”

Highlights of the campaign included:

The St. Dorothy Elementary School Soccer Tournament, as summarized by Anita Fiore:

Loud, exciting, inspiring and energizing were just a few of the words used to describe the St. Dorothy  Soccer Tournament which featured 7 teams of students, 4 teams of parents and the team of teachers named The Dream Team! The spectators made up of students, staff and parents cheered and motivated the athletes throughout the games.

After many games, one of the parent teams won the finals.  The day’s activities were meant to bring home the message that the winners were everyone who came together in a Spirit of Giving and brought non-perishable food to be donated to the different food banks. 

We were privileged to have Christine Long from CTV who came to highlight our school’s efforts to help the less fortunate.
Dante Elementary School, as summarized by Vince Lacroce:

Students at Dante Elementary School had a friendly Teachers vs Students volleyball game in honour of another successful Spirit of Giving Campaign. It was a close game but the cycle 3 students where edged out by the teachers by a score of 21 to 17. This year, Dante raised over 15 boxes of non-perishable food items, clothing and toys for those less fortunate in our community. A special thank you to Dante Elementary School’s Student Council members, Mr. Vince Lacroce,  Spiritual Community Animator, Mr. Ryan Grad, Physical Education Teacher, and Ms. Ida Pisano, Principal at Dante School, for spearheading this fantastic activity.

Galileo Adult Centre, as summarized by Martina Schiavone:

The students and teachers of Galileo special needs celebrated the Holiday Spirit by participating in CTV news’ The Spirit of Giving. They made a list, checked it twice and walked to the grocery store to fill their baskets with non-perishable foods to give.

Every week, the students from the special needs program serve Galileo and Rosemount staff and students with freshly made baked goods, coffee, tea, and hot chocolate.

Their hard work combined with their holiday spirit prompted the decision to donate a percentage of their profit from the Galileo café. That donation was then matched by a teacher and allowed the students to fill a box of donations to be placed under the Galileo tree.  Students at Galileo Adult Centre  filled up 25 boxes!

East Hill Elementary School, as summarized by Rocco Speranza:

For over a month, students and staff at East Hill School have been collecting non-perishable food items for the Spirit of Giving campaign. 

This year the school tried a new way of encouraging the students to bring in items: staff members volunteered to be the “Elf of the Day” and go around the school visiting classes in order to collect the items using grocery carts.  Students also received a visit from their interim Vice Principal Mrs. Nadia Barrafato and their Spiritual and Community Animator, Rocco Speranza. Both explained to them the project and the importance of aiding those in need during the holidays and during the rest of the year.

The carts severed as a visual to the students, demonstrating that empty carts during the holidays are a reality for many. Students were encouraged to fill them in order to aid those in need. Students and staff got into the spirit of the holidays, many sang carols in the hallways as the Elf of the Day made their rounds collecting the donations with their grocery carts. By the end of the campaign, students and staff collected just over 4500 items.  

A great big thank-you to all teachers who volunteered to be Elf of the Day, as well as to all the students, staff and parents who aided the school’s efforts to bring joy, peace and love to those in need. Finally, a special thank-you to our community partner: Metro Plus St. Jean Baptisite and their manager, Mr. Milton, for providing us with the three grocery carts and aprons.

During the campaign, CTV also held eight live lunch-hour broadcasts from EMSB schools as well as one live 6:00 broadcast from the St. Laurent Adult Centre. To view these broadcasts, please follow this link:

To view EMSB TV’s 2013 recap video, please follow this link:



Michael J. Cohen
Communications and Marketing Specialist
English Montreal School Board
Tel: (514) 483-7200 ext. 7243
Fax: (514) 483-7213