|EMSB FORMALLY LAUNCHES NEW KINDERgarten PROGRAM|
MONTREAL, SEPTEMBER 1, 2015 - English Montreal School Board Violence Prevention Consultant Daphna Leibovici and Ethics Consultant Anne-Marie De Silva visited a kindergarten class at Elizabeth Ballantyne School in Montreal West on the first day of school to support the new KINDERgarten program, aimed at combatting bullying and acts of aggression while fostering compassion and acts of kindness.
Kindergarten teachers from Elizabeth Ballantyne School, along with six other elementary schools across the EMSB, are anong the first to participate in the program by sharing their experiences, ideas, classroom activities, and best practices with the program development team.
The EMSB has received a professional development grant for the 2015-16 school year to develop a repertoire of selected activities for kindergarten teachers to use from day one of the academic year to sensitize children to acts of kindness, promote good values, build empathy and compassion, and to stand up for others when witnessing acts of aggression. Evidence-based practices of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) will be used as the basis. The repertoire will be made up of existing resources and best practices, compiled by K teachers. Teachers will be offered concrete ideas and activities for developing social and emotional learning in their students, to help students master the skills of building empathy, making responsible decisions and developing healthy and positive relationships. Research has shown that development of such skills lead to better academic performance and success in school and in life (Carthy Foundation; 2013). Teaching children about social values and kindness can improve classroom environments and student behavior, and reduce stress for the teachers. Practicing kindness in the classroom can transform entire school cultures as well.
The KINDergarten development team consists of kindergarten teachers Jackie Dare (Parkdale), Carole Bergamin (Our Lady of Pompeii), Sharon Friedmann (Elizabeth Ballantyne), Nancy Omobono (Honoré Mercier), Melanie Dignard (Westmount Park), Maria Bonadonna (Michelangelo) and Imma Ieraci (Michellangelo). The consulants are Ms. De Silva and Ms. Leibovici.
Michael J. Cohen