MONTREAL, OCTOBER 5, 2015 – This school year, in four English Montreal School Board B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycares, 22 Secondary IV students from Vincent Massey Collegiate (VMC) in Rosemount will be participating in the Supporting Children as Leaders through Play it Fair Program.
The program is spearheaded by the B.A.S.E. Daycare program, the EMSB Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service and Equitas–the International Centre for Human Rights Education. Equitas received a $30,000 from the Canada Post Community Foundation to put into place this exciting new project.
More than 200 children aged five to 12 participating in the B.A.S.E. afterschool programs at four elementary schools – Dante , Gerald McShane , Michelangelo and Pierre Elliott Trudeau – will take part in weekly Play it Fair! activities run by the 22 VMC students. The high school students received a two-hour training in the Play it Fair! curriculum in order to facilitate the rights and values activities with the daycare students and were also provided with a detailed outline to guide them. The hours spent running the programs in the B.A.S.E. daycares
will count towards the VMC students’ community service hours.
The Supporting Children as Leaders through Play it Fair initiative will run from October to April 2016. During the fall session (October to December), the VMC students will take on a leadership role as they lead weekly activities and group discussions that promote cooperation, inclusion, leadership, respect for diversity, acceptance, anti‐bullying and peaceful conflict resolution. All VMC students will be supported by B.A.S.E. educators who received the same Play it Fair! training during the 2014-2015 school year.
The initiative is designed to build self-confidence, a sense of belonging, and concrete leadership skills within B.A.S.E. students so they can actively participate in their community. Therefore, during the winter semester (January to April), each participating B.A.S.E. school will receive a grant ($1,000) to support a child-led Community Action Project (CAP). This CAP is a concrete opportunity for children to put their knowledge and skills into practice and lead an action project that has a positive impact in their school; step by step project outlines will be provided. A training workshop on implementing a CAP will be provided in January 2016 for VMC students and key B.A.S.E. staff. B.A.S.E. staff will retain overall responsibility for the grant and realization of the CAP, while the VMC students will take the lead on the week-to-week activities related to the community action project.
Collaborating with Equitas in this project is just one of the ways that the EMSB B.A.S.E. Program and the Spiritual and Community Animation Service supports the social and emotional development of the children and youth they serve, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to become leaders in their communities. The Play it Fair! program has been present in B.A.S.E. daycares since 2012.
“Everyone is responsible for taking on a leadership role when educating youth about human rights and values,” says Jennifer De Freitas, Project Development Officer for the EMSB’s B.A.S.E. Program. “We are extremely delighted to have EMSB high school students facilitate Play it Fair! activities with the children in four of our B.A.S.E. Daycares. It is very empowering to see teenagers teaching our youth.”
“We are thrilled to receive the support of the Canada Post Community Foundation for this project that will empower young Montrealers to become leaders in making their schools and neighbourhoods better places to be,” says Ian Hamilton, Equitas Executive Director. Developed in Montreal, Equitas’ award-winning Play it Fair! program now reaches over 100,000 children a year in 34 communities across Canada.
“The work of the Spiritual and Community Animator promotes and develops the values of cooperation, inclusion, leadership, respect for diversity, acceptance, anti‐bullying and peaceful conflict resolution,” says Frank Lofeodo, Consultant for Guidance and Spiritual and Community Animation. “Developing these values is the inner quest of high school students within the context of community. This is putting spirituality into action; becoming the best person we can be. We are very pleased to have our students taking part in Play it Fair! Activities.”
About Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education
Equitas works for the advancement of equality, social justice and respect for human rights in Canada and around the world through transformative human rights education programs. In Canada, we focus on knowledge building, healthy social development, and supporting children and youth to reach their full potential. We build the capacity of local partners (community‐based organizations and municipalities) by offering training, coaching, and sharing opportunities to strengthen their programming in day camps, after school programs, and schools.
About the EMSB B.A.S.E Program
The English Montreal School Board’s B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycare Program is a Quebec government subsidized supervision service offered outside regular class hours for preschool and elementary school children. The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program’s objective is to enhance the lives of children aged four to 12 years old by providing them with enriching educational activities set in a relaxed, safe and nurturing environment.
The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program is a bridge between the classroom and the home, a wonderful transition for both students and parents alike. It thrives at providing students with opportunities to grow and develop through project-based learning. Through the variety of programs offered, students learn life skills they may not have the chance to learn in class or even at home.
About the EMSB Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service
The Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service facilitates development in the spiritual life of students promoting strong moral character through activities which encourage quiet, peaceful reflection and community involvement. Spiritual and Community Animation Program Activities are conducive to the growth of spiritual life and a positive presence in the community, encouraging students to improve the world through their action. The service helps students build a more harmonious and supportive society by helping others in the community.
About the Canada Post Community Foundation
The Canada Post Community Foundation for Children’s vision is to help ensure every child in Canada is happy, healthy and part of a community that supports and cares for them. Its mission is to have a positive effect in the lives of children in the communities Canada Post serves by supporting registered charities, school programs or local initiatives that benefit children. It has granted more than $4 million to over 300 community organizations across Canada. To learn more about the Foundation, visit canadapost.ca/community.
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Laura Butler, Program Officer Canada,
(514) 954-0382 ext. 242
Jennifer de Freitas, Project Development Officer, B.A.S.E. Daycare Program
(514) 483-7200 ext. 7598
Frank Lofeodo, Consultant Guidance and Spiritual and Community Animation
(514) 483-7200 ext. 7330