|VINCENT MASSEY COLLEGIATE SET FOR FIFTH ANNUAL PINK SHIRT DAY|
VINCENT MASSEY COLLEGIATE SET FOR FIFTH ANNUAL PINK SHIRT DAY
Vincent Massey Collegiate
Vincent Massey Collegiate in Rosemount (5925 27th Avenue) will mark its fifth Pink Shirt Day on Friday, February 17. Guest speaker Wali Shah (https://www.walifloshah.com), selected as one of Canada's Top 20 Under 20 in 2014, is a highly acclaimed Canadian speaker and poet. He is also currently a student at the University of Toronto and combines social issues, experiences, comedy, and his South Asian and Muslim background to bring his work to life. Presentations will be made at 8:30 am, 10:30 am and 1:15 pm. “Our entire student population and staff will be provided with a pink t-shirt designed by our students,” says Vice-Principal Lisa Ancona. “Our theme this year is ‘Pink it forward.’”
Edward Murphy Elementary School
For the second consecutive year, Nesbitt Elementary School (6108 8th Avenue) will be participating and educating its students on the importance of empathy, solidarity and support for all those who have been victimized in an act of bullying on Wednesday, February 22. This day-long celebration will be spearheaded by the Principal Antoinette Scrocca and Spiritual and Community Animator Vince Lacroce.
Rosemount High School staff and students will band together for a month long program called "Speak Out!" intended to educate students through empathy workshops and programs to decrease levels of bullying and aggression inside and outside of school. In the weeks leading up to Pink Shirt Day on February 22, leadership students at RHS will be posting colorful Post-It notes filled with inspiring quotes and words of wisdom on the lockers and mirrors of the school washrooms. The intent of these daily affirmations is to inspire students to be accepting of themselves and of others. Vince Lacroce, Spiritual and Community Animator, will be organizing lunch hour workshops and discussion groups called "Speak Out!" where students will be asked to dialogue with their peers on bullying issues and to develop strategies to promote a more inclusive and caring society. The findings and results from these workshops will be incorporated in Rosemount's annual spring Spiritual Retreats with local feeder elementary schools in the community. This fun filled educational program will be packed with presentations, games, exercises, activities and meditations, all revolving around the theme of empathy. Sec V student Julianne Nadeau has created RHS SPEAKS OUT artwork for pink t-shirts, which will be sold prior to Pink Shirt Day.
On February 22, Pink Shirt Day, Guidance Counsellor Britt Dash will be organizing a “Messages to Motivate” board with the help of RHS students. Student’s favorite inspirational quotes from leaders and role models will be posted, and students will have the opportunity to write their own messages as well. Ms. Dash will also be bringing in the SILK (Sexual Information Leads to Knowledge) guest speakers to address the Secondary 3, 4 and 5 students. SILK workshops aim to provide students of all sexual orientations with a non-judgmental space within which to discuss issues of sexual and gender identity, knowledge to identify put-downs within their everyday interactions, practical strategies to reduce homophobia in everyday situations, greater empathy with the struggle of growing up gay, lesbian, bisexual, trans, queer (LGBTQ) or questioning one’s sexual orientation or gender identity and information about key resources available to youth in Montreal. February 22 is also Rosemount High School’s Spirit Assembly, which recognizes RHS students and their achievements. At this assembly, an RHS student will read a special anti-bullying poem, and discuss the origin of pink shirt day.
Parkdale Elementary School
At Parkdale Elementary School (1475 Deguire), the entire school will be asked to wear pink on February 23. A group of Grade 6 students will write positive messages on Post-Its and place one on everyone's locker.
Michael J. Cohen