It's all about kindness!
It's Anti-Bullying Week across Ontario and in St. Clair Catholic schools across the district, the focus is on 'kindness.' New research at Stanford University encourages teachers to take on an 'empathetic mindset' when addressing student discipline. The study has found that the number of students who were suspended across the academic year was reduced by half. According to a 2019 report in Psychology Today, children and adolescents learn about kindness by 'feeling it' which encourages them to want to reproduce it.
Many traditional anti-bullying programs focus on the negative actions that cause anxiety in children. When students are instead taught how to change their thoughts and actions by learning about kindness and compassion, it fosters the positive behaviour that's expected. Promoting this 'psychological opposite' is key in reducing bullying to create warm and inclusive school environments.
Each school has received a Wellness Kit, which includes announcements, classroom and school-wide activities, focusing on kindness.
For more information go to Kindness in Our Schools.
Grade 6 to 8 students, along with their parents, are invited to attend a Carousel of the Arts, at Ursuline College on Thursday, November 28 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
The event will give students and parents an opportunity to experience a variety of performing and visual arts workshops, led by teachers and students from the UCC Arts Department.
"It's guaranteed fun and no experience is needed," says Nicole McEachran, UCC Arts Department Head.
The evening will begin with a brief meeting in the UCC Theatre for an introduction to the Arts Department. From there, parents and students will go to their destinations for 30 minute workshops, experiencing three out of the four arts disciplines. The evening will end at 8:00 p.m., with the school's Catering Club serving a couple of appetizers.
For more information, go to https://bit.ly/32z2jPJ
Students in the Cosmetology Club at Ursuline College have donated $200 to the Canadian Cancer Society.
"We held a fundraising event at the school to collect money for the cancer society and to raise awareness about breast cancer," says Mary Lynne Seliga, Cosmetology teacher at UCC.
The fundraiser took place during lunch breaks in the month of October.
Cindy Vinall accepted the donation on behalf of the Chatham-Kent Chapter of the Canadian Cancer Society.
In the photo with students are (Back Row) Mary Lynn Seliga and (Far Right) Cindy Vinall of the Canadian Cancer Society.
In recognition of Remembrance Day, and in honour of the sacrifice of veterans of Canadian wars and peace keeping missions, flags at all St. Clair Catholic schools and at the Catholic Education Centre are being flown at half-mast from sunrise to sunset today.
May we give thanks to God, as we pray for the souls and the families of those who made the ultimate sacrifice in past conflicts and ask for His blessing of protection on those who proudly serve in Canada's armed forces, both now and for the future.
St. Michael Catholic School in Bright's Grove is working with the City of Sarnia, students and the Catholic School Parent Council to help get more students active.
The partnership with the City of Sarnia and the Lambton Kent District School Board is being funded by an 18-month $102,000 Active School Travel Grant from the Ontario government and Green Communities Canada.
The aim of the initiative is to encourage more students to walk or bike to school, while also working to reduce traffic in school zones. The first step is to collect data and to identify barriers, which could include a lack of sidewalks or heavy traffic areas. Then an action plan will be developed in consultation with the school and the City.
"This is a tremendous partnership," says Steve DeGurse. "The objective ties in with our curriculum, which also encourages students to adopt active and healthy lifestyles. We are anxious to move forward with this plan."
Throughout the month of October, and in recognition of National Principals' Month, students and staff across the district have been finding ways to demonstrate their love and support for our Catholic principals.
One such project, which was undertaken across the district, was decorating the office doors of principals and vice principals. Here is a sample of some of the many creative and inspiring ways our school communities have expressed their support for school administrators.
Students at St. Matthew Catholic School in Sarnia are the first elementary students in Canada to experience a visit by the Labourers' International Union of North America, as they explore careers in the trades.
The visit was an opportunity for Grade 7 and 8 students to learn more about potential future pathways, specifically in the skilled trades sector, through some unique and exciting hands-on activities and in-class learning.
Members of the training staff from LiUNA Local 1089 in Sarnia brought their state-of-the-art mobile tech trailer to the school. LiUNA staff spoke to all of the intermediate students about the potential benefits of pursuing a career in the trades. Parents were also invited to attend.
The majority of the visit was devoted to leading students through a series of hands-on activities, such as cement finishing and surveying, which gave them a taste of some of the many jobs in the field.
With the assistance of St. Clair Catholic's Pathways Team, the students also had a chance to learn more about the steps involved in seeking a career in the trades, including preferred high school electives and cooperative opportunities.
Students also worked together to use real-world mathematics related to the activities they completed - a demonstration that jobs in the trades are "minds-on" as well as "hands-on."
Thanks to the tremendous LiUNA partnership with St. Clair Catholic, the mobile training centre will be visiting more Catholic schools throughout the year.
For the 14th year, students and staff at Ursuline College are organizing the Halloween night We Scare Hunger canned food drive in support of local food banks.
"This is a tremendous support for our food bank," says Brenda LeClair, Executive Director of Chatham Outreach for Hunger. "Every year, we rely on this campaign to help us restock our shelves following Thanksgiving, as we prepare to head into the Christmas season and the winter months."
Students from UCC, with support from John McGregor Secondary School students and St. Ursula and St. Agnes Catholic schools, will canvass door to door in Chatham. All non-perishable food items collected in Chatham will be donated to Chatham Outreach for Hunger. UCC students will also canvass some areas of Pain Court, in support of Chatham Outreach for Hunger. In Blenheim, students from St. Anne Catholic School will accept donations at the door for the Blenheim Food Bank; and in Wallaceburg, UCC students along with St. Elizabeth and Holy Family Catholic school students will collect donated food items in support of the St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank.
Volunteers from Chatham Victory Ford provide tremendous support each year by helping to gather up the thousands of donated items and transport them from the schools to the food banks.
Sarnia-Lambton schools are also participating in the 2019 We Scare Hunger food drive, including Holy Rosary, Wyoming; St. Michael, Bright's Grove; and Gregory A. Hogan, Sarnia.
"We are thankful for the many volunteers - students, staff, parents and our community partners - who help make this tremendous campaign a success each year," says Kathy Kearns, a teacher at UCC and We Scare Hunger campaign organizer. "We are proud of the work of our students as they help to care for those in our community who need our assistance."
In the photos are above L-R) Brenda LeClair, Executive Director, Chatham Outreach for Hunger; along with UCC students and Kathy Kearns, UCC Staff Campaign Organizer; Deb Crawford, Director of Education; and Jeff Ameel, Victory Ford, Chatham; and (right L-R) with Holy Rosary students are Christina Jacklin, Parent Council Chair, Margaret DeGurse, Principal, Holy Rosary Catholic School, Mat Roop, Trustee and Grade 7 and 8 teacher Jenna Holmes.