Commit to Character: Courage

The SCDSB’s 10 values are a key part of our commitment to character education. We refer to our values as our character attributes. Each month our schools recognize and celebrate a different attribute. This month on the blog, we are highlighting ‘courage’.

Courage: We do the right thing even when it’s difficult

Some examples of how we can show courage are:

  • trying new things, even if you might fail
  • working to overcome your fears
  • admitting your mistakes and learning from them
  • refusing to give in to negative peer pressure
  • doing the right thing, even if others are not

Some ways that students in our schools can learn about and develop courage include:

  • helping students to connect being courageous with the goal of putting an end to bullying. Use role playing to help them rehearse situations where they need to stand up for what they know to be the right thing to do
  • prompting students to write a narrative about a character who was faced with a difficult decision, one in which a great deal of courage was required

“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear.” – Ambrose Redmoon

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB. 

Big Brother makes big impact through in-school mentoring program

“My Big Brother made me feel like I was worth something, and that was very important to me at that stage in my life.”

Powerful words shared by Steve Osmak about how his Big Brother mentor changed his life when he was a child. Now Steve is a Big Brother to Orion, a student at a Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) school, through the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Barrie In-School Mentoring Program. Steve and Orion meet once a week for one hour at school, during the school year. They read, play games, make crafts – whatever they feel like doing that day.

The SCDSB was presented with a national award from Big Brothers Big Sisters of Canada to recognize the work the SCDSB does in providing mentoring programs in schools. Programs that the SCDSB provides in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie and District include the Big Brothers Big Sisters In-School Mentoring Program, Go Girls! and Game On. Each program provides opportunities for youth to enhance their social skills, self-esteem, physical activity and healthy living.

The award was presented at Oakley Park Public School on Oct. 11, which also supports the BBBS programs at their school.

“I’ve personally seen the difference in kids who have a Big Brother or Big Sister mentor,” says Heidi Cameron-Armstrong, Principal at Oakley Park PS. “This partnership is vital to ensure that our students receive support from caring adult mentors when it’s needed.”

“Studies show that mentoring helps kids stay in school, avoid risky behavior such as bullying, and grow up having more respect for family, peers and community,” says Marianne Arbour, Executive Director, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie and District. “We are always looking for new volunteers for our in-school programs – it only takes as little as one hour a week to impact a child’s life.”

Like Orion says, “It’s nice to have someone to talk to about anything.”

To learn about becoming a volunteer, visit the Big Brothers Big Sisters of Barrie website.

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Team Give'r

Team Give’r gives back to SCDSB schools

Fans of the Amazing Race Canada, especially those in Collingwood and surrounding area, have a new mantra, and it is more than just a fun word to say. ‘Give’r’ is a reminder from Amazing Race Canada 2017 second place finishers (and Simcoe County District School Board alumni) Kenneth McAlpine and Ryan Lachapelle to give life everything you’ve got, and while doing so, give back as well.

Since the final episode of the show aired in early September, Kenneth and Ryan, or Team Give’r, as they are affectionately known, have been doing just that – giving back to SCDSB elementary and secondary schools where they grew up. In recent weeks they have visited Admiral Collingwood ES, Birchview Dunes ES, Connaught PS, Collingwood Collegiate Institute (CCI), Mountain View ES and Worsley ES to share their experiences on the Amazing Race Canada, and to encourage students to embrace their philosophy. The students are taking their message to heart. For example, Birchview Dunes donated a truckload of food to their local food bank as a result of their Thanksgive’r Food Drive.

“We want kids to be inspired by us, how we ran the race and how we gave it all we got. We were at the highest of highs and the lowest of lows, and we never gave up,” stated Kenneth.

Team Give’r attended Admiral Collingwood and Connaught, and met the summer before starting high school at CCI. Since then, they have been “giving it all they’ve got, 100 per cent, full commitment,” said Ryan. “Whether it be your job, your passions in life, anything, just give it your all.”

Commit to Character: Cooperation

The SCDSB’s 10 values are a key part of our commitment to character education. We refer to our values as our character attributes. Each month our schools recognize and celebrate a different attribute. This month on the blog, we are highlighting ‘cooperation’.

Cooperation: We work together towards shared goals and purposes

Some examples of how we can be cooperative are:

  • listening to others
  • sharing with others
  • taking turns when more than one person wants something
  • compromise when there is a conflict
  • be supportive of other people’s ideas

Some ways that students in our schools learn about and develop cooperation include:

  • using newspaper or magazine articles to find examples of individuals working together towards a common goal
  • after reading a recent book, have students discuss or write about examples of cooperative effort. Are there any places in the book where cooperation might have made a difference?

“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB. 

Commit to Character: Caring

The SCDSB’s 10 values are a key part of our commitment to character education. We refer to our values as character attributes. Each month our schools recognize and celebrate a different attribute. This month on the blog, we highlight ‘caring’.

Caring: We show kindness towards each other

Some examples of how we can be caring:

  • treat people with kindness and generosity
  • help those in need
  • be sensitive to the feelings of others
  • don’t be mean/hurtful
  • think about how your actions will affect others
  • be polite
  • apologize when you need to

Some ways that students in our schools learn about and develop caring include:

  • brainstorm about “Random Acts of Kindness” and discuss how they affect other people and yourself personally
  • select someone who has demonstrated caring towards you and write a letter of thanks and recognition to that person

“We should behave to our friends as we wish our friends to behave to us.” – Aristotle

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB. 

Goodfellow PS students build Habitat for Humanity models

Goodfellow Public School in Innisfil recently partnered with Habitat for Humanity Huronia to build model homeless shelters that may be built for communities in the future.

Students in Mme. Bojmelgrin’s and Mme. Prim’s Grade 6 and 7 Extended French classes used skills learned in math, language and science to create three prototypes that were presented to Humanity Huronia’s Construction Manager, Robert Cikoja.

Cikoja was so impressed by the students’ ideas that he offered to work with the school to build models of the mobile homeless shelters. The models may eventually be built in large scale to help local communities.

Habitat
Goodfellow PS students and the mini shelters they constructed.

Habitat for Humanity brings communities together to help families build strength, stability and independence through affordable home ownership. The organization’s simple premise is that no matter who we are or where we are from, we all deserve to have a decent life.

 

Commit to Character: Responsibility

The SCDSB’s 10 values are a key part of our commitment to character education. We refer to our values as our character attributes. Each month our schools recognize and celebrate a different attribute. This month on the blog, we are highlighting ‘responsibility’.

Responsibility: We are accountable for our actions, and we follow through on commitments

 

Some examples of how we can show responsibility are:

  • completing chores/homework on time
  • following through on what you say you are going to do
  • taking responsibility for your mistakes
  • taking care of your belongings
  • if you borrow something, return it
  • always do your best
  • making smart choices (ex. eating healthy, wearing a helmet when riding a bike)

Some ways that students in our schools learn about and develop responsibility include:

  • discussing what responsibility looks like, feels like and sounds like
  • presenting an issue to the class and have them work together to design a plan that a responsible person or group could implement for a positive result

“I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something.” – Edward Everett Hale

Learn more about character education in the SCDSB.