“United We Care” cultivates kindness at Edward Murphy School
By Wendy Singer
Montreal, May 18, 2021- Spiritual Community Animator Rocco Speranza and Special Education Technician Christopher Simeone (Mr. Chris), along with staff and admin. have been working hard to make sure that Edward Murphy Elementary School (EMS) in Hochelaga Maisonneuve is a place where kindness and unity thrive.
Mr. Speranza welcomes socio-community police officer, Jean Scalzo, from PDQ 48, every year to work and educate Grade 5 students as members “Unité sans Violence.” This anti-violence and bullying program aims to promote kindness and unity. Unfortunately, the SVPM was not able to officially run the program across Montreal this year due to the pandemic. To continue the program, reinforce kindness and combat the segregation and isolation that the pandemic has caused, Mr. Speranza spoke with Principal Rania Delis and Cycle 3 teachers to inquire if they could still have the program in the school and he and staff would work with the students and train them. SPVM also supported this idea. Thus two groups were merged for this year only in order to create “United We Care.” This program includes multiple components.
ERC Teacher Emiliana Settino asked her students to put posters with wonderful artworks and messages of kindness all around the school. Mr. Speranza was aware and spoke with her in order to collaborate and expand the project school wide and make it part of EMS’ annual kindness campaign. Unite Sans Violence and the partnership with SPVM has been part of the SCA service at EMS for over 10 years now, thanks to support of admin.
United We Care is a combination of Care Rangers and Unite Sans Violence. This is a joint SCA, Special Edication Technician and school initiative.
Grade 6 students who are part of Unité sans Violence help create a bilingual United We Care symbol. Thanks to the support of EMS Principal Ms. Delis, the new symbol was drawn on t-shirts for each student to wear.
Vanier College’s Special Care Counselling (SCC) student Amanda Cioffi, who dedicated her SCC special project to the United We Care program, worked hard to create a poster where students and staff share their acts of kindness.
Presenting her work to all EMS students, Miss Amanda explained how self-regulation is the kindest act one can do for themselves and for others. At EMS, thanks to school staff , students learn social/emotional learning skills and several ways to self-regulate, breathing techniques, counting techniques and senses.
Miss . Amanda also taught the students ways to be kind to others including standing up for peers and lending a helping hand. As in the past, students have opportunity to tell a school staff member about their classmates acts of kindness, entitling them to receive a mini certificate they can share with the school community by putting it on the poster board.
This year collaboration is key to stopping COVID-19. EMS is a prime example of how despite and while wearing masks and physical distancing, collaboration is still possible. United We Care was possible thanks to the EMS staff and admin, the support of the SPVM and Vanier College students . EMS is United to bring kindness and peace to all.