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EMSB’s Before and After School Enriched Daycare program wins National Play It Fair! Award 2017 for exceptional work with children and youth.

Equitas is pleased to announce that the English Montreal School Board’s (EMSB) Before and After School Enriched (B.A.S.E.) Daycare program is the winner of the Equitas Play It Fair! Award 2017. 

A group of children at EMSB in Montreal playing Equitas Play it Fair activities for inclusion and diversity

Each year around National Child Day (November 20th), Equitas acknowledges the great contribution of a Canadian organization, school or municipality by presenting them with the Play it Fair! Award. This year, Equitas is proud to award EMSB B.A.S.E. Daycare program, for its exceptional contributions to promote children participation and children’s rights through Supporting Children as Leaders Through Play it Fair! initiative.

It is time to celebrate the hard work and successes of a very deserving and worthy team,” said Equitas’ Executive Director Ian Hamilton. “Jennifer De Freitas, Project Development Officer for the B.A.S.E. Daycare Program at EMSB and Rocco Speranza, EMSB Spiritual Care, Guidance and Community Involvement Animator, have shown dedication in engaging more children and youth in becoming human rights changemakers. By offering Play it Fair! in 14 EMSB daycare centres and engaging over 160 high school students to lead activities and projects, they have contributed in making schools and communities more inclusive and respectful for all”.

Last year, over 200 EMSB students came up with ideas on how to make their schools more inclusive and welcoming places to be, with the support of high school students trained in the Play it Fair! approach as part of their community service hours.

Samples of projects included: videos and movie trailers on what safe and respectful places look like; a photo exhibit on children’s rights; murals in schools to tell all children that they are welcome; a story book on a clean environment; and games to counter bullying.


The EMSB B.A.S.E. Program puts a lot of emphasis on nurturing and expanding existing partnerships in order to benefit the children to their greatest potential”, said Jennifer De Freitas. “A project like Supporting Children as Leaders through Play it Fair! gave everyone involved the time, opportunity to develop a tailor-made project for B.A.S.E. that merged the Play it Fair! curriculum on values, with the B.A.S.E.’s goal of providing children with enriching and educational experiences, which meets Vincent Massey Collegiate’s community service requirements. This program has been so successful because Equitas provided top-notch support to the B.A.S.E. Program. They worked hand-in-hand with B.A.S.E. to create an educational program that is fun and innovative!”

Working as a Spiritual Care and Community Animator allows me to promote human right values”, added Rocco Speranza. “I work to develop the values of cooperation, unity, inclusion, leadership, respect for diversity, acceptance, kindness and peaceful conflict resolution, among the students I work with. Being able to further work with both high school and elementary students at EMSB daycares using Play it Fair! further encouraged the development of these values which is the inner quest of high school students within the context of community service at the Vincent Massy Collegiate. This is putting spirituality into action; becoming the best person we can be. I am very pleased to have these students take part in leading Play it Fair! activities within our schools and daycares.

By teaching human rights values to more than 800,000 children across Canada, TD — through Equitas and its partners — is pleased to have contributed towards building more inclusive communities based on respect for diversity, equality and the full participation of all its members. We are proud to empower Canadian children to stand-up and take leadership in promoting values of inclusion, non-discrimination and peaceful conflict resolution.” Valérie Picher, Associate Vice President Community Relations, TD Bank Group

Cooperation in children drawing

The TD Bank Group has been a longtime supporter of Equitas and Play it Fair! which has allowed over 800,000 children in Canada to play activities with a purpose, say no to bullying and embrace diversity.

Since 2004, Play it Fair! has been supported by the City of Montreal to teach children about their rights and responsibilities in 18 communities across Montreal and create a sustainable community impact to help children grow great and healthy.

Last year’s Play it Fair! Award winner was the City of Surrey in British Columbia.