Equitas receives Canada Post Community Foundation support

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PRESS RELEASE Montreal, September 21, 2015 – Equitas is pleased to announce that it has received $30,000 from the Canada Post Community Foundation to put into place an exciting new project, Supporting Children as Leaders through Play it Fair, with the English Montreal School Board (EMSB). This year, 500 children aged six to 12 participating in the EMSB’s B.A.S.E. afterschool programs at three elementary schools – Michelangelo International Elementary, Dante Elementary and Pierre Elliott Trudeau Elementary, will take part in weekly Play it Fair! activities. Over the period of eight months, children will get to work together to develop a project to make their school or community a more welcoming and inclusive place to be. Under the direction of EMSB Spiritual and Community Animators, twenty-five high school students from EMSB’s Vincent Massey Collegiate and 50 B.A.S.E staff will also play a special leadership role, as they learn how to facilitate Play it Fair! activities and promote children’s rights in the activities they lead within B.A.S.E programs. Developed in Montreal, Equitas’ award-winning Play it Fair! program now reaches over 100,000 children a year in 34 communities across Canada. It provides concrete opportunities for children between the ages of six and‐12 years old to take part in games and activities that promote cooperation, inclusion, leadership, respect for diversity, acceptance, anti‐bullying and peaceful conflict resolution. “We are thrilled to receive the support of the Canada Post Community Foundation for this project that will empower young Montrealers to become leaders in making their schools and neighbourhoods better places to be,” says Ian Hamilton, Equitas Executive Director. Collaborating with Equitas in this project is just one of the ways that the EMSB B.A.S.E Program and the  Spiritual and Community Animation Service supports the social and emotional development of the children and youth they serve, equipping them with the knowledge, skills and opportunities to become leaders in their communities. “Everyone is responsible for taking on a leadership role when educating the youth about human rights and values,” says Jennifer De Freitas, Project Development Officer for the EMSB’s B.A.S.E. Program. “We are extremely delighted to have EMSB high school students facilitate Play it Fair! activities with the children in three of our B.A.S.E. Daycares. It is very empowering to see teenagers teaching our youth.” “The work of the Spiritual and Community Animator promotes and develops the values of cooperation, inclusion, leadership, respect for diversity, acceptance, anti‐bullying and peaceful conflict resolution. Developing these values is the inner quest of high school students within the context of community. This is putting spirituality into action; becoming the best person we can be.” says Frank Lofeodo Consultant for Guidance and Spiritual and Community Animation. “We are very pleased to have our students taking part in Play it Fair! Activities.” “We are proud of our employees and retirees who have devoted many hours to raising awareness and funds,” says Deepak Chopra, President and CEO, Canada Post. “The Canada Post Community Foundation aims to help community groups deliver a difference in the lives of children in communities across Canada. About Equitas – International Centre for Human Rights Education Equitas works for the advancement of equality, social justice and respect for human rights in Canada and around the world through transformative human rights education programs. In Canada, we focus on knowledge building, healthy social development, and supporting children and youth to reach their full potential. We build the capacity of local partners (community‐based organizations and municipalities) by offering training, coaching, and sharing opportunities to strengthen their programming in day camps, after school programs, and schools. About the EMSB B.A.S.E Program The English Montreal School Board’s B.A.S.E. (Before and After School Enriched) Daycare Program is a Quebec government subsidized supervision service offered outside regular class hours for preschool and elementary school children. The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program’s objective is to enhance the lives of children aged four to 12 years old by providing them with enriching educational activities set in a relaxed, safe and nurturing environment. The B.A.S.E. Daycare Program is a bridge between the classroom and the home, a wonderful transition for both students and parents alike. It thrives at providing students with opportunities to grow and develop through project-based learning. Through the variety of programs offered, students learn life skills they may not have the chance to learn in class or even at home. About the EMSB Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service The Spiritual Care and Community Involvement Service facilitates development in the spiritual life of students promoting strong moral character through activities which encourage quiet, peaceful reflection and community involvement. Spiritual and Community Animation Program Activities are conducive to the growth of spiritual life and a positive presence in the community, encouraging students to improve the world through their action. The service helps students build a more harmonious and supportive society by helping others in the community. About the Canada Post Community Foundation The Canada Post Community Foundation for Children’s vision is to help ensure every child in Canada is happy, healthy and part of a community that supports and cares for them. Its mission is to have a positive effect in the lives of children in the communities Canada Post serves by supporting registered charities, school programs or local initiatives that benefit children. It has granted more than $4 million to over 300 community organizations across Canada. To learn more about the Foundation, visit canadapost.ca/community.

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For further information, images and interviews please contact: Laura Butler, Program Officer Canada, (514) 954-0382 ext. 242 lbutler@equitas.org Jennifer de Freitas, Project Development Officer, B.A.S.E. Daycare Program (514) 483-7200 ext. 7598 jdefreitas@emsb.qc.ca Frank Lofeodo, Consultant Guidance and Spiritual and Community Animation (514) 483-7200 ext. 7330 flofeodo@emsb.qc.ca

Photos : Play It Fair! activities at Académie John Caboto Academy, 2013

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