Cres­cent Col­le­giate CAREs


Cres­cent Col­le­giate was brim­ming with ac­tiv­i­ties Feb. 21-25 in ef­forts to help pro­mote school spirit and pos­i­tive at­ti­tudes amongst its stu­dents.

The school was si­mul­ta­ne­ously pro­mot­ing its CARE Week and Spirit Week, Al­lied Youth Week, and win­ter car­ni­val.

CARE stands for care and re­spect for ev­ery­one. Ac­cord­ing to teacher Lori Bishop, one of the or­ga­niz­ers for CARE Week, the school has tried it out be­fore, but with the re­place­ment of the tra­di­tional stu­dent coun­cil this year with an open-con­cept spirit group, the school was able to take a dif­fer­ent ap­proach by com­bin­ing CARE Week with ac­tiv­i­ties planned for Spirit Week by the spirit group.

Stu­dents par­tic­i­pated in a dress-up day on the Mon­day, and also had the chance to take part in a tex­ting ob­sta­cle course to show how dif­fi­cult it is to multi-task when mak­ing use of the pop­u­lar form of mod­ern com­mu­ni­ca­tion.

Tues­day was a twin day, where stu­dents could choose to em­u­late the ap­pear­ance of teach­ers and vice versa. Wed­nes­day was “dres­sup like a celebrity day” and the school’s an­tibul­ly­ing day, where stu­dents were en­cour­aged to wear pink. That colour has be­come syn­ony­mous with anti-bul­ly­ing ef­forts since a group of high school stu­dents in Nova Scotia be­gan wear­ing pink shirts to show sup­port for fel­low stu­dents be­ing bul­lied.

“ Stu­dents have to rec­og­nize each other as car­ing peo­ple and not bully each other just be­cause of dif­fer­ences,” says Bishop, who adds some stu­dents seem un­aware that state­ments in­tended as jokes may be hurt­ful to oth­ers.

That mes­sage tied in nicely with a speaker brought by the Al­lied Youth group to talk to stu­dents on Tues­day. Anne Marie Ha­gan watched a schiz­o­phrenic neigh­bour kill her fa­ther with an axe in 1979. Over the years, she held an un­der­stand­ably hos­tile attitude to­wards that man, but a pa­role hear­ing made her be­gin to think about what it was like to be in his shoes.

“ For years af­ter that, I was a re­ally bit­ter, nasty, neg­a­tive per­son who was all con­sumed with my­self,” says Ha­gan, who reg­u­larly speaks in pris­ons, amongst other venues.

“I want to get them (stu­dents) to think about how they re­late to each other. We’re all caught in our dif­fer­ences.”

Me­gan Mercer, pres­i­dent of the spirit group, says stu­dents at Cres­cent Col­le­giate have a solid grasp of the pain that can be caused by bul­ly­ing.

“I think at our school there’s not a lot of bul­lies or bad things go­ing on,” she says, ad­mit­ting, too, there are ex­cep­tions. “Most peo­ple have re­ally good spirit and re­spect other stu­dents.”

Sherri Se­ward, the teacher spon­sor for the Al­lied Youth group, says the stu­dent lead­er­ship or­ga­ni­za­tion is spread in schools across the prov­ince. It fundraises for com­mu­nity groups. For Al­lied Youth Week, the group was try­ing to fill a fire truck with non-per­ish­able items as part of a food drive. Their theme for the week was “ Be­ing at the heart of your com­mu­nity.” The pres­i­dent of the 20-per­son group is Brit­tany War­ren.

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