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.