Natalie Maurice - Principal

Dorset Elementary School
Baie D'Urfé, QC

The Virtues Project ™


 

 


November 2017

We are very excited to welcome Linda Choinière who has joined our amazing Dorset educational team this year as our Community and Spiritual Care animator (CASCA *). Mme Linda Choinière comes to us with years of experience and a passion that is contagious and already inspiring our students to be thoughtful as they move through their days at school. As a focus for her instruction, we are so excited that Mme Linda Choinière has been able to bring the “Virtues Project” to Dorset. Using “The Virtues Project TM Educator’s Guide” by Linda Kavelin Popov, Mme Linda Choinière has been implementing The Virtues Project into schools for 14 years.

 

Mme Linda Choinière creates and facilitates activities that encourage our students to ask questions, define terms and pay attention to the importance their words and actions have throughout their daily interactions with others. The Virtues Project “Is based on the simple wisdom of the world’s diverse cultures and religions about living by the best within us—courage, honour, justice, kindness and all of our innate virtues” (p. xxi). The program emphasizes the difference between virtues versus values by defining virtues as unchanging across time and space, while values are changing and dependant on time and location. Specifically approaching the importance of virtues, the students learn to be more mindful citizens.

The virtue activities focus on a different specific Virtue every two months. Each week our Virtue buddies do a reading over the intercom and reinforce the language and behaviours of the chosen virtue and classroom teachers support student learning throughout their lessons and classes. Students participate in role-playing and six assemblies an academic year which include skits, Peace Pal presentations, music, art, readings and more!

During September and October the students focused on the Virtue of Assertiveness with an assembly held on this virtue on October 12th. The virtue buddies introduced kindness and the students have begun to discuss what it means. The grade 5 students will present an assembly on Kindness on December 14th. As well, an additional assembly was held on November 8th to bring students together in song, readings and remembrance as students quietly and respectfully spent time remembering our fallen soldiers.

Through the Virtues Project, Mme Linda Choinière seeks to help students find all that is good and beautiful in the world while nurturing students to be happy, kind and respectful to others.

Using a cross-curricular approach, Mme Linda Choinière is joined by classroom teachers and all school staff to integrate virtues into all aspects of the school day. Many of our parents have asked for ways they can also extend these teachings at home; we invite you to engage in dialogue with your children about the chosen virtue, and extend their learning by asking questions like the ones below.

From The Virtues Project TM Educator’s Guide by Linda Kavelin Popov:

What would Kindness look like if:

  • A new student comes into your class and looks lonely?
  • You start teasing your brother and he is getting upset?
  • Some kids you are playing with start teasing a boy saying he has big ears?
  • Your cat has some burrs in her face?
  • Your mother seems tired lately?
  • You see someone in a wheelchair coming toward you?

Stay tuned in January for our next virtue and ways you can extend the conversation at home.

 


* Under governmental guidelines the CASCA brings activities to our school that may include a humanitarian, spiritual, interfaith or religious focus. This non-confessional school service helps to facilitate students as they search for meaning in the world around them, develop their social conscience, participate in community involvement and may address needs with regard to individual students own religious affiliation. Most specifically the cross-curricular approach strives to encourage students to develop their own visions of life and social conscience in an unbiased and unpressured environment.

Copyright 2017 Dorset Elementary School