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Marika and Jill are Campaign Messengers

Elementary school students Marika and Jill participated in Ophea’s sexual violence prevention conference called Campaign Messengers. Following the conference, the school spirit club advertised a “Formal Friday” with a poster that read: “Girls wear dresses, Boys wear a tuxedo!”. Marika and Jill were a bit put off by this poster and the fact that teachers at the school had approved it!

So, they put together a classroom presentation and short video on gender stereotypes and presented it to their school. Marika has now gotten up in front of the class to talk about issues involving the word sex and gender (something she never would have done before) and she feels that she is ready to talk about anything! She is no longer shy to present in front of a group. And Jill feels that the boys in her class are more respectful of the girls now since they started working and presenting the campaign messages. Marika and Jill feel more empowered and interact more confidently with the boys.

Andrea is a Healthy Schools Team Leader

St. Alfred Catholic Elementary School had concerns about the well-being of its students. Special Education Resource Teacher, Andrea signed up for Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification and assembled a school health and wellness committee comprised of staff, students, and community partners that believe mental health is just as important as physical health.

Through Ophea’s Healthy Schools Certification process, Andrea was able to empower students to play an active role in decision-making and delivery when it came to their school-wide health and wellness initiatives. Not only were students now having a say in the types of initiatives taking place at their school, they were leading them! As a result, the whole school community benefited from the opportunities to nurture themselves mentally, physically, and emotionally. St. Alfred Catholic Elementary School became a Gold certified Healthy School in 2018.

Laura and Andrea are Inclusion Champions 

Highgate Public School’s community class of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) challenged physical education teacher Andrea, and ASD classroom teacher Laura, to think about Physical Education in a different way. How do we provide meaningful opportunities for students with all abilities to participate? One strategy they tried was “reversed integration” periods, where selected student “buddies” from the mainstream classes helped the ASD students one-on-one to complete the skills. This was challenging for the buddies who had never worked with ASD students before. After using Ophea’s Steps to Inclusion resource, Laura and Andrea are now better able to explain to the buddies how to work best with the ASD students and they have new ideas for modifications and accommodations. Highgate Public School makes inclusion the forethought in everything they do.