Today marks the beginning of Catholic Education Week 2020. This year, the theme for the week is “Igniting Hope” and, if ever there were a time that our Board, province, country and world needed hope, this would be that time. As a Catholic system, we have the blessed opportunity to remain connected through our faith, beliefs, and values. During this time, our sense of community is even more extraordinary.

Bishop Crosby introduces Catholic Education Week in the following video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UhLJbleNe0Y&feature=youtu.be

Even though we are not physically at school, we recognize the significant contribution that Catholic Education has made in our lives. The sub-themes for the week are as follows:

Monday: Our Hope in Christ

Tuesday: The Hope Within Us

Wednesday: The Hope Among Us

Thursday: Hope for the World

Friday: A Future Full of Hope

Bishop Crosby will also be celebrating live mass on Friday, May 8th at 11:00 am.

While our teachers will help to bring this theme to life throughout the week through their digital platforms, the Ontario Catholic School Trustees Association (OCSTA) website also shares CEW resources for families. Please explore this link for a portal of activities, prayers, reflections that can be used at any grade level, https://www.ocsta.on.ca/cew-2020-at-home-resources/.

As well, there are some great resources available on the Waterloo Catholic District School Board website. You can find them at the following link, https://wcdsblearnathome.wcdsb.ca/pray-at-home/. There is also a great video to view outlining some of the activities going on this week https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYniBpnTiTc&feature=youtu.be.

As we begin Catholic Education Week, let us recommit ourselves to being the ones who Ignite Hope in others; the ones who look to our friends, families and neighbours and say, “We are in this together” or “What can I do for you?” or, perhaps best of all, “You are loved”. Some examples include:

  • Create a message of hope in chalk on your driveway or sidewalk for a neighbor to read or create a poster to put in the window of your house
  • Write a postcard or note of thanks for frontline healthcare workers and drop this in the mailbox for Cambridge Memorial Hospital
  • Make a card or draw a picture for the seniors in our community – our friends at Granite Landing Retirement Home (on Light Drive) would love it!
  • Decorate a rock with a friendly message of hope and leave it on a path for a passerby to read.

Mental Health
This week also marks Mental Health Week. Look at the resources on the Waterloo Catholic District School Board website that can be found here: https://www.wcdsb.ca/programs-and-services/mental-health-and-well-being-at-wcdsb/

There is also some great links to resources if you need to help you:

Kids Help Phone: connects children and youth who are struggling to a trained counselor either by phone, text or live webchat. Services are anonymous. Contact 1-800-668-6868 or visit https://kidshelpphone.ca

Front Door: For children and youth who require more intensive support. Front Door provides Walk in Counselling services and referral to appropriate services in the community. They can be reached at 519-749-2932 or visit http://www.frontdoormentalhealth.com/

Additions, Mental Health and Crisis Services Waterloo-Wellington
If you or someone you know is in crisis or requires immediate support, please contact Here 247 (link to https://here247.ca) or 1-844-437-3247. Here 247 serves as both a crisis service, as well as a guide to help you figure out how to get help for mental health and addictions in Waterloo-Wellington. For individuals in acute crisis/actively suicidal and unable to keep themselves safe, call 911 or visit your local emergency department (mental health services are available at Grand River Hospital.

The Umbrella Project Theme For May: Realistic Optimism

This month our focus is on building realistic optimism. We often hear sayings about looking on the bright side of life. Turns out that looking on the bright side can actually help our lives seem brighter. Mix that with a realistic look at obstacles and you have a strategy for success. Realistic optimism mixes the belief that good things will happen with the knowledge that obstacles are a part of life and should be prepared for. It helps us link our dreams to the steps we will need to take to achieve them and helps us create a plan. Success can be challenging and if we defeat ourselves in our minds with a negative outlook before we get started it can really hurt our chances of reaching our goals.

For tips on Realistic Optimism, please open the attached Parent Newsletter.

Optimism-Parent-Newsletter.docx-1-1-1

We hope and pray that your family is doing well at this time.

God bless.