St. Peter: How We Celebrate Grit

This blog post is written by one of our Umbrella Educators, Meaghan Crowe from St. Peter Catholic Elementary School. Read to know how they celebrate Grit!

At the beginning of each month, we hold a virtual assembly to introduce the new Umbrella Skill. We show a video to demonstrate what the skill looks like and end with an activity for students to complete in their classes. For Grit, students will be asked to make a goal they would like to achieve each week. They will then brainstorm the steps that are required to achieve their goal.

At St. Peter, we have a bulletin board featuring The Umbrella Project in the front foyer. On it are pictures of each of the staff members and the monthly skill. Beside each staff member’s picture is a small umbrella. Each month the staff writes something reflective of the skill that is personal to them. For Grit, each staff member will write one goal that they wish to achieve.

Each month teachers receive a Links and Resources document that compiles each of the video links in the monthly lesson plans provided by The Umbrella Project. As included are all of the suggested readings along with links to YouTube videos of read alouds on each book. Finally, there are relevant quotes included in the document for teachers to use as conversation starters with students.

We also provide daily tweets linked to the St. Peter Twitter account that provides families with information about Grit, links to videos and read alouds, tips for teaching Grit, and inspirational quotes.

From there, teachers take on the job of applying the skill to daily learning and reinforcing its use throughout the month!

If you want to share how your school is running The Umbrella Project in your school, contact me!

Celebrating Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School!

Celebrating Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School!

We are so amazed at the creativity and excellence of each of our Umbrella schools!

This week, we are celebrating Canadian Martyrs Catholic Elementary School. Principal Spitzig shared with us the incredible video, below, made by Mr. Butter and his grade 7/8 class.

Mr. de Villeneuve was the artist. He teaches grade 4. His kids were the voice at the assembly for the school.

Please enjoy and join us in congratulating the Canadian Martyrs for this inspiring Mindfulness video.

Celebrating St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School

Celebrating St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School

Here at the Umbrella Project, we are so grateful to work with some amazing schools building big umbrellas of wellbeing for their students.

Today we want to celebrate St. Agnes Catholic Elementary School in Waterloo. We’ve written about the big heart of this school community before, but they still continue to amaze us!

We attended their end of month assembly today and heard students being recognized for a month of growing their self-efficacy umbrella skills. Plus, the students had a chance to introduce next month’s skill to each other – Realistic Optimism! Stay tuned for more on this skill tomorrow.

Check out a few snapshots from the halls of this incredible school below!

Celebrating Sandowne Public School

Celebrating Sandowne Public School

“I think I can. I think I can. I think I can. I know I can.”

― Watty PiperThe Little Engine That Could


At Sandowne Public School in Waterloo, something exciting is happening for parents, teachers, and every single student in its hallways.

Their umbrellas are growing, and even better – they’re learning to dance in the rain by drawing upon umbrella skills such as self-efficacy, kindness, resilience, grit, and many more!

I was blown away by the creativity and deep level of insight demonstrated by this school community when I visited. I had the pleasure to attending one of their monthly Umbrella Project Celebrations. In these school-wide gatherings, students are acknowledged by peers for their expanding umbrella skills.

These incredible students brought to life some powerful umbrella skills and had no problem mastering this month’s skill, self-efficacy (a tricky one that they had never seen before). We are so thrilled by your growth, and how you support each other through your journeys. Keep it up!!

Umbrella Stories – Brock’s Story of Resilience

Umbrella Stories – Brock’s Story of Resilience

This month, I was honoured to launch the Umbrella Project at a new school that really embraces student wellbeing, the Holy Name of Mary Catholic School. Part way through the launch assembly, we spoke to an incredible student.

Brock, a 10 year old from this school, has recently undergone a liver transplant at Sick Kids Hospital and was able to leave the hospital after only 9 days. A new record for them!!  The whole school celebrated with him over Skype as he prepared to return home.  Brock was determined to create a new record for recovery time and used so many skills in his umbrella including resilience, optimism, grit and purpose to accomplish this incredible task.  We joked that we weren’t sure his giant umbrella would fit in the school when he gets back.

The research shows that hearing stories of others using resilience helps us become more resilient.  Everybody in the school gym that day learned what it looks like to be resilient and how to grow from life’s toughest challenges. Thank you Brock for making everyone you know a bit stronger!!

KWBS – Terry Fox

KWBS – Terry Fox

Next time you hear an inspiring story of someone overcoming adversity – notice that this is not by chance.

Take a minute and see if you can name the skills they used to do it.  This is a great way to show kids which skills they can practice to get stronger.  Follow us here at the Umbrella Project to learn about a new skill each month that will help your child grow from challenges.

Visit also the Terry Fox Foundation on Facebook and the local @WaterlooTFR Twitter account.