Sunday, February 23, 2014

It's Not What's Missing. It's What's There. The Canadian Paralympic Committee Gears up for Sochi



Sochi 2014 Paralympic Games: Hot. Cool. Yours. March 7 -  16.

The Sochi 2014 Olympic games were amazing. Our Canadian athletes kept us on the edge of our chairs cheering with pride, from Alexandre Bilodeau winning gold in freestyle, and sharing it with his hero and brother Frédéric, to our amazing hockey teams giving us thrills that will be remembered for a lifetime.

With the Sochi Paralympic Winter Games only 11 days away, The Canadian Paralympic Committee is treating Canadian sports fans to a provocative new campaign that will compel fans to look past the disabilities of Paralympic athletes - and instead - see their complete, elite, world-class abilities.


Bold, formidable, energetic is what we'll see, as snowboarder Michelle Salt from Calgary carves the mountain using a prosthetic leg, or amputee Dominique Larocque from Quebec plays hard for Team Canada.

Canada will compete in all six sports on the program: para-snowboard, para-alpine, para-Nordic skiing, biathlon, sledge hockey and wheelchair curling. How awesome is that?

This campaign is a terrific vehicle to increase awareness of the abilities of these athletes, show what they are capable of, and how exciting their sports are!

Take a look at this tremendously exciting video to see what it's all about.


We'll be watching the games, so follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest news and results. Let's show our athletes our support!!!

What do you think of this campaign, and our Canadian athletes? 

The history of the Paralympic games is quite interesting. After World War II, many veterans came home with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and little thirst for life. In 1944, a German neurologist named Sir Ludwig Guttmann set up a spinal injuries unit at The Stoke Mandeville Hospital in England where many of these veterans were sent. Guttmann realized that sport could change the physical and psychological state of his patients. He taught them archery and table tennis, and team sports like water polo. The vets became strong and confident and began looking towards the future.

The first ever Paralympic Games were launched in 1948 when Guttman organized the Stoke Mandeville Games to coincide with the London Olympic Games. That is why they are called the para – Olympic games, because they ran parallel to the Olympics.


Sunday, February 16, 2014

The Transitioning Towards Independence Resource Fair is less than one month away!

Did you know that this Fair is organized by a dedicated team of EMSB teachers? Tanya Yankowski, Carla Toffoli and Anna Gualtieri, under the direction of principal James Fequet, from John Grant High School, are devoted to improving the lives of the students and families that they work with on a daily basis. Because of this, they have an excellent sense of what information needs to be shared. That is what brings so much heart to this event. It has something for everyone in the special needs field, whether you are a parent looking for resources for your child, teen or adult, or a teacher or child care worker looking for tools to share.

Do you know someone that could benefit from learning about resources in the special needs community? Tanya, Carla and Anna bring 40 exhibitors to the fair, all ready to share their services, expertise and knowledge with parents, teachers, caregivers and students. To see who these exhibitors are,  visit our Facebook event page at
While you are there, please join the event, and share it with your friends so we can reach, and ultimately help as many people as possible

Two lectures will take place during the fair that will provide attendees with invaluable information. 

Gamoon Lau from EDUCATE montreal will speak at 7 p.m. about general educational planning and transitions, covering everything form Individual Education Plans to the role of a Child Care Worker. 

Stefanie Demberg from CSSS Cavendish will speak at 8 p.m. about the services offered by the CSSS and the government of Quebec.

The Fair and lectures all take place at the EMSB, 6000 Fielding Avenue, Montreal, Quebec.

Space is limited, so register today at or call 514-484-4161.

We look forward to seeing you there, so stop by the Inspirations table - we have a special surprise for our first few visitors!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Dynamic Funds Teacher of Inspiration 2013: Kaylie Bernert inspires at a country school with a big heart

The Dynamic Funds Teacher of Inspiration 2013: 
Kaylie Bernert inspires at a country school with a big heart

By Wendy Singer

Kaylie Bernert grew up on a farm in Franklin, Quebec. She earned her Bachelor of Education at Bishops University in 2009, and completed her final stage at Ormstown Elementary School (OES) of the New Frontiers School Board (NFSB) where she continues to teach today.

When she graduated, Bernert intended to use a constructivist teaching method. It took one day in the classroom to realize that she would need to be flexible and start by addressing the needs of her students including those with ADHD, severe physical disability, and soon-to-be-diagnosed autism.

Bernert leaned on her colleagues for guidance. “As new teachers, sometimes we feel the need to keep our classroom door closed and just try to survive, but our colleagues are such an asset. There are so many people that I clung to and asked to teach me everything they know. I would not be succeeding without the team at OES and NFSB,” shares Bernert.

Our Dynamic Funds Teacher of Inspiration 2013 handles the grade one year with great care: “We take our concerns seriously, we speak to our school board, specialists, and have the children seen. It’s challenging to have the responsibility of cycle one on your shoulders. We have such an impact on their lives.”

In her first year teaching, Bernert was concerned about one struggling student. “I felt like I was failing him. Everyone works at their own level, but something wasn’t working for him,” she explained.

The turning point was a diagnosis of autism. To decrease her student’s anxiety and sleepless nights, Bernert implemented a structured routine and visual scheduling, making things as consistent as possible between the home and school.

It turns out that scheduling proved to be beneficial all around. The anxiety level of the student with autism decreased, allowing him the opportunity to learn, the entire class became more focused and grounded, and once accustomed to scheduling, it made Bernert’s preparation and teaching days flow more easily.

David Brisebois, principal of OES (fondly referred to as ‘Mr. B’) commends Bernert for creating a dynamic partnership with this student and his parents and fostering a home program that closely resembles what is happening at school.

This compassionate teacher weaves two important life lessons into her teaching year-round:

1. We are all different, and therefore learn differently. For example, the student with ADHD learns better when his body is moving.

2. Fair means you get what you need, and that might not be the same for everyone. A student with ADHD might be entitled to a fidget toy, a lap lizard, or permission to get a ‘passport’ stamped at the office if the student needs to move.

Mr. B considers himself lucky to have this devoted and passionate teacher on his team. “Kaylie is only in her fourth year of teaching but shows wisdom, confidence and poise beyond these few years. In her room, education is magical. Learning is fun.”

Thrilled to work at this 123-student country school, Bernert’s love of teaching and her students is undeniable. She treasures each ‘ahah’ moment, and beams while sharing the news that her student with autism is thriving, recently achieving 100% on a math exam.

Bernert is influenced daily by the wisdom of her mentor Carole Creswell and internship supervisor Joy Palmer. Bernert often returns to advice that Creswell shared with her early on in her teaching career: ‘Some days your job is just to care for the students, listen to them, and send them home knowing they felt loved.’ “That,” reflects Bernert, “Is what it’s all about.” 

Dynamic Funds was established as a small investment club in Montreal in 1957, where it was a pioneer in providing professional investment advice to retail investors. Since then, Dynamic has evolved to become one of Canada’s most recognized wealth management firms. They offer a comprehensive range of products and services, spanning every major sector, geographic region and investment discipline. Dynamic’s financial solutions include open and closed-end in- vestment funds, fee-based, tax-advantaged and customized high-net-worth programs.