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240,000 Canadians have applied for CERB; Three more dead at Pinecrest as death toll at nursing home hits 26; 11 more deaths, nearly 450 new cases in Ontario

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The latest novel coronavirus news from Canada and around the world Monday (this file will be updated throughout the day) with web links to longer stories if available:

1:35 p.m.: Quebec Premier Francois Legault is extending the closure of non-essential businesses in the province to May 4. Legault says COVID-19 is still on an upward slope in Quebec and it would be unrealistic to keep to the original April 13 end date.

The premier announced there were 19 new deaths in Quebec, for a total of 94, and 947 new cases for a total of 7,944. He says he hopes the number of new cases in the province will peak in the coming weeks.

1:30 p.m.: Premier Doug Ford confirms that 500,000 3M masks are coming to Ontario. Says he’s feeling more confident. There were mixed signals this morning. “I have a little bit of optimism now that we’re going to get this resolved.” Ford says close to four million N95 masks ordered and 500,000 of them released.

1:20 p.m.: Ford notes that the previously announced $200 per child under 12 and $250 per special needs child subsidy kicks in today. Apply online.

1:15 p.m.: Ford warns of “extremely serious consequences” if Ontario residents don’t stay home. “Our (medical) supplies are strained at this point.” He again urges residents to stay home.

12:45 p.m.: Ford to speak at his daily briefing at 1 p.m. Live video of the news comference will be livestreamed at thestar.com

12:40 p.m.: Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland says she just spoke with Premier Doug Ford to ensure that all the masks Canada purchased will be exported from the U.S. Ford has been telling reporters today that three million masks were stopped at the border this weekend coming up to Canada. Freeland and Ford have been working closely and talk several times a day.

12:35 p.m.: There has been a second death in Newfoundland and Labrador as a result of COVID-19. Chief medical officer of health Dr. Janice Fitzgerald says the latest death is a 61-year-old woman who was admitted to hospital from home.

Fitzgerald reports nine new cases of COVID-19 in the province, increasing the provincial total to 226, and says there are eight people in hospital, including two in intensive care.

12:15 p.m.: Three more residents of a nursing home in central Ontario have died of COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths at the facility up to 26. The wife of a resident at Pinecrest Nursing Home in Bobcaygeon, Ont., has also died from the novel coronavirus.

The outbreak at the seniors’ residence in Ontario’s cottage country is considered one of the worst in the country. At least 24 staff members at the facility have also tested positive for COVID-19.

12:13 p.m. (updated): Canada’s top public-health doctor says wearing masks is a way for people who might have COVID-19 without realizing it to keep from spreading the illness to others. That’s a change from previous advice.

Dr. Theresa Tam says the change is due to increasing evidence that people with the virus can spread it without knowing they’re sick.

Cloth masks are advised if Canadians are in a position where they can’t be at least two metres away from somebody.

She says masks worn this way protect others more than they protect the people wearing them, and don’t exempt wearers from all the other measures they should take against COVID-19, including physical distancing and regular handwashing.

And Tam says medical masks still need to be preserved for front-line health workers, so cloth masks and other alternatives are the way to go.

12:11 p.m.: Tam says people as young as in their mid-20s are dying of COVID-19.

11:45 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says Tam will give updated information on the use of masks in public at her daily noon briefing.

11:25 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is asked by the Star’s Alex Ballingall about Premier Doug Ford’s comments to Citynews about how Ontario will run out of personal protective equipment for health-care workers in one week after claiming the U.S. stopped a shipment of PPE into Canada. Trudeau says the two countries continue to have productive conversations, and that it’s a two-way street.

11:24 a.m.: Nova Scotia is reporting 31 new cases of COVID-19. The province’s total has now grown to 293 confirmed cases — 64 of which have been resolved.

While most cases in Nova Scotia have been connected to travel or a known case, the province has confirmed cases are now being linked to community spread.

11:15 a.m. (updated): Trudeau says 240,000 people successfully applied for emergency relief in the first few hours after Ottawa opened the process. Only people with birthdays in the first three months of the year can apply for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit today.

The benefit offers $500-a-week payments for workers who have lost all of their income. Trudeau says changes to the program will come soon to offer help for people whose hours have been slashed but who are still working a little.

11:08 a.m: As of 11 a.m., Ontario’s local public health units are reporting 4,859 confirmed or probable cases of COVID-19, including 149 deaths, according to the Star’s latest count of the public tallies and press releases issued by the province’s 34 regional health units.

The total number of cases is up nearly 450 cases, or 10.0 per cent, since the same time Sunday morning.

The health units have reported 11 new deaths in 24 hours, including four more reported in Peel Region Monday morning. Peel has not yet released any information on these deaths, which bring the region’s total to eight since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, the number of people hospitalized and in intensive care continues to grow in Ontario. According to the province, 589 patients are now hospitalized with COVID-19, including 216 in an intensive care unit.

The province says its data is accurate to 4 p.m. the previous day. The province also cautions its latest count of deaths — 132 — may be incomplete or out of date due to delays in its reporting system.

The local health units post new information to their websites throughout the day. The Star’s count includes some patients reported as “probable” COVID-19 cases, meaning they have symptoms and contacts or travel history that indicate they very likely have the disease, but have not yet received a positive lab test.

10:50 a.m.: Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer is calling on the government to increase the charitable donation tax credit. He says this would help increase charitable contributions to hospitals, churches, food banks, women’s shelters and other worthy organizations.

Scheer also wants the government to immediately remove the capital gains tax on charitable donations of private company shares and real estate. He says although many businesses are struggling, some are still thriving and should be encouraged to support the charitable sector.

10:40 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau will hold his daily media briefing about the COVID-19 situation at 11:15 a.m. from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Live video of his briefing will be posted here.

On Sunday, Trudeau announced details for a cash payment for Canadians out of work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications for the Canada Emergency Response Benefit will be accepted starting Monday, offering Canadians who have lost their jobs because of the crisis $2,000 a month.

10:24 a.m.: The Open Championship, also known as the British Open, has been cancelled, organizers announced Monday. It’s the first time since 1945 that this major golf championship has been cancelled.

10:05 a.m.: VIA Rail has suspended service of the “Canadian” — its service connecting passengers between Toronto and Vancouver — until June 1, due to the spread of the coronavirus, the national rail passenger service said in a news release.

The measure is needed “in light of the continued expansion of travel limitations as well as the widening of physical distancing and isolation measures,” the company said.

Passengers who booked a trip during this period will be contacted and reimbursed automatically.

10 a.m.: Toronto Mayor John Tory says he’s in favour of shutting down High Park, which usually attracts huge crowds for the cherry blossoms later this month. “I just don’t think that crowd scene is going to work in terms of the kind of physical distance we’re trying to encourage,” Tory told CP24, adding that he hopes to have some announcement this week of some sort of livestream so that people can still see it.

Hundreds were turned away from Toronto parks over the weekend as residents defy COVID-19 warnings, the Star’s Katie Daubs reports.

9:58 a.m.: Spain reported the lowest number of new coronavirus cases in more than two weeks, a sign that Europe’s biggest outbreak is slowing.

New infections were 4,273, taking the total to 135,032, according to Health Ministry data on Monday. The death toll rose by 637 to 13,055 in the past 24 hours, a smaller gain than Sunday’s 674 and the lowest number of daily fatalities since March 24.

9:44 a.m.: Stocks jumped in markets around the world Monday after some of the hardest-hit areas offered sparks of hope that the worst of the coronavirus outbreak may be on the horizon. U.S. stocks climbed more than three per cent in the first few minutes of trading, following similar gains in Europe and Asia. Bay Street was up 3.6 per cent at the opening of the market.

9:40 a.m.: Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is scheduled to hold his daily media briefing about the COVID-19 situation at 11:15 a.m. Monday from Rideau Cottage in Ottawa. Check back here for the live video from the news conference.

9:15 a.m.: The latest numbers on the Johns Hopkins website report the number of COVID-19 cases worldwide at 1,288,372 with 70,482 deaths. Among those, 270,249 have recovered from the illness. The United States (337,933), Spain (135,032), Italy (128,948) and Germany (100,132) have the highest number of cases.

8:44 a.m.: South Africa, one of the world’s most unequal countries with a large population vulnerable to the new coronavirus, may have an advantage in the outbreak, honed during years battling HIV and tuberculosis: the know-how and infrastructure to conduct mass testing.

8:31 a.m.: The United States and Britain braced for one of their bleakest weeks in living memory on Monday as the social and financial toll of the coronavirus pandemic deepened. New infections in Italy and especially Spain showed signs of slowing, with emergency rooms in the hard-hit Madrid region returning almost to normal a week after scenes of patients sleeping on floors and in chairs.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was infected last month, was hospitalized overnight in what his office described as a “precautionary step” after persistent symptoms. The 55-year-old Conservative leader, who had a fever for days, is the first known head of government to fall ill with the disease.

8:26 a.m.: Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says that he will declare a state of emergency for Tokyo and six other prefectures as early as Tuesday to bolster measures to fight the coronavirus outbreak, but that there will be no hard lockdowns.

7 a.m. Foreign Affairs Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne says Canadian passengers on the Coral Princess cruise ship will be headed home Monday, after undergoing a health screening.

Champagne says in a tweet that Canadians who don’t show any symptoms of COVID-19 will be allowed to disembark the ship in Florida and get on a flight chartered by Holland America.

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The minister says they’ll be screened again upon arrival and subject to a mandatory 14-day self-isolation period.

Some passengers were allowed off the ship yesterday but Canadians weren’t among them, due to new guidelines by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control guidelines.

Those guidelines said cruise passengers shouldn’t board commercial flights, meaning only those with chartered flights were able to disembark.

6 a.m.: Three out of four U.S. hospitals surveyed are already treating patients with confirmed or suspected COVID-19, according to a federal report that finds hospitals expect to be overwhelmed as cases rocket toward their projected peak.

4:15 a.m.: Applications open today for the new federal emergency aid benefit for Canadians who lost their income because of COVID-19.

The Canada Revenue Agency will open its application portals this morning to those born in the first three months of the year, with those born in other months able to apply later in the week.

People born in April, May and June can apply Tuesday, those born in July, August or September can apply Wednesday and applications are accepted Thursday from people born in October, November and December. Friday, Saturday and Sunday will be open to anyone.

More than two million Canadians lost their jobs in the last half of March as businesses across the country were forced to close or reduce their operations to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Others are unable to work because they are required to self-isolate at home, or need to look after children whose schools and daycares are closed.

To be eligible for the emergency benefit, workers must have earned at least $5,000 in 2019, or in the 12 months before applying. The benefit is the same for everyone regardless of previous income, and is a less complicated application process than for employment insurance.

Canadians who sign up for direct deposit could get their first payment before the end of the week, while those who opt for printed cheques will get money in 10 days.

4:05 a.m.: Students across Ontario begin online learning today, more than three weeks after COVID-19 shuttered schools in the name of physical distancing.

Teachers will lead the effort with both live and pre-recorded lessons, but the move poses challenges nonetheless.

The Ministry of Education has said that e-learning cannot fully replace the in-class experience, so the goal is to help students continue their education as much as possible during the pandemic.

4 a.m.: The U.S. Surgeon General says Americans should brace for levels of tragedy reminiscent of the Sept. 11 attacks and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, while the nation’s infectious disease chief warned Sunday that the new coronavirus may never be completely eradicated from the globe.

Those were some of the most grim assessments yet for the immediate future and beyond. But hours later, President Donald Trump and Vice-President Mike Pence tried to strike more optimistic tones, suggesting that hard weeks ahead could mean beginning to turn a corner.

“We’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel,” Trump said at a Sunday evening White House briefing. Pence added, “We are beginning to see glimmers of progress.”

The president, however, added that he thought the next two weeks “are going to be very difficult.”

Earlier Sunday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams told CNN, “This is going to be the hardest and the saddest week of most Americans’ lives, quite frankly.”

The number of people infected in the U.S. has exceeded 337,000, with the death toll climbing past 9,600. More than 4,100 of those deaths are in the state of New York, but a glimmer of hope there came on Sunday when Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo said his state registered a small dip in new fatalities over a 24-hour period.

4 a.m.: There are 15,512 confirmed and presumptive cases in Canada, according to The Canadian Press.

  • Quebec: 7,944 confirmed (including 94 deaths, 464 resolved)
  • Ontario: 4,038 confirmed (including 119 deaths, 1,449 resolved)
  • Alberta: 919 confirmed (including 23 deaths, 279 resolved), 331 presumptive
  • British Columbia: 1,203 confirmed (including 38 deaths, 673 resolved)
  • Nova Scotia: 262 confirmed (including 53 resolved)
  • Saskatchewan: 249 confirmed (including 3 deaths, 67 resolved)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: 217 confirmed (including 1 death, 28 resolved)
  • Manitoba: 187 confirmed (including 2 deaths, 17 resolved), 16 presumptive
  • New Brunswick: 101 confirmed (including 28 resolved)
  • Prince Edward Island: 22 confirmed (including 6 resolved)
  • Repatriated Canadians: 13 confirmed
  • Yukon: 6 confirmed (including 4 resolved)
  • Northwest Territories: 4 confirmed (including 1 resolved)
  • Nunavut: No confirmed cases
  • Total: 15,512 (347 presumptive, 15,165 confirmed including 280 deaths, 3,069 resolved)

7:20 p.m.: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been admitted to a hospital with the new coronavirus.

Johnson’s office says he is being admitted for tests because he still has symptoms, 10 days after testing positive for the virus.

Downing St. says the hospitalization is a “precautionary step” and he remains in charge of the government.

Johnson, 55, has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26.



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Supply Chain Canada, Alberta Institute Introduces the Supply Chain Workforce Marketplace

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The Province of Alberta is partnering with the Government of Canada to provide employment support programs and services. Now, Supply Chain Canada, with support from the Labour Market Partnerships Program, has stepped up for its community of professionals and for its country. The Supply Chain Workforce Marketplace as a free and open resource to help ensure visibility to the available supply chain talent across the country, and to help match this talent with opportunities. Whether a business is looking for supply chain talent, or a supply chain worker is willing and able to work, the Supply Chain Workforce Marketplace is the means through which they can tap into national resources. It has been designed to strengthen supply chains in Alberta by ensuring that all available talent can be rapidly utilized to support the country during this crisis, as we move into recovery.

The Supply Chain Workforce Marketplace is for members, partners, businesses, professionals, recruiters, those recently out of work, students and volunteers to connect and share opportunities with each other. Supply Chain Canada recognizes that it is only through committed support to our essential supply chain workers, businesses, profession and community at large that we can help achieve our collective well-being. As the voice of the supply chain community in Alberta, they take it as their responsibility to encourage these connections. It is how they keep Alberta moving in the months ahead.

Canada is blessed with having some of the most highly skilled supply chain professionals in the world. Due to the pandemic, however, there are many who are not currently employed. Our role at Supply Chain Canada is to ensure that those companies and organizations in need of talent are able to quickly and effectively find that talent,” said Christian Buhagiar, President and CEO, Supply Chain Canada.

Today, it is essential that businesses quickly find displaced supply chain talent so that their experiences and skills can be used for new and shifting supply chain demands across the country. The Supply Chain Workforce Marketplace is a way for Canadians to harness what is most representative of them: their talent.

Visit https://www.supplychaincanada.com/workforce-marketplace

About Supply Chain Canada
Supply Chain Canada™ is the voice of Canada’s supply chain, representing and serving more than 7,500 professionals across the country, as well as the wider supply chain community. It is a federation, with a national secretariat and 10 provincial/territorial Institutes. Its mission is to “provide leadership to the Canadian supply chain community, provide value to all members, and advance the profession.” Through its education, advocacy and resource-development initiatives, the association endeavours to advance its vision, to see that “Canadian supply chain professionals and organizations are recognized for leading innovation, global competitiveness and driving economic growth.” The association’s Supply Chain Management Professional™ (SCMP™) designation is Canada’s most-sought-after professional designation for those entering the field and advancing as leaders in supply chain.

SOURCE Supply Chain Canada

For further information: Pat Campbell, Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, Supply Chain Canada, [email protected], 416-977-7111 x3202

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San Ramon Valley district picks new superintendent

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DANVILLE — The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has looked to the north — Canada — in selecting its new superintendent.

John Malloy, the current director of education at the Toronto District School Board, was chosen as the finalist for the job after an extensive search process that included input from the community, educators and the search firm. The Toronto District School Board is the largest in Canada and serves more than 247,000 students in 583 schools throughout Toronto, according to the news release. San Ramon Valley Unified has an enrollment of 32,000.

Malloy was set to retire Nov. 1 from the Toronto job, according to the Toronto Sun, when he accepted the San Ramon position.

“I am privileged and excited to be the new superintendent of the San Ramon Valley Unified School District starting August 1,” Malloy said in a video statement. “I was drawn to the district because it was clear to me from afar that you are committed to students — their achievement, their well-being, holding high standards, supporting their learning. And that really resonated with me.”

Malloy, who has more than 30 years of experience in public and private education, will replace Superintendent Rick Schmitt, who announced his retirement April 3. Schmitt’s term runs through the end of June.

The school board will confirm a job offer to Malloy at an upcoming board meeting, with details on the contract length and salary at that time.

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Malloy to the San Ramon Valley Unified School District,” School Board President Greg Marvel said in a statement. “He quickly emerged as an outstanding candidate whose vast experience and strong leadership abilities will greatly benefit the students, families and employees of the SRVUSD, as we navigate a new path forward in education during these uncertain times.”

Malloy, who is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada, attended school and worked in the United States before going to Toronto as a teacher in the Toronto Catholic board, according to the Toronto Sun. He headed the Hamilton-Wentworth board and also worked as an assistant deputy minister in Ontario’s Ministry of Education before taking the helm in Toronto four years ago.

At its May 26 meeting, the San Ramon Valley school board — over the objections of nearly 300 people — approved 2.56 percent salary increase for its top management. The decision included boosting Superintendent Schmitt’s salary to $357,832, retroactively to July 1, 2019.

The San Ramon Valley Unified School District has 36 schools with more than 32,000 students in Alamo, Danville, Blackhawk, Diablo and San Ramon.

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‘I had to fight for it’

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For Mariam Abeid, education has always been an almighty struggle. 

Growing up in Kenya, she had to fight to complete her schooling in a community where girls’ education wasn’t a priority. She later married a Toronto man whose parents promised she could pursue her education in Canada – but she says they went back on their word and compelled her to become a full-time housewife.

Her husband later died, leaving Abeid – by then a mother of three –penniless and distraught. But Abeid refused to give up and is now graduating with a master’s degree in child studies and education from the University of Toronto’s Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE), and is looking forward to her first teaching job.

“I thank God that I applied to OISE and got in,” Abeid says. “I got an education there and I got my life back. I have more courage, more strength and more confidence in myself now.

“I don’t know how my life would have turned out now if I didn’t go there.”

It’s been a difficult journey for Abeid, who recalls how her life was turned upside-down when her husband died in 2010. “I was beyond myself,” she says. “I kept crying. I had no idea what I would do. I just kept hugging my kids and crying.” 

While still dealing with that tragedy, Abeid got word that her father in Kenya was ailing with a heart condition. She went to visit him, leaving her children behind at the insistence of her in-laws. What was supposed to be a short trip to Kenya turned into a year-and-a-half after her family refused to let her leave, and demanded she find a way to bring her kids over from Canada.

Eventually, Abeid managed to return to Canada, but says her in-laws – who were then living in an apartment that had been leased in Abeid’s name and that of her late husband – refused to return her children.

“I didn’t even know what the laws were in Canada. I was completely oblivious,” Abeid says. “I didn’t even know the country I lived in for 10 years because, after getting married, I was always at home. I had no friends and they prevented me from going out alone.”

U of T grad Mariam Abeid (second from left) and her three children (photo courtesy Mariam Abeid)

At one point, Abeid was forced to stay in a shelter in downtown Toronto. There, she met a lawyer who took up her case and, in 2012, helped her regain custody of her children and take back the apartment from her in-laws.

Abeid began to take her first steps toward a career in education at her kids’ school. She began volunteering and her talent in dealing with children was spotted by a teacher who suggested Abeid look into getting a diploma in early childhood education.

Abeid ran with the idea. She studied at Humber College before completing an undergraduate degree at the University of Guelph, where a professor recommended she pursue a master’s degree at OISE.

After attending an OISE open house and learning more about OISE and U of T, Abeid says she was sold – so much so that she applied to three different master’s programs at OISE, and didn’t bother applying to any other university.

“Everyone was like, ‘You’re crazy, you should apply elsewhere, too. Why are you only applying to one university?’” Abeid says. “But I said, ‘I don’t care, I’m okay with anything I get at OISE.”

She says the strength of OISE’s master’s in child studies and education stems from the way it blends research and practice.

“We learn about how children learn, what’s behind it, child-centred approaches and so on – and it’s very research-based, which I liked a lot,” she says. “Then with the [Dr. Eric Jackman Institute of Child Study] Lab School downstairs, I got to see how the theory was integrated into practice. I was seeing it take place in the school.

“How you prep students to be able to handle what you’re teaching them and what they’re learning, how to ask questions – all of that.”

At OISE, Abeid also found a culture of caring and support.

“It’s very intimate and it’s a small group. We get to know our teachers and they get to know us,” she says. “Most of the time, I was dealing with personal problems, but I could go knock on a professor’s door and they’d drop everything to listen to me, talk to me and sometimes even give me advice. It helped me so much.”

Abeid’s time at OISE was marked by a strong work ethic and perfectionist attitude – something she traces back to her childhood in Kenya and her desperation to go to school.

“I had to get good grades to show that it’s not a waste of time for a girl to go to school,” she says. “I had to fight to keep my grades up so I could justify going to school. I couldn’t even complain about anything because then they might say ‘Okay, if you don’t like school, stay at home,” she says.

“Even now [at OISE], when I had a serious family reason to leave class or get an extension on a paper, I had a lot of trouble doing it. The professors were so understanding but I still couldn’t bear it.

“I think it stuck with me. I don’t know what do – it’s a curse and a blessing at the same time.”

Michael Martins, a Grade 3 teacher who supervised Abeid’s internship in his classroom at the OISE lab school, described her as “an extraordinary individual” whose cheerful demeanour belied the personal challenges she was navigating, and whose positive attitude in the face of adversity was a source of inspiration.

“Mariam entered the Grade 3 classroom every day with a smile, ready to support children in any way possible,” says Martins. “Her ability to connect to students was observed each day as she brought a calm and understanding attitude to each interaction. She was incredibly reflective and always looked at each challenge as an opportunity to learn and improve.

“Not only have the obstacles to completing her master’s degree been immense, but she did all this while supporting three children at home on her own. Mariam’s story is an inspiration to anyone, as her enduring positivity is a model of what it means to be resilient and practise a life of gratitude.”

Abeid’s drive helped her secure financial support in the form of the OISE bursary program and a scholarship that supports exceptional U of T students who plan to pursue a career in primary or secondary teaching in Ontario.

She is now looking forward to starting her career as an assistant teacher at the OISE lab school, where she looks forward to teaching and improving her understanding of classroom dynamics.

Her goal is to eventually do a doctoral degree at OISE and conduct research on mental health and wellness in classrooms and schools. It’s a topic that’s close to Abeid’s heart, as she saw her daughter struggle with anxiety through her school years.

“I wasn’t happy about what I saw in my daughter’s school,” Abeid says. “When she was in elementary school, the teachers were afraid of her. One teacher told me she was scared when my child was having an episode and didn’t know what was wrong with her. In my mind, I thought, ‘You’re a teacher – if you see a child like that, you should be able to help.’ That saddened me a lot.

“As teachers, we sometimes forget that we have that kind of responsibility, and we think it’s only about taking care of what’s going on inside the classroom. We need to take a step in educating ourselves on mental health and wellness and how to help the kids.”

Abeid says her daughter – now 19 and preparing to start university – and two younger teenage sons are her biggest fans, and that she strives to convey to them and all young people to never take education for granted.

“I hope and pray that I’m an inspiration to them. If I can do this, I believe they can do much more,” Abeid says. “I tell them every day, ‘education is power.’ It levels you out with everyone else. It doesn’t matter if you’re wealthy or poor – if you have good education, you can go wherever you want and there is no limit.

“I know the value of education because I had to fight for it.”

As for what her own future will bring, Abeid is clear about one thing: Her journey of learning is only just getting started.

“I don’t want to stop. I don’t think learning ever stops, especially when you’re a teacher.”

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