The Circle https://www.thecircleeducation.org Empowering Youth for a Better Tomorrow Tue, 21 Dec 2021 19:21:59 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/cropped-The-Circle-800px-32x32.jpg The Circle https://www.thecircleeducation.org 32 32 ‘The work The Circle is doing is unique and vital’ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/18/the-work-the-circle-is-doing-is-unique-and-vital/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/18/the-work-the-circle-is-doing-is-unique-and-vital/#respond Sat, 18 Dec 2021 00:44:17 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6347 As a parent of a participant in The Circle’s programs, and as a local educator, Shelly Johnson has a unique perspective on social-emotional education. Our Education Outreach Program Coordinator Adele Mark, sat down with Shelly to hear her take on the benefits of social-emotional learning.   Shelly, could you tell us a little bit about […]

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As a parent of a participant in The Circle’s programs, and as a local educator, Shelly Johnson has a unique perspective on social-emotional education. Our Education Outreach Program Coordinator Adele Mark, sat down with Shelly to hear her take on the benefits of social-emotional learning.

 

Shelly, could you tell us a little bit about yourself before we start?

I am the principal at Salt Spring Elementary, and I have been a supporter of The Circle for some time now. There’s been programming in my school that’s been well received over the years. And my son Liam is in the Pass It On Boys program.

Can you speak to some of the impacts that Liam’s participation in the program has had on his social-emotional well-being? Has he developed any new skills? What are the best lessons or takeaways that the programming has to offer?

It’s been really great for him. He has made a strong connection with the facilitator of the program last year. The facilitator is musical, and so is Liam. Their connection has inspired Liam to continue to do things with music; write music and play music. It’s been a positive mentorship for him. I have also noticed that his confidence and self-esteem have increased. His focus has become better since being involved. Not only have there been mental health benefits, but physical ones as well. The program has provided him with a chance to run around outside, play games, and be active with his buddies, without a lot of expectations. Liam is not very athletic, and he would say that to you himself! If he was on the soccer team, for example, he would feel a lot of pressure to be good. In Pass It On, there is less expectation of performance or achievement; they are just there to have fun and connect. That has been a great benefit for youth like my son, who would usually rather be on a couch with an iPad instead. Especially this year with a pandemic, to have something available socially for kids when a lot of other programming was canceled, has been vital.

And where do you see these changes in Liam’s social-emotional well-being having the biggest impact on his life? At home, his relationships, his school performance?

I would say it has impacted him in all of those spheres. The new connections he has made through the program and the strengthening of some of his existing connections have been really good for his relationships. That also improves things at home because he’s happier when he’s involved in a program like this. He did very well this year in school and as I mentioned, his focus has improved so this program could be attributed to that. It has helped his musical performances and led to his decision to stay in the school band. Generally, he is feeling better about himself.

We live on Salt Spring Island, which is a rural area with a population of about 10,000 people. What are the impacts of rural living on your child’s development? What are the gifts? What are the challenges?

One gift is that this is a safe place to grow up. Even in the sense of the pandemic this year, Salt Spring was a safe place to be. There are so many things to do outside and plenty of recreational activities, like going for a hike or a bike ride. He’s known some kids his whole life; I was in maternity class with their parents before he was born! Some of those kids are in Pass It On with him. But one of the biggest challenges is that there aren’t so many opportunities for kids. There are only so many other kids their age to interact with. Another challenge is that the kids don’t grow up with a worldly perspective. And they don’t know how to be street smart. It is something they will have to learn when they leave.

Do social-emotional programs, like those offered by The Circle, help to counteract some of the challenges that you have highlighted?

Oh, definitely. It provides a forum for kids to get together. Liam has had the opportunity to connect with kids his age outside of school, forge some new connections, as well as deeper friendships with some of the kids that he already knew in the program. He also got to meet some older kids and the mentors, which he probably never would have had any interaction with otherwise. That’s been really positive.

You have a unique perspective as both a parent of a youth in our programming and as an educator. Taking the latter perspective, have you noticed similar feedback from other kids, parents, or teachers about the positive impacts of social-emotional programming?

I will speak to the Empathy Project that has gone on here at Salt Spring Elementary. I’ve heard nothing but positive feedback about the program. The teachers tell me that it’s wonderful. I think it’s fantastic to have social-emotional programs like this available in schools. Not all teachers are comfortable teaching a program like this on their own or have had the opportunity to be trained to deliver this kind of programming, so the work The Circle is doing is unique and vital. We appreciate having that available to our students.

Have you personally benefited from social-emotional learning or education in your own life?

My job is very much a people job. I’m constantly learning about others and building my resiliency and my skills in that area. It makes me better at what I do. I have often taken workshops and read books and articles about social-emotional learning. This learning improves my own personal and professional life. It’s important for everyone.

Thank you so much for your time today. Is there anything else important that you’d like to add?

The Circle does fantastic work and I wish you all the best. I’m happy to continue both my professional and personal connection to the organization. Good luck to you!

Photo by Jeswin Thomas on Unsplash

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Learn How to Work Better with Youth https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/16/learn-how-to-work-better-with-youth/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/16/learn-how-to-work-better-with-youth/#respond Thu, 16 Dec 2021 21:16:25 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6342 The Circle Salt Spring Education Society is offering a new ‘Methods and Tools for Deeper Connections with youth’ course at the end of January 2022. This offering is ideal for individuals who work with youth in a variety of contexts, whether it be formal educational settings, after-school programming, or even more personal and familial relationships.  […]

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The Circle Salt Spring Education Society is offering a new ‘Methods and Tools for Deeper Connections with youth’ course at the end of January 2022.

This offering is ideal for individuals who work with youth in a variety of contexts, whether it be formal educational settings, after-school programming, or even more personal and familial relationships.  It can also be used with whole staff teams to nurture collegial relationships built through learning together towards a common goal of supporting student social-emotional development.

The Circle delivers innovative, evidence-based social-emotional educational programs for children and youth in our school district. Facilitation is part of what makes our programs successful.

This program will ensure that you are able to connect with the youth you work within a meaningful and supportive way. You’ll build trust and relationships and develop strong practices to encourage personal growth and development.

In a fun-filled, hands-on set of sessions, you’ll get a chance to lead a group, design and play games that work, as well as develop strong communication and facilitation techniques that you can use in any group situation.

Our ‘Methods and Tools for Deeper Connections with Youth’ involves a total of 10 hours of learning and development.

Give the Gift of Connection with Youth this Christmas. To yourself and the youth in your life or to someone who is interested in growing meaningful connections with youth.

Dates:  January 27, 28, 29 (in-person*)

Thursday (Jan. 27th) 5pm-7 pm

Friday (Jan. 28th) 5pm-7pm

Saturday (Jan 29th) 10am-4pm

*This training will be in-person. Appropriate COVID protocols will be observed and PHO orders adhered to as they develop.

Location: Salt Spring Island, TBA

Instructor: Kate Nash

Cost:  $299 (lunch included on Saturday)

You can register here

Or contact us at info@thecircleeducation.org 

Photo: Unsplash – Naassom Azevedo

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Elly Silverman Reflects On Dec. 6 Impact And Violence Against Women https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/02/elly-silverman-reflects-on-dec-6-impact-and-violence-against-women/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/02/elly-silverman-reflects-on-dec-6-impact-and-violence-against-women/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 18:10:28 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6297 Every year, Islanders Working Against Violence and The Circle Salt Spring Education Society hold a vigil on Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day is to remember the 14 young women who were killed during the Polytechnique Montreal massacre on Dec. 6, 1989, and all the other […]

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Every year, Islanders Working Against Violence and The Circle Salt Spring Education Society hold a vigil on Dec. 6, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. This day is to remember the 14 young women who were killed during the Polytechnique Montreal massacre on Dec. 6, 1989, and all the other women who have experienced gender-based violence and those we have lost to it. The vigil will be live-streamed on Facebook @islandersworkingagainstviolence. 

Elly Silverman, a Salt Spring resident for over more than 20 years, knows exactly where she was on Dec. 6, 1989. As the director of research for the Canadian Advisory Council on the Status of Women, who advised the federal government and informed and educated the public about women’s issues, she was in her office in Ottawa on the day of the massacre.

“I’d just got in when I got the news of the horrible shooting and the many deaths,” she said.

Silverman was the head of Women’s Studies at the University of Calgary, the program she started in 1974, but had traded Calgary for two years in Ottawa at that time. She was in the heart of the feminist movement. “The council, which doesn’t exist anymore, was set up to educate on women’s issues, but also to advocate. I had a fantastic budget and could commission research on so many subjects relevant to women’s lives.”

Long before the act of violent misogyny in Montreal that shook up our country, Silverman and researchers in Calgary and Ottawa were already aware of the large scale of violence against women. “We were utterly shocked by what happened in Montreal, but we were not entirely surprised. At the time, people thought, and maybe still do, that it was the act of a crazy person. He was crazy, but it was very much a terrible overt expression of what we’d already known to be true over and over again; that women in our society are mistrusted, maligned, and even despised.”

“The sad thing is, over the years the rates of violence against women didn’t change, they are exactly the same. Or maybe even got worse since the pandemic,” she continues. “People are stuck in their households and there is increased frustration, increased ugliness and bad behaviour. And it happens in every social class. It is not a poverty or a wealth issue.”

How is it possible that all those years later, violence against women on a large scale — every six days a woman in Canada is killed by her intimate partner (Statistics Canada 2019), still persists? Silverman: “We can now fill libraries full of research on violence against women and there are endless numbers of potential solutions that are never enforced. We know it is happening, but not enough people care to actually do something about it. That’s why it is important to commemorate and continue to raise awareness on days like Dec. 6.”

Law enforcement plays a big role in fighting violence against women. “We need to truly enforce the laws that we have and I don’t think the police and courts have done a good job with that so far. Plus, as a woman comes forward with a story of assault, it is a very hard experience for her. They create fancy footwork as ways not to believe her: she’s making it up, it was a false memory. Let’s start with the position of believing women when they talk about their experiences.”

There is also work to be done at home for parents, Silverman thinks. “Stereotypes of masculinity still prevail. Boys are raised to become men who are dominant, while girls are told not to dress a certain way, not to behave a certain way, to not go on the street by themselves. It is not safe to be who you are basically. Things are changing, I know. Groups like The Circle are playing a large role in schools in this area, but there is still a lot of work to be done.”

The massacre, now more than 30 years ago, weighed heavily on Silverman. “It added another level of rage. Anger that I could express as anger instead of remaining always so polite as I am. Women’s issues are everything to me, even now when I am retired. I have never, and never will let go of my need to be involved.”

Published in the Gulf Islands Driftwood on December 1st, 2021

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Islanders invited to join December 6 Memorial https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/02/islanders-invited-to-join-december-6-memorial/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/12/02/islanders-invited-to-join-december-6-memorial/#respond Thu, 02 Dec 2021 01:21:34 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6290 On Monday, December 6, Salt Spring islanders are invited to gather online at 5 pm in memorial and solidarity of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.  Like last year, the memorial – hosted by The Circle Salt Spring Education Society and Islanders Working Against Violence (IWAV) – will […]

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On Monday, December 6, Salt Spring islanders are invited to gather online at 5 pm in memorial and solidarity of the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada.  Like last year, the memorial – hosted by The Circle Salt Spring Education Society and Islanders Working Against Violence (IWAV) – will be a Zoom event that will be live-streamed online via IWAV’s Facebook page: @islandersworkingagainstviolence

The National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada was established in 1991 by the Parliament of Canada to commemorate the 14 young women who were murdered by a gunman on December 6, 1989, at l’École Polytechnique in Montreal as a deliberate act of violence against women.

IWAV provides anti-violence services to women and children in the Southern Gulf Islands. In 2020-21, IWAV took 428 crisis calls and served over 151 women and 32 children fleeing violence and abuse. These services include a 24hr crisis line, outreach and advocacy, sexual assault response, counselling, and transitional housing.

The COVID pandemic still has a significant impact on women experiencing intimate partner violence and sexual assaults. IWAV has seen an increase in service demands, escalation of violence, and increased vulnerability of women and children who experience violence and abuse.

“For some people, being stuck at home, financial strain, boredom, and fewer connections was the perfect storm for a sharp increase in mental health issues and the violence that often results,” says Heather Picotte, Transition House Manager for IWAV. “And although we saw globally, increased rates of domestic violence increased during the pandemic, ironically and sadly we had fewer stays in transition houses. Individuals experiencing violence have had more difficulty reaching out for support or making exit plans because they‘ve had little privacy to do so.”

The Circle Salt Spring Education Society delivers innovative, evidence-based educational programs for children, youth and adults in order to promote communities free of violence, bullying, discrimination, assault and abuse. “On this the 33rd Anniversary of the horrible events at l’École Polytechnique, we pause to take stock of what we have and have not accomplished in the empowerment of women,” says Dr. Eric Ellis, the Chair of The Circle. “You only have to pick up a newspaper, listen to the radio or watch television to be reminded of what we have not accomplished. But it is programs like the Circle Salt Spring Education Society are developing and offering to Salt Spring children that are helping our children today make a difference to women in the future.”

December 6 is a time to reflect on gender-based violence in our society. It’s equally an opportunity to reflect on the light of the candles that will be lit and to join in community to renew our strength, honour the lives of women, and hope for more inclusive and peaceful communities.

 

 

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‘Social-emotional learning encourages kids to care about each other’ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/11/23/social-emotional-learning-encourages-kids-to-care-about-each-other/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/11/23/social-emotional-learning-encourages-kids-to-care-about-each-other/#respond Tue, 23 Nov 2021 22:09:00 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6281 Adele Mark, Education Outreach Program Coordinator, at The Circle interviewed Gail Bryn-Jones, a dedicated advocate of social-emotional education and teacher of over 30 years on Salt Spring Island School district. Gail has a master’s degree in Education and has served as a board member of the Salt Spring Conservancy and The Circle Salt Spring Education […]

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Adele Mark, Education Outreach Program Coordinator, at The Circle interviewed Gail Bryn-Jones, a dedicated advocate of social-emotional education and teacher of over 30 years on Salt Spring Island School district. Gail has a master’s degree in Education and has served as a board member of the Salt Spring Conservancy and The Circle Salt Spring Education Society.   

 Adele Mark: My first question for you is, what do you do and what is your connection to The Circle?

Gail Bryn-Jones: I am an elementary school teacher on Salt Spring Island. I’ve been teaching in the school system here since 1987. I have had The Circle’s programs in my classroom for the last 5 years now and I am also a member of The Circle’s board of directors. Before that, my most relevant history was with the Virtues Project. For those who are unfamiliar, the Virtues Project started with a family who wanted to be of service to the community. They compiled a list of 52 characteristics that describe what it is to be a good person, such as curiosity, assertiveness, determination. The hope was for families to teach one virtue a week for a year to their children to replace things like “nice girl” or “bad boy” with a better vocabulary of positive “virtues.” It’s expanded into classrooms, prisons, workplaces, churches, and all around first nations communities. I was involved in copy editing and proofing the original Virtues Project guide and I was very involved in facilitating workshops. Those are the two bits of my bio that relate particularly well to social-emotional learning and teaching.

AM: I am glad you mentioned that. For those who are new to social-emotional learning, could you explain what it is and why it’s important? What is your own personal connection to social-emotional learning?

GBJ: Social-emotional learning in the school context is where we address the children and their affective side. How they are feeling affects how they can learn and how they can participate. If you look at the two words social and emotional, there’s a lot that humans need to know about how to take care of themselves emotionally but also how to integrate with others emotionally.

GBJ: When you think about what contributes to students’ success, it’s just as much intellectual capability as it is their social confidence, respect for each other, and respect for themselves. How much we value ourselves is a direct contributor to how well we do out in the world. More and more, it seems like socialization rules that families could and should be teaching are not happening in some homes and so we have to make up for it at school. Finding ways for kids to feel good about themselves has always been the most important thing about my teaching job.

AM: It is interesting that you said that. I think that is something really special that a lot of teachers on Salt Spring give to their students. When I moved here in Grade 10, I was so surprised and humbled by how much the teachers were interested in how I was feeling outside of what they were teaching me.

GBJ: Absolutely. It’s taken a while for the curriculum to catch up to what teachers have known for a long time, and then it’s taken a while for a new generation of teachers to really give it time in the classroom. As teachers, we’ve always had to guard our time so that we don’t run out of time to teach math or reading. We often don’t want to bring in anything else, yet we have to look at how important social-emotional learning is. Kids have to feel good about themselves before they can really maximize their learning.

AM: Switching gears a little, I know that you raised children on the island. As a parent, what are the biggest challenges of rural living for youth that you have noticed, and how can social-emotional learning help with those challenges?

 GBJ: It’s interesting that you put it as a challenge. I think if you asked my children about being raised in this rural situation, I think that they would both say that there are very few things that they feel like they missed in their childhood. If anything, the one thing as a parent I feel that they miss is exposure to a diversity of people. We are fairly monocultural. Hang on a second. My 28-year-old child would like to add something.

Gail’s son, Arlo [from the background]: Yes, exactly! Oh, exactly that.

GBJ: He agrees that the lack of diversity is the shortfall of this community. In a way, I think that they had a very safe, almost gentle, place to grow up. That has contributed to them feeling like they can embrace the rest of the diversity that they didn’t necessarily get exposed to. When the kids were little, we could go to a community event and, if for some reason something happened and I needed to leave, there would be a dozen people at that event that I could say to, “Hey, could you take the kids?” That kind of security where there are community people caring for children, allowed them to develop their social understanding in a really safe way. For me, the good things outweigh the challenges.

AM: I would agree that my experience growing up on Salt Spring has been mostly positive. I always thought that my positive experience was because I already had lived in a big city, but I know that some of my friends really struggled with the isolation. So, many of them were ready to leave and not ever come back after graduation.

GBJ: Of course, that makes sense. When we grow up only knowing one certain way, we want to learn about other parts of the world. But our basic values don’t disappear just because we’re going to experience other things. The confidence-building that has happened in those first years on the island while also learning about their social-emotional well-being helps kids move on and find those new experiences. Otherwise, it is kind of a big scary world out there. It all traces back to that early social-emotional learning.

AM: My next question is, what tips would you give to parents to support social-emotional learning at home? What would you say to a parent who is struggling with homeschooling either full-time or when their child comes home from school?

GBJ: Often young parents, especially if they had any kind of strict or restrictive upbringing, tend to go too much in the opposite direction where they give a lot of freedoms to their children too early. I talk about the container that we hold our children in, and that even if it’s a small container, if the edges are well defined, if the boundaries are clear, kids feel cared about. If kids can push those boundaries without facing a consequence or being shown that their parents care, then how will they know how to be without their parents’ guidance? Having a small box with strong boundaries is better than having a large box where the boundaries shift. I see it all the time in the classroom where parents are not clear on what kind of structure they want to give their kids and so rather than leading they are following. Instead, if we try and anticipate the age stages of our children and at least keep up with them, if not lead, then you start to balance freedoms and responsibilities. That helps them build self-respect because we’re showing them respect. We need to show our kids at home that we believe they are capable of meeting a higher standard. Believing in them and showing them that respect with consistent boundaries helps eliminate a lot of the behaviour issues that come up in the classroom later on.

AM: Let’s talk about the Empathy Project, a program offered by The Circle for Grade 3, 4, and 5 students to provide them with the building blocks of social-emotional learning. As someone who has had the program in your classroom for the last several years, can you speak to some of the key takeaways from the curriculum?

GBJ: One of the highlights of this program is that it introduces a lot of language to the kids to show that somebody else cares about them. It encourages kids to care about each other, and it recognizes that it’s important for class time to be given to this work. It gives it a real central stage which elevates in kids’ minds the importance of social-emotional learning.

AM: Have you benefited from social-emotional learning in your own life?

GBJ: One of the reasons that I was attracted to the Virtues Project was because I was pregnant with my eldest. I didn’t know how I was going to compensate for some of the poor parenting styles I had experienced or seen, and so it really suited my heart-mind connection to have something meaningful in my life that speaks to the very core of our humanity. The Virtues Project gave me a platform from which I could parent that matched my values. When The Circle first introduced Peace Kids, now the Empathy Project, I saw it as a program with a similar mission — to bring that social-emotional language and hope to the kids. I immediately wanted it in my classroom. It fit with my values and how I work. Relationship with self and relationship with others is really the most important thing.

AM: What is the most challenging part about teaching social-emotional learning in the classroom?

GBJ: Mostly having to teach other stuff! I do see challenges at times when kids have so little experience with it that they freeze up. I feel that challenge when I haven’t been able to touch someone’s life or when I haven’t been able to bring somebody in. But, in terms of challenges [while] teaching, it’s my language. It’s my way of being, so I don’t feel challenged by it the way I feel challenged teaching history! History is interesting. I like it, but this stuff, social-emotional learning, is just how I roll.

AM: Can you speak to the lasting effects that receiving a social-emotional education has on a child?

GBJ: For kids who relate to the language, who relate to the learning, it’s an affirmation for them that they’ll just keep building on their whole lives. I’d say it’s necessary for everybody, whether they haven’t had it at home and they’re experiencing it for the first time or if they have had it before and they’re having further revelations — a sense of faith or hope that things are going to be okay. Social-emotional learning opens doors to something that is ongoing; it’s the human condition to always want to be better, like wanting to be more considerate or wanting to be more of service to others. Social-emotional education gives children lifelong tools to facilitate that learning and personal betterment.

AM: Thank you, Gail. I really appreciate you talking with me today. You’ve given me quite a few nuggets to think about.

GBJ: You’re very welcome. It’s been lovely to talk to you.

Supporting Rural Youth at The Circle

Check out all of the programs The Circle has to offer. Our programs are built around the core principles of SEL to work towards safer communities.

  • We offer the Empathy Project for Grade 3, 4, and 5 students to provide them with the building blocks of social–emotional learning.
  • For Grades 6, 7, and 8, the Respect Project offers students the opportunity to get to know one another better and learn about the foundational role respect plays in their lives.
  • The Pass It On program is an after-school, cross-peer group mentorship program with intermediate students (as buddies) and high school students (as mentors). Its goal is to foster capacity for healthy relationships and support life transitions.

Our programs have successfully offered students the wide range of benefits of a social–emotional education. After attending our programming, students have expressed a greater capacity to feel empathy for others, to resolve conflict, and to build equal and healthy relationships. Teachers observe students using their new skills in the classroom, and they request our programs year after year.

Learn more about our programs or request more information about how you can bring our programs to your classroom or organization.


Adele Mark.

Adele Mark is a third-year undergraduate student studying Sociology and Global Development Studies at the University of Victoria. She was involved in the Pass It On program in high school at Gulf Islands Secondary School and was hired as Marketing and Communications Assistant, a temporary student position in early 2021, at The Circle. Adele has been involved with several projects that focus on youth education and female empowerment and looks forward to continuing this work with The Circle.

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From L.A. to a rural island: social-emotional learning insights https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/10/12/from-l-a-to-a-rural-island-social-emotional-learning-insights/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/10/12/from-l-a-to-a-rural-island-social-emotional-learning-insights/#respond Tue, 12 Oct 2021 21:38:12 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6104 When Adele Mark was fifteen, she moved with her parents from Los Angeles, a city of 13 million people where she had lived all of her life, to Salt Spring Island, Canada. A place she thought of at the time as a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with more cougars than […]

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When Adele Mark was fifteen, she moved with her parents from Los Angeles, a city of 13 million people where she had lived all of her life, to Salt Spring Island, Canada. A place she thought of at the time as a remote island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean with more cougars than people her age. Out of experience, she knows why social-emotional education is vital for rural youth.

I remember the day my parents told me about our move to Canada: I stayed up the entire night researching Salt Spring Island. I found that the nearest mall required a 35-minute ferry ride and not one, not two, but three busses! And they didn’t have UBER! This was not the freedom that I was used to in L.A.

I learned that there was no movie theatre with hourly showings, or carnival rides by the sea, nor a Starbucks to meet your friends at after school. This was not the excitement and entertainment I was used to.

I remember looking up census reports that said of the mere 10,000 people living on the island, only SIX were between the ages of 13 and 18. This was not the social life that I was used to.

At the time, I had no idea how little truth there was in these initial Google searches and how little these things would come to matter to me. My priorities were all turned around! Fifteen-year-old Adele would be shocked to hear that, as of today, I have spent many happy winter nights without power (that is, no internet, no stove, and no toilet). And that most of my free time is spent in the garden among the bugs, not in the mall. And that I hug more trees every day than people! Of course, the latter has more to do with the pandemic than the move, but little Adele would not have known about this either!

Still, I was pretty miserable about the whole thing. I managed to not talk to my parents for four whole months while living in the same house. Probably a record, right? Although, eventually, I knew I had to accept it. There was nothing I could do. By the next summer, we had sold our house and were headed to B.C.

The night before my first day of Grade 10 at Gulf Islands Secondary (GISS), I didn’t sleep a wink. In L.A., my high school had just over 4,000 kids; I couldn’t go a day without seeing at least 15 people that I had never seen before. GISS had just 600 kids. Six hundred kids that had grown up together in their tight-knit community. Six hundred kids whose moms were all friends. Six hundred kids who would pick me out of the crowd like a raisin in a handful of grapes. I was the outsider. The new kid. I thought I wouldn’t last a day.

I am sure that you have probably guessed it by now, but of course, most of my expectations turned out to be false. There were more than six kids my age. And fewer cougars, too, might I add. And that first day, for which I had changed my outfit six times, was totally lovely!

Instead of picking me out as an outsider from a land far away, the kids I met were intrigued by my different life experiences. They welcomed me into their friend groups and filled me in on everything I had missed. In my first week, one of my new friends brought me to an after-school discussion group called Pass It On that The Circle ran for girls (cis, trans, and nonbinary). I ended up being a member of that group for the next two years. Through that program, I made many new connections with others and developed the best parts of myself.

Some of my ridiculous assumptions, however, turned out to be true. There wasn’t a whole lot to do after school. The cafés all closed by 4 p.m. Most stores and restaurants were only open during the summer months during tourism season. If you wanted to go off-island to see a new movie or go shopping, you had to travel most of the day, waiting for the ferry or riding the bus — if you could get a ride to a bus stop — for only a few hours of fun. I quickly realized that the island was not set up for youth.

I learned to work with what I had. I started appreciating nature more because, oh boy, there was a lot of that! I swam in the lakes in the summer and watched the snowflakes fall in awe during my first real winters as an ex-Southern Californian girl.

Surprisingly enough, the lack of excitement and things to do didn’t bother me. I was able to find the positives of rural life because I had already experienced living in a big city. I often say that having Salt Spring sit on the other end of my seesaw, across from L.A., brought me to a perfect balance that I had been missing all my life.

I focussed more on my relationships. I noticed how my friendships became centered around conversation, connection, and vulnerability instead of going out to do something. I loved walking down the street and having ten different people connect with me, genuinely curious about what I was up to in my life and how I felt about it. I felt held by the community web.

I learned to value experiences over material wants, to appreciate the quietness of nature, and to be patient and satisfied with the slower pace of rural life. Now that I have moved to Victoria for school — which is no L.A. but does have more than one post office — I often wish I was back on Salt Spring because of these benefits.

I know that many of the youth who spend their entire lives on the island, or in other rural communities, have a different perspective. Most of them are itching to leave the moment they graduate. And many do not want to return for a while. They yearn for that exposure to the mysterious big world out there. They want to experience more diversity: of people, perspectives, and stories. They want to live somewhere where community spaces and activities are designed with youth in mind.

That is why social-emotional education is vital for rural youth. After joining Pass It On, I knew that every Tuesday night I would have somewhere to go. I knew there would be food for me. I knew that I would be exposed to other perspectives through sharing and vulnerability. I knew that I would have fun. I knew that I would be heard and valued. I knew that I would be able to speak and build confidence in my voice. These experiences and skills stuck with me when I left Salt Spring and had to remind myself of how to function in a city where there isn’t a community of people looking out for me everywhere I go. Countless rural youth don’t get to experience a life-changing opportunity like this. Some are lucky enough to receive something like it at home from parents or siblings: yet, many others do not. And nothing beats learning these things with other kids. We need that. I know I did.

Supporting Rural Youth at The Circle

Check out all of the programs The Circle has to offer. Our programs are built around the core principles of SEL to work towards safer communities.

  • We offer the Empathy Project for Grade 3, 4, and 5 students to provide them with the building blocks of social–emotional learning.
  • For Grades 6, 7, and 8, the Respect Project offers students the opportunity to get to know one another better and learn about the foundational role respect plays in their lives.
  • The Pass It On program is an after-school, cross-peer group mentorship program with intermediate students (as buddies) and high school students (as mentors). Its goal is to foster capacity for healthy relationships and support life transitions.

Our programs have successfully offered students the wide range of benefits of a social–emotional education. After attending our programming, students have expressed a greater capacity to feel empathy for others, to resolve conflict, and to build equal and healthy relationships. Teachers observe students using their new skills in the classroom, and they request our programs year after year.

Learn more about our programs or request more information about how you can bring our programs to your classroom or organization.


Adele Mark.

Adele Mark is a third-year undergraduate student studying Sociology and Global Development Studies at the University of Victoria. She was involved in the Pass It On program in high school at Gulf Islands Secondary School and was hired as Marketing and Communications Assistant, a temporary student position in early 2021, at The Circle. Adele has been involved with several projects that focus on youth education and female empowerment and looks forward to continuing this work with The Circle.

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‘Social-emotional learning is about empowering youth with tools to grow more confident’ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/21/social-emotional-learning-is-about-empowering-youth-with-tools-to-grow-more-confident/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/21/social-emotional-learning-is-about-empowering-youth-with-tools-to-grow-more-confident/#respond Tue, 21 Sep 2021 22:40:42 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6068 Kate Nash has been our Programs and Development Coordinator and the facilitator of the Pass It On and Respect programs for more than ten years. Adele Mark, our Marketing and Communications assistant at The Circle interviewed Kate to hear her reflections on her work for the Circle over the past decade. What led you to […]

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Kate Nash has been our Programs and Development Coordinator and the facilitator of the Pass It On and Respect programs for more than ten years. Adele Mark, our Marketing and Communications assistant at The Circle interviewed Kate to hear her reflections on her work for the Circle over the past decade.

What led you to start working as a facilitator with The Circle?

Before having kids, I worked at the YMCA in Victoria, where I did after-school care and one-on-one support for kids with disabilities. It really clicked. I knew I had to work with kids because really, I’m still a kid. I understand them. It just makes sense. When I got pregnant with my first child, I moved to Salt Spring and got connected with the Circle. At that point, they had run a pilot version of Pass It On and were looking for a facilitator to take on the first full year of the program. When I got interviewed for the position, Abby Sherwood was the youth that was on the hiring team. Many people applied, and they all had a lot more university experience than I did. But when it came down to asking Abby who she thought would be the best candidate, she told them that they had to pick me because I was the only candidate that young people would want to talk to. To this day, I thank Abby Sherwood because she made my career and my life, because this work is my life.

What gets you up in the morning? What does a typical Tuesday look like to you?

Coffee and obligation get me up in the morning. I hop out of bed quickly and make myself a delicious coffee with butter and cream to share with my husband, Kipp. I value that time with him every morning. Then, my kids have to get places and there are things to do around the property. After my morning routine, I get my head in the Pass It On game. By noon I’m sitting down to plan the session. Then, I usually have a lunch date or talk on the phone with a few Pass It On girls to check in with those that need it. I meet Indigo, our volunteer facilitator, at 2:30 pm and we have a deep check-in about where she’s at in her life and relating that back to the conversations we’re having in the circle. Indigo and I make tea for the girls. At 4:10 pm, we’re at the high school and everyone is arriving and getting their snacks. And then we get into it. We have our check-in, session activities and discussions, and we finish with the check-out. It’s a really rich, group conversation where we get to hear everybody’s thoughts.

Why is the work you do important?

I’ve never felt the importance of the program to such a degree as I have during this year with the pandemic. This year most of the girls in the group don’t have the opportunity to sit with their peers. They hunger for connection and communication. This program is also important because it gives young women a space to be vulnerable, connect and build trust with others and ultimately build self-confidence. Self-reflection in the circle helps you become aware of what you need, how to practice self-care and how to make amazing choices for yourself. With self-discovery and vulnerability is also how we combat violence and abuse. In that safe space, if somebody feels safe enough to speak of their bias or prejudice and they’re met with compassion, instead of with shame or anger, they’re going to change their mind.

Can you speak to the connection between Pass It On and social-emotional learning?

Social-emotional learning is about empowering youth with the tools to grow more confident, make safe choices and succeed in life. Pass It On does exactly that. I’ve never seen a young woman walk away from Pass It On and not have grown in confidence, the key ingredient to success. Through self-reflection, listening to others’ perspectives and sharing thoughtful conversation, participants get to know themselves and their needs better. They grow more confident in themselves which allows them to embark on educational challenges and life challenges with a sense of self-worth and ability. You learn to think to yourself, “Hey, I’m going do okay on this math test” or “I can say no to Hank when he’s pushing himself on me” or “I don’t have to smoke pot at lunch.” You learn to make choices that reflect how you really feel. The simplicity of a safe setting and the ease of sharing is life-changing. That’s why I think social-emotional learning should be integrated into all students’ day-to-day life.

How does the work you do for The Circle translate into your own life?

This work changed my life. It has made me see my worth and my skills. It makes me more accountable in my actions with my children. It makes me more honest in my relationship with my husband. It makes me more accountable to my community because I feel like I have something to offer. And I feel like I am an advocate for young people. And that feeds me because I don’t feel like young people have a voice or are really that respected in our society. Young people have what I call fresh knowledge. Hearing their perspectives has me constantly re-examining my perspectives. In issues relating to gender, sexuality, racism, and relationships, I’m constantly having to check my story. It’s a gift.

What is the most challenging part of your role?

The most challenging part is that people don’t place enough importance, support or funding on young people’s social-emotional well-being. We’re constantly begging for more funds to run programs. I haven’t yet run a program – and I’ve run a lot of programs – where participants didn’t leave wanting more, where teachers didn’t want it in their classrooms again and where the school didn’t love it. Everybody thinks is valuable. Everybody thinks it is really important. But who is going to pay? The second most challenging part is advocating for youth and their rights. People think youth are out in the world vandalizing and spreading COVID-19 when in reality there are so many amazing, respectful, kind and courteous young people in my community. In our rural setting, there’s a general lack of knowledge of youth needs and community support. They have nowhere to hang out at night. There aren’t any community centers or concerts or a downtown core to enjoy arts and culture or just simply spaces to hang out. And there isn’t reliable and safe public transportation to get them there. They are stuck. They go to the beach or the park and with little inspiration, they intoxicate. What do you expect from them? We’re not offering them anything else. And then we’re disappointed with their lack of effort when it is us who is not showing up for them. That is why there needs to be more recognition and knowledge of programs like ours, that not only give youth a space to hang out but also a space to use their voices and advocate for what is important to them.

What is the proudest moment you have had while working for The Circle?

Last year, I got to do the Respect Project all on my own. That was massive because that program’s always been run by two people. I delivered the program to all the Grade 8 classes at the middle school. Some of the students in these classes were generally pretty apathetic, stand-offish and disconnected from one another. But they liked me. And they listened. And they participated. They all talked to each other. At one point, we went around the circle and they all said one thing that they liked about each other. They weren’t divided anymore but united. Amazing moments like these make me realize that this program is impactful for both the keeners and the doubters.

A couple of years ago, you wrote a blog post for The Circle that said, “Confidence is built with experience, but it’s shaped by acceptance. When we feel safe enough to expose our weaknesses and vulnerabilities, and then we’re still accepted and even loved, our confidence grows and with it our level of care for ourselves and others.” Do you still feel the same way? How does Pass It On facilitate this process?

That sentence is the basis of my belief. Every time Pass It On meets, or every time I meet with youth, I think, ‘How can I make these young people feel comfortable enough to share openly and honestly with me, so that they can see their own worth.’ When I sit down with a new group, I have a set of agreements that I make with them and one of them is presence – I will always be present. I think my presence is the biggest gift I can offer. It means that I will hear anything that they say and that I will look them in the eyes, and I will offer them love. Presence and love are what will make us grow and step away from the negativity that interweaves in all of our lives.

Can you speak to the lasting effect that being involved in Pass It On, has on participants?

A lot of girls that graduate from the program don’t necessarily know what it gave them, nor do they see it. That’s the thing about mentorship, you don’t usually realize it’s happening when it does. But after over a decade of reconnecting with the young women that were in the program, I can see how the program has weaved into their lives through the life choices that they make, their strong communication skills and their level of confidence and belief in their self-worth. But not only do young women walk away believing in themselves, but they also walk away believing in other women. Pass It On offers a feeling of sisterhood to its participants. It reminds us that we can love, accept and be cheerleaders for each other even when our society pits us against other women.

Photo: Brette Little

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Promoting Healthy Relationships at The Circle

Here at The Circle, all of our programs are built around the core principles of SEL (Social and Emotional Learning) to work towards safer communities.

• We offer the Empathy Project for Grade 3, 4, and 5 students to provide them with the building blocks of social-emotional learning.
• For Grades 6, 7, and 8, the Respect Project offers students the opportunity to get to know one another better and learn about the foundational role respect plays in their lives.
• The Pass It On program is an after-school, cross-peer group mentorship program with intermediate students (as buddies) and high school students (as mentors). Its goal is to foster capacity for healthy relationships and support life transitions.

Our programs have successfully offered students a wide range of benefits of social-emotional education. After attending our programming, students have expressed a greater capacity to feel empathy for others, resolve conflict, and build equal and healthy relationships. Teachers observe students using their new skills in the classroom, and they request our programs year after year.
Learn more about our programs or request more information about how you can bring our programs to your classroom or organization.


Adele Mark.

Adele Mark is a third-year undergraduate student studying Sociology and Global Development Studies at the University of Victoria. She was involved in the Pass It On program in high school at Gulf Islands Secondary School and was hired as Marketing and Communications Assistant, a temporary student position in early 2021, at The Circle. Adele has been involved with several projects that focus on youth education and female empowerment and looks forward to continuing this work with The Circle.

The post ‘Social-emotional learning is about empowering youth with tools to grow more confident’ appeared first on The Circle.

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“I can be my true self here” https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/16/i-can-be-my-true-self-here/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/16/i-can-be-my-true-self-here/#respond Thu, 16 Sep 2021 17:59:34 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6057 Do you want to know what our Pass it On Boys program is all about? Participants of last year’s program tell in this video about what Pass it On Boys did for them. “I am able to express myself here, where I can’t always at school or at home,” says Liam Walsh. “I can be […]

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Do you want to know what our Pass it On Boys program is all about? Participants of last year’s program tell in this video about what Pass it On Boys did for them. “I am able to express myself here, where I can’t always at school or at home,” says Liam Walsh. “I can be my true self here.” 

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Pass it On Boys program teams up with Bullock Lake Farm https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/15/pass-it-on-boys-program-teams-up-with-bullock-lake-farm/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/09/15/pass-it-on-boys-program-teams-up-with-bullock-lake-farm/#respond Wed, 15 Sep 2021 19:08:27 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6043 The new school year has started and at The Circle, we are gearing up for our Pass it On Girls and Boys programs. New this year is our collaboration with Bullock Lake Farm for our Pass it On Boys program. What hasn’t changed: Both after-school programs are still free of charge. Pass it On is […]

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The new school year has started and at The Circle, we are gearing up for our Pass it On Girls and Boys programs. New this year is our collaboration with Bullock Lake Farm for our Pass it On Boys program. What hasn’t changed: Both after-school programs are still free of charge.

Pass it On is a safe and trusted space to develop core skills in the area of healthy relationships such as trust-building, acceptance, active listening, and boundary setting. This year, we are especially excited to announce our partnership with Bullock Lake Farm for our Pass it On Boys program. This collaboration will offer participants the opportunity to explore concepts of care, independence, leadership, and responsibility for themselves and others through hands-on, farm-based activities and projects.

“Bullock Lake Farm offers a playful and dynamic landscape for participants to engage with the outdoors, practice new skills, and develop a sense of belonging through team building, acts of service, and connection to the local food system,” says Sophia Gregory, CSA Manager at Bullock Lake Farm who is working on a fellowship with the Pathy Foundation to explore farm to school programming.

Participants meet once a week on Friday from 2:00 until 4:30 pm, meeting point at Bullock Lake Farm, for outdoor and farm-based activities, challenges, and dialogue. The program starts October 22nd and runs until the end of June.

Our Pass it On Girls program will start on October 5th and runs until the end of May. Participants meet once a week on Tuesday from 4:15 until 6:30 pm, meeting point at the SSE outdoor class, for activities, games, and circle discussions.

Both after-school programs are still free of charge, thanks especially to a grant to The Circle from the Federal Department of Women and Gender Equality that will fund the Pass It On Boys program for the next three years. “At the beginning of the summer, we were at a place of having to charge fees for our after-school program,” says Janine Fernandes-Hayden, Executive Director at The Circle. “While many youth recreational programs recognize this as a reality, it felt uncomfortable for programming that really needs to be accessible to all youth. We are thrilled to be able to continue to offer our Pass It On programs at no cost and to be able to have the funds to be a bit more creative.”

Registration numbers for both programs are limited to 15. All of our programs are safe, non-judgmental, and welcoming. We encourage participants to self-select based on their gender identity and gender expression. Send an email to info@thecircleeducation.org for more information and registration.

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Pass It On Boys: Fun, Friends and Thoughtful discussions https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/08/16/pass-it-on-boys-fun-friends-and-thoughtful-discussions/ https://www.thecircleeducation.org/2021/08/16/pass-it-on-boys-fun-friends-and-thoughtful-discussions/#respond Mon, 16 Aug 2021 19:09:54 +0000 https://www.thecircleeducation.org/?p=6029 Adele Mark, our Education Outreach Program Coordinator at The Circle, interviewed Kai Nash and Ewan Holmes, two Grade 9 students who have been a part of the Pass It On Boys program since September 2020, to hear about their experience in the program.    Why did you decide to join Pass It On? Ewan Holmes: […]

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Adele Mark, our Education Outreach Program Coordinator at The Circle, interviewed Kai Nash and Ewan Holmes, two Grade 9 students who have been a part of the Pass It On Boys program since September 2020, to hear about their experience in the program. 

 

Why did you decide to join Pass It On?

Ewan Holmes: One of my friends asked me to join him. I knew we would be able to hang out, so I thought, why not? 

Kai Nash: For me, my mom’s a facilitator for The Circle. She said, “Kai, join Pass It On because you’re not doing anything anyway.” So, I said, Okay, sure!

 

What did you first expect when you joined? How did your experience compare to your expectations?

KN: I expected the program to be more serious with a focus on teaching young men skills. It actually turned out to be more about having thoughtful discussions that are relaxed and fun! 

EH: When I was learning about the program, the facilitators put a lot of emphasis on board games and other sit-down activities. When I started the program, I learned that the program was really more about doing physical and mental activities and having thoughtful conversations. 

 

What is important to you or what are you interested in? How does Pass It On fit into those interests?

KN: I like reading, playing video games, and playing board games. I like having fun and hanging out with friends. In the program, we have a lot of fun. We’ve played games, and I’ve made friends through this program. So, that fits into those interests. 

EH: I also like reading and playing video games, and doing things outside, like dirt biking. In Pass It On, we do a lot of outdoor activities, and I enjoy that a lot. Being able to have somewhere to go and run around with your friends is so important. And being able to learn together, too. One of the facilitators is really into nature, and he teaches us about it. 

 

What is your favourite thing about Pass It On?

EH: That’s a hard one, I really have a lot of fun! My favourite thing about it is probably the social environment that it creates. Especially with COVID-19 restrictions, we can’t hang out with our friends that much. So, getting that time every week has been helpful for my mental health and has been really fun. 

KN: I like that it is a friendly get-together. There’s no pressure to do anything. And you feel like you can be yourself. 

 

What is your least favourite thing about Pass It On? 

EH: This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but sometimes it can get a little awkward when we talk about controversial topics like masculinity or women’s rights. We do an exercise where we’re randomly assigned to groups that are either for or against a certain topic and then we have to debate it. It gets awkward when you are assigned a side that is the opposite of how you really feel.

 

What is the most important thing you have learned about yourself in Pass It On?

KN: That if I give myself a chance, I am a lot more than I think I am. I used to think I was really shy or that I wasn’t good at making friends. Now, I’m not as shy as I was, and I’ve made friends. I thought that it was going to be hard for me to fit in, but it’s actually not very hard. 

EH: For me, before Pass It On I didn’t think that I was capable of letting my emotions show. But within the group, it is accepted. I’ve learned that I can express myself without anybody judging me. 

 

Have you learned any new skills in Pass It On? If so, what are they? 

EH: I have learned to be a bit more sympathetic towards other people. That hasn’t ever been one of my strong suits in life, I will admit. When I hear others who have similar issues to me, I find myself being able to say, “Oh, I feel your pain.” Once you practise this on a weekly basis, it becomes natural. And I’ve also gotten better at Capture the Flag!

 

What is special about Pass It On? 

EW: I think Pass It On is special because it is a combination of being relaxed and having structure. It is a balance that I’ve never really experienced in any other group. Usually, groups either have too much structure so that it is stuffy and uncomfortable, or it’s too relaxed that it becomes chaotic. The facilitators do a really good job of keeping that balance. They’re doing a great job to keep everything fun but also still getting us to learn some stuff.

KN: I agree, Pass It On is a place where you can go just to relax and hang out with your friends. No one expects anything of you. 

 

AM: What is your favourite memory from Pass It On? 

KN: Recently, we climbed up a mountain and took a group photo at the top, which was pretty fun. 

EH: For me, I can’t really pin down one exact time. But there have been a couple of sessions that have been super fun the whole way through. I think the jokes and the funny situations that sometimes arise are probably my favourites. We have a couple of guys in our group that are really, really funny. They’ve made some pretty hilarious jokes that we’ve all laughed at for a long time. Also, we’ve had some Capture the Flag games, that have been so much fun.

 

How do you think you have changed since your first day of Pass It On?

KN: I would say I am more open. I have a bit more confidence than I did before. And I think it’s easier for me to talk to people.

EH: I have learned to show more sympathy for others and some other important social skills that I didn’t have before, like showing emotion. I’ve also become more comfortable spending time outside. I enjoy spending time outside, but I don’t do it very often. Being in Pass It On has helped me get back into it and has reminded me how much I used to love being outside when I was a kid before I got into video games.

 

Would you recommend Pass It On to someone who is interested in joining? 

EH: I would 100% recommend Pass It On. I have already recommended it to a couple of my friends so they can share the fun. The program doesn’t demand a lot from you as school does. It’s more like you’re getting a lot out of it. You get to hang out, have fun, and learn some stuff. And that’s why I would recommend it to anybody who is interested in joining.

KN: I would also totally recommend it. It’s a nice little thing that we all do together. As I said before, it’s chill. It’s fun. There are almost no drawbacks to it. 

*    *   *

Promoting Healthy Relationships at The Circle

Here at The Circle, all of our programs are built around the core principles of SEL to work towards safer communities.

  • We offer the Empathy Project for Grade 3, 4, and 5 students to provide them with the building blocks of social–emotional learning.
  • For Grades 6, 7, and 8, the Respect Project offers students the opportunity to get to know one another better and learn about the foundational role respect plays in their lives.
  • The Pass It On program is an after-school, cross-peer group mentorship program with intermediate students (as buddies) and high school students (as mentors). Its goal is to foster capacity for healthy relationships and support life transitions.

Our programs have successfully offered students the wide range of benefits of a social–emotional education. After attending our programming, students have expressed a greater capacity to feel empathy for others, to resolve conflict, and to build equal and healthy relationships. Teachers observe students using their new skills in the classroom, and they request our programs year after year.

Learn more about our programs or request more information about how you can bring our programs to your classroom or organization.


Adele Mark.

Adele Mark is a third-year undergraduate student studying Sociology and Global Development Studies at the University of Victoria. She was involved in the Pass It On program in high school at Gulf Islands Secondary School and was hired as Marketing and Communications Assistant, a temporary student position in early 2021, at The Circle. Adele has been involved with several projects that focus on youth education and female empowerment and looks forward to continuing this work with The Circle.

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