At Rise Like Air we really like to highlight teachers and education programs that think outside the box, that get results and are fun! Recently we came across one such story.
Brian Lewis coordinates the G.Y.M. (Growing Young Movers) program for grade 2 to 5 students at Kitchener Community School in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. He realizes the importance of keeping kids active and involved not only for their physical well being but to keep them occupied with positive outlets helping to decrease the likelihood of following a less productive path. Their website says “Through community partnerships the Growing Young Movers After School Club is a student-centered intergenerational urban aboriginal network focused on enhancing 21st century living skills through experiential wellness opportunities. ”
The program utilizes the skills and mentorship of high school students, like Cole Keepness, who have been involved in the program before. Lewis is well aware that while the gym can be a haven for many students, it can also be a place where other just don’t feel comfortable or like they fit in.
“A gymnasium or any movement centre can be a really positive place but it can also be a really negative place, it’s all in how it’s approached. We play a lot of things that are inclusive, everyone is involved.” – Brian Lewis
The goal of this program is to give all students an alternative, a safe place to play and to feel included regardless of their background, talent or skill level. There are even healthy snacks to keep their brains awake and energy levels high. It’s working too. The program is popular and past participants often return as mentors just like Keepness.
“It keeps you busy, from getting involved in other things that wouldn’t benefit your life, drinking, doing drugs, hanging out with the wrong crowd.” Keepness grew up in the neighbourhood and now goes to high school at nearby Martin Collegiate. He said he likes working with the younger kids because they see him as a role model.
If the program continues to grow they may require a bigger space. Giving children options and alternatives. Developing compassionate, community focused teenagers.
Just another example of everyday people creating ripples that make waves of change. Another Rise Like Air moment. Thank you to all the teachers, the volunteers and everyone else who chooses to use their valuable time and talents to make a positive difference in other people’s lives. It soon becomes apparent that the giver seems to get as much satisfaction as the receiver. Another life lesson to take to heart.
©2015 JFries/Rise Like Air
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