Creating opportunities for human connection is crucial for our community in a difficult time like this. Seniors with Seniors is a student-driven program that fosters intergenerational connection. In the past, this program has supported in-person visits to local Seniors’ residences to encourage connection, game-playing, and conversations. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the members of the program have had the challenge and opportunity to connect with the seniors in a new way over Zoom. This term students have been doing online singalongs with the residents at Braddan Private Hospital, singing classic songs and holiday carols. This is an opportunity for the students to connect face-to-face with the seniors again and share their positivity with the community. New ways to interact with the residents will become available as the year progresses and hopefully there will be a chance to reach out to more long-term care facilities across the Vancouver area.
Grade 10 students Jane, Mishal, and Tori Maire Duffy, Teacher Sponsor
As part of the Engage! Student Speaker Series, three YHS Senior School students shared their community service experience and learning with students Grades 8-12 at our November 24 assembly. The Engage! Series creates a space for students to raise their voices, describe a community-based experience and their learning, and inspire their peers to get involved in civic life.
Thank you to Emily, Emma, and Sayde who shared their inspiring stories with Kids Helping Kids and the Dolphin Kids Program. This program, run by YHS parent, Dr. Shimi Kang, supports youth ambassadors who teach other kids about something they are passionate about.
Emily (Grade 12): I am teaching a five-week program on first aid and safety awareness to children from Grades 2 to 4. With this volunteer opportunity, I’ve combined my passions for helping children, first aid, and mindfulness. With the help of the Program Director, Elyse Cochrane, I developed a proposal. I had never taught anything online; I was concerned about how I would appeal to young children on Zoom. I learned how to create an effective and meaningful lesson plan about first aid and keep children engaged.
The kids I have taught have been so kind, knowledgeable and keen to learn more about first aid. I am very grateful for their passion and positivity. I highly recommend this Dolphin Kids experience to other YHS students! It is a great way to get involved outside of the YHS classroom and to help others.
Emma (Grade 10): I chose to lead a set of classes called “Speak Up!” For five weeks, I taught children from Grades 5-8 how to write and deliver a persuasive speech with confidence. At the end of our five weeks together, each student had the chance to choose a topic about the environment and present their own speech. They practised what they learned and put their skills into action.
This program gave me the chance to take on a leadership role, and share my passion for public speaking with others. I learned how to design a lesson plan, to adjust, and to adapt as new kids joined along the way.
I have always enjoyed working with younger kids. I have volunteered at many Dolphin Kids summer camps over the years, teaching kids about a growth mindset and the power of gratitude. Teaching kids through the Kids Helping Kids Program was the next step in my journey. I am grateful to Dolphin Kids for this wonderful opportunity to give back to my community.
Sayde (Grade 11): For the past five weeks, I have taught an online yoga and mindfulness class to students in Kindergarten to Grade 4. This was a special opportunity since I was able to develop my leadership skills by planning and delivering classes myself. I taught two 30-minute classes once a week. I learned about how kids learn and I developed effective ways to teach them. I gained a deeper understanding of my personal interests and knowledge and now realize the importance of being in the moment with time to pause and reflect. We live in a highly stressful world, and I urge everyone to take time during their day to be mindful of their feelings and surroundings. Through this program, I discovered a passion that I have for guiding people on their own journey of mindfulness and yoga, a truly important one for everyone’s mental health.