As the Program Leader at Schumacher Public School, I can say that without these funds, we simply would not be able to run a program that is positively impacting the lives of our youth today. Each child who participates in SKC is forever grateful for the support and guidance they receive thanks to you, our donors, and to Shania Twain for creating Shania Kids Can.
Schumacher Public has approximately 162 students that attend the school, out of those 162 students, 30 participate in the SKC Program. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic the Timmins Clubhouse got off to a late start in November and wrapped up in March. Online learning proved to be very challenging in this region with many students being very difficult to reach, some are without internet and some just were not available.
We were fortunate to be in school and in the Clubhouse for four months. This program has been extremely beneficial, the SKC kids are learning and growing more with each day that passes and are being provided with an opportunity that ensures equality in their lives. Many of these students are not given the proper amount of attention at home that is required at their age, and this program offers them what they are missing to thrive in life. SKC gives them equal opportunity to blossom into successful human beings who believe in themselves enough to do whatever they set their minds to.
SKC provides guidance in social skills, life skills, and teaches the children mental health strategies to discover coping mechanisms. This program not only benefits them, but their school and community as well. Our youth today are our future for tomorrow, and we must count on them to integrate into society as decent people to maintain a thriving community.
By March, the kids were becoming more aware of and recognizing their emotions and learning how to manage them. They learned to set and achieve goals, they demonstrated empathy and compassion for others and learned how to handle interpersonal situations effectively. Overall, the Clubhouse students appear to have lower levels of emotional distress and they demonstrate more positive social behaviours resulting in higher academic performance.
Much of this was accomplished through activities like journaling, talking circles, creating vision boards, emotion regulation lessons and even by shoveling driveways for seniors in the community. This program has provided the kids with a safe space to feel at home in, to openly communicate in, and to practice their social skills in. Their growth is amazing.
We don’t know what the next school year will look like, but we are all hoping to be back in the classroom and the Clubhouse and seeing one another in person again.