What were you thinking about in elementary school? When we go into any one of the 80 or so grade 4 to 7 classrooms in Vancouver, we are amazed at the depth and breadth of what kids consider these days. Sometimes the environment is front and centre; still other times, it’s homeless people they see on their way to school and the next week it’s bullying in the playground. No matter what is on their minds, when Watari’s S.T.A.R program counsellors show up, you can count on kids to be curious, engaged and enthusiastic
S.T.A.R stands for ‘Stop Think Assess & Respond’ and is an education program that takes a ‘just say KNOW’ approach to drugs, safety, compassion and community. Each week during the school year – three mornings a week from 9 a.m. until noon – students in an elementary school somewhere in Vancouver are buzzing as they participate in quizzes and role plays that challenge them to think and act in a new and informed way.
Values, conflict and tricky situations are just a few of the topics that two skilled youth counsellors approach over the 4 or 5 sessions, all with intention of building resiliency skills and creating options that allow young people to stand up for themselves and others.