Photo: Zootherapy at Valcartier Elementary CLC. Grade 2 teacher (Emilie Cameron): Students were happy to have their own quiet time with the dog. They found the students felt special that they could read to the dog. It brought their stress level down a lot
A few months ago, (see below) LEARN’s Provincial Resource Team (PRT) engaged in a collaboration with the Community Health and Social Services Network (CHSSN) to make a grant available to Community Learning Centres (CLC) to support the implementation of activities, projects and programs that address school-based mental health and wellbeing promotion initiatives.
The projects were developed using the LEARN/CHSSN Action Framework, supporting the well-being of minority English-language youth, schools and communities. Download
In total, 13 projects were funded across the English school boards of Quebec. According to the preliminary evaluations of the projects supported by the CHSSN grant, we can categorize the types of projects into three areas that point towards these areas of support:
- The establishment of mindfulness activities that were previously not available in rural communities, such as yoga at Laurentian CLC and mindfulness at Mecatina CLC.
- The establishment of programs conducted in partnership with a community partner that focussed on social and emotional learning. Examples include:
- Behaviour to animals program called Zootherapy was established at Valcartier CLC which supported students with parents in the military (see photo)
- Verdun CLC expanded a program supported by Collective Community Services (CCS) which according to evaluations contributed to “fewer instances of anti-social behaviour and a greater sense of community and belonging in the schools.”
- Students at James Lyng CLC participated in a partnership with the SPCA Montreal. “Students that participated in the workshops feel more connected with one another as well seem to be better equipped to deal with stressors.”
- Parent workshops and professional learning for teachers, school staff and community partners to take a coordinated approach to addressing mental health issues among youth in the community. For example
- Richmond Regional CLC conducted a workshop for teachers about anxiety in youth, so they can better contribute to healthy relationships
- St Michael’s CLC in Low initiated the 2nd annual youth summit for mental wellness. Students reported “increased awareness of resources when they need help and feeling at ease to ask for it!”
In total 25 Community Partners were engaged in developing or delivering services in collaboration with the CLC.