While Strength-Based Education should permeate every class within a school, there are some courses and programs that have been developed or modified to specifically support a school's Strength initiatives...
Leadership and Peer Support (GPP3O1):
The Leadership and Peer Support course prepares students to act in leadership and peer support roles. The course motto is “Students helping Students Succeed.”
Using strength based approach students will design and implement a plan for contributing to their school community. Through various service learning activities, assignments and reflections students will gain a deeper understanding of what their gifts are and how to use their talents and skills necessary to be effective leaders. Leadership development is at the heart of this course. Leadership has many different characteristics and styles. Students will use their own strengths to develop their concepts of what is means to be a leader. As the students gain further understanding of their strengths and qualities necessary to be effective leaders the students will also gain insight into his or her relationship with self and others.
Humane Society (BTA3O course):
The Grade 11 Information and Communication Technology: The Digital Environment (BTA 30) course provides students with the opportunity to foster their communication skills through software in collaboration with the Guelph Humane Society. The course was developed in partnership between the St. John Bosco business/co-operative learning teacher and social worker. The goal of the course was not only to meet curriculum expectations in concern to communication, information technology and software application but to create a parallel processing of emotions. A long-term goal of the course was to foster student’s ability to process and understand their emotional connection to the animals which was incorporated through the adoption program at Guelph Humane Society.
Students demonstrated their knowledge and skills of software application and communication by creating adoption postings for animals at the Guelph Humane Society as part of their culminating task. Students demonstrated their course knowledge and understanding through the application of various software programming.
Julien Project provides students the opportunity to participate in social and therapeutic gardening. Students participate in kinesthetic activities which focus on all steps in growing, cultivating and preserving their own food which is used for our school food program. Students are able to directly see the result of their nurturing. Students engage in the vision of the project which fosters their role and capacity of being an active as well as responsible citizen in our school community, region, and globally.
The opportunity which has been created in collaboration Julien Project and St. John Bosco has allowed students to complete Ontario curriculum expectations in Civics, Science, Environmental Science, Careers, English, Food and Nutrition as well as Leadership. Students are able to create independent studies, journaling, track the growth of their crops, learn to preserve fruits and vegetables as well as track weather and environmental effects to complete curriculum based assignments which are products of their strengths in the Julien Project collaborated into their learning.
Civil K9 with Tom Abraham has collaborated with St. John Bosco to provide a male mentorship program through canine training. The youth engaged in the program are young men who possess many skills and talents that are unveiled through the practical, physical, spiritual, psychological, academic and mentoring process implemented throughout the Civil K9 Program. Male students work with Civil K9 to expand their self- esteem, learn to be a member of a team, lead healthy lifestyles, employability skills, and emotional and physical health. Students are given the opportunity to foster their strengths to successfully train dogs for military and police services.
Currently as part of our programming at St. John Bosco, Tom works with a small group of male students twice per week. Through the weekly opportunity, the male students are able to work inside our school, various community settings and experiential opportunities to fulfil curriculum expectations. Students fulfil a variety of Ontario curriculum expectations for course such as Guidance, Healthy Active Living, Business, Careers, and non-compulsory credits which can be used towards the completion for the Ontario Secondary School Diploma.
In collaboration with Parent Action on Drugs the ‘Strengthening Families for Parents and Youth’ is a program for parents and other significant caring adults and their children, ages 12-16. The program is to help parents and their teens learn skills to improve their relationship. Parents and teens follow set curriculum which covers topics such as communication, praise, anger, stress and other issues that affect relationships. Families and participants are able to expand their strengths and share experiences with one another to gain new skills, strengths and move through their barriers.
The program is run out of the St. John Bosco community on a weekly basis over 9 weeks. The program begins with a meal and provides an opportunity for families to build communication and comfort within the program. The Master of Social Work student and other placement students have bridge our school community with the Strength Families program which allows students to transfer their strengths as an individual and teen into their school life. The program allows participants to recognize their strengths as individuals as well as a family as well as gain new essential skills which will allow them to reach their goals.
Passport to Success:
In collaboration with Family and Children Services of Guelph-Wellington, St. John Bosco program fosters the development of essential life skills in conjunction with curriculum expectations. On a weekly basis over one semester, selected students attended sessions within our school. The program is a collaboration between staff at both St. John Bosco and Family and Children Services to build student’s life skills. Students are able to gain knowledge, practice and realize their strengths they have as they mature into adulthood. Students gain insight into valuable financial and living skills such as banking, budgeting and housing. Students are able to gain, expand and discover their knowledge in areas they may have felt where not strengths. Students are able to foster the learning of others and create open discussions of life situations.
Students are expected to attend a minimum number of sessions over the duration of the program in order to meet Ontario curriculum expectations. Students have completed expectations in Careers, Civics, Learning Strategies, Mathematics, Co-operative Education, Family Studies and Personal Life Management.