A group of Grade 4 through 6 students at King George School are in training to be Wellbeing Ambassadors.
Students selected for the program participated in a three-hour workshop last Friday afternoon, learning skills to support their own wellbeing and share what they have learned with their peers. Some topics and activities covered included what wellbeing is, how to be a good role model for wellbeing, and ways to be a good communicator.
The program was originally developed in the United Kingdom by Worth-It, and King George School is the first school in Canada to offer it. Jill Tressel, principal of King George School, said that she hopes the Wellbeing Ambassadors develop a useful skillset from the sessions.
With the aim of the program being to teach the students about their own wellbeing, the hope is that the Ambassadors can approach a peer experiencing a difficult moment and share kind words. “I’m hoping that when they notice that their peers are maybe struggling with a challenge or feeling down one day, that they will have the confidence to be able to approach that student and offer some kind of encouragement. I’m hoping that they can problem solve, that they can suggest ‘here’s some things that I do when I’m feeling down that make me feel better’.”
“We are working at supporting students’ wellbeing, and we want them to be a part of that process too,” added Tressel.
Wellbeing Ambassadors will continue meet once a week on Fridays at lunchtime. “We’ll continue to talk and problem solve. I’m hoping this group will also come up with ideas – perhaps like posters around the school, or something at an assembly, or a special event for students to share awareness and support for wellbeing."
The Wellbeing Ambassadors were asked about their new roles and shared some insights with us.
They were asked why they wanted to be Wellbeing Ambassadors.
9-year-old Aubrey: “I wanted to see more people smile. I just don’t really think I see it enough.”
11-year-old Abdul: “To help others with stress, and for their mental health.”
10-year-old Samson: “So I can help other people.”
Students were asked what they hoped to learn as Wellbeing Ambassadors.
9-year-old Brianna: “Learning different body languages and learning how to be a better friend.”
Some were asked what she could do to be a good Wellbeing Ambassador.
10-year-old Olivia: “I would listen to what they’re feeling, and I would make good eye contact to what they’re saying. If they want help – like say if they lost a game – I would ask them ‘what are some good reasons about it? Did you have fun?’”
10-year-old Lydia: “Ask them how things went good and help them solve problems.”
King George School is looking to expand the program to Grades 7 and 8 next year, depending on the feedback received from Wellbeing Ambassadors and students this year.