Trillium Lakelands District School Board (TLDSB) Director of Education Larry Hope was invited to Queen Victoria Public School on May 28 to see the Young Warriors group in action.
The Young Warrior program, in collaboration with TLDSB, was part of an innovation initiative through the Ontario Centre of Excellence for Children and Youth Mental Health at The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO). This program is a psychosomatic approach to intervention for students who may not engage in conventional therapy.
Young Warriors is in its third year of implementation across 13 TLDSB schools and is designed for students in Grades 4 to 6 that may benefit from strategies to support mental health, self-regulation, focus, anxiety, and self confidence.
“Young Warriors is a fun activity that teaches me self defence and respect towards others,” said Queen Victoria PS student, Blake Sheehey.
Throughout the morning, Young Warrior Hope learned many valuable skills, including sword breathing to focus, breath power to relieve stress, and hold and release to control anger. These are just a few of the skills that Young Warriors learn and apply to their learning environment and community.
“As senseis we watch and celebrate as each Young Warrior grows, in both their skills and their self-esteem. It is a fantastic honour!” says TLDBS Psycho-Educational Consultant and Young Warrior Sensei Jennifer McKinnon.
The team practiced rolls, which teaches students balance and safety. They then broke out into two groups and demonstrated Aikido and Kokyo techniques.
As the morning came to an end, Young Warrior Hope was offered a sweet farewell, and an enthusiastic “come back soon!” from his fellow Young Warriors.