Speak Out, Play Out, Action and Relationships
The next SPAR session will run between January 17th to March 14th, 2018. SPAR will held on Wednesdays strictly for the Vedder Elementary School students.
We are currently partnered with Chilliwack Community Services and Vedder Elementary School to facilitate SPAR to all referred students for the 2017/2018 school year.
S.P.A.R. Program Description
Principles of Restorative Justice include building community and responding to challenging behavior by providing a safe opportunity for dialogue, understanding what happened, and discussing together ways to repair the harm. Chilliwack Restorative Justice and Youth Advocacy Association, in collaboration with Chilliwack Community Services, seek to implement a preventative program for youth by connecting them with supportive adults in their community and by providing them with a safe space where ideas and concerns can be shared.
The first part of SPAR will be facilitated in a circle: This is a way people in many cultures have traditionally come together to share their stories and talk about important issues. Everyone sits together in a circle, creating a safe, non-judgmental atmosphere where stories and experiences are shared around the day's topic. Sitting in a circle can remove any barriers, as well allows for everyone to see each other in the circle. A talking piece is also used, which allows only the person who has the talking piece to talk, allowing for respectful listening and sharing.
During the circle time, there will be experiential and developmentally appropriate activities that are based on the day's lesson plan. These activities will help to ground learning and have the students develop a greater understanding of themselves and others.
The second portion of SPAR, will engage the youth in pro-social recreational activities. These activities will be purposeful and will relate to the topics that are covered in the Circle component of the program. The recreational activities will work to develop life skills in the youth, such as leadership, risk management, discipline, problem solving, teamwork and resiliency. These skills will be demonstrated by doing art projects, sport activities, initiative tasks and games.
By the group working together in the recreation activities— they will begin to put to practice the life skills being taught throughout the program. This will allow the youth to apply the skills learned in SPAR, to their everyday lives. The goal of SPAR is that by practice and reflection, the youth will incorporate these skills at home, school, and in their relationships.
Every meal in this program will focus on the group working together by cooking, as well as practicing mindfulness and sharing meals together. The program will end with a fun day that is catered to the interests of the youth.
Post Program Follow-up
Throughout the program, the group will talk about the importance of practicing the skills the youth will learn while in the program. As a part of this, the staff and youth will work together to connect youth to the community through mentorship and volunteer opportunities. Youth will also be given opportunities for self-reflection that will challenge them to evaluate everything they are learning, but also how they want to change for the better.