What is The Respect Project?
This newspaper asked that question of Ant-Violence Advocate Society facilitator Kelly Balatti .
“The Respect Project assits in educating students at Barriere Elementary School in the fundamentals of respect with outcomes of self-confidence, respect, honesty and openness, empathy, acceptance of diversity and differences in others, assertiveness, personal power and responsibility,” explained Balatti.
She noted that Barriere Secondary School (BSS) has just wrapped up another session with the Anti-Violence Advocates Society, which Balatti facilitated.
“Many different topics were discussed ranging from respect to connection, assumptions as well as body language, boundaries, communication, and many more,” said Balatti.
The BSS students took part in the program twice a week for five weeks and participated in many different activities and discussions. One of the topics discussed was about identity and labels.
“When I was in high school I remember it being very difficult,” said Balatti, “After looking back on the differences between now and then, I feel like the kids these days have it way harder thanks to social media. In my youth we only had to worry about the kids from our own school finding out things, and maybe a few kids around the block, but the kids today…. they battle with the peers in school, plus opinionated people from all over the world. Who, I must add, do not know them at all, only what they see on a social media platform.”
She notes that when facilitating this program she has had to step back and see it from the students point of view, how they feel, what they think, how they look at the world. Then throw in the uncertainties of the world we are currently living in.
“No wonder these kids have a hard time trusting anyone,” added the facilitator.
Balatti concluded by saying, “I am passionate about the programs we facilitate and look forward to embarking on the next steps to make these programs more well known, and a topic of conversation at the dinner table, so that the future has a more emotional /social learning and diverse people making a difference.”
The Anti-Violence Advocates Society is looking for more members to join their team, if you want to make a difference, join now to become a member/board member. For more information or to join the society please contact Judy Taylor at 250-672-0177. If you, or someone you know is experiencing abuse of any kind and needs help please call the Domestic Family Help line at: 1-800-563-0808, .
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