Thanks to the Winnipeg Foundation and Air Canada Foundation, students from seven First Nations schools in three remote Island Lake communities in northern Manitoba are getting a chance this month to experience a full-blast journey of self-confidence and empowerment – Breakfast Club style!
Three of our representatives – Cathia, Melaina and Jody – have teamed up with two Exeko Trickster program facilitators to spend a week in each community and bring a full complement of fun, educational and inspirational projects to students, teachers, breakfast program staff and volunteers alike. Wondering what the whirlwind week is like? Read on and wonder no more!
Exeko Trickster Program (for Aboriginal youth aged 8 to 16): Throughout the week, participants take part in storytelling, theatre and circus workshops and other artistic activities. They then use the skills they learn to prepare a play based on a traditional tale passed on by their Elders. At the end of the program, during a special celebration, they perform it for their friends and families. The resulting boost to their self-esteem has to be seen to be believed. Not only that, the play itself brings the whole community closer together and strengthens intergenerational ties – something that continues to resonate for weeks and months afterward.
Rise and Shine Breakfasts: The Club representatives visit the breakfast program and individual classrooms throughout the week, with engaging stories and activities designed to encourage students to follow their dreams and let their imaginations soar.
Cooking and Nutrition Conversations: Teachers, breakfast program staff and Trickster enrollees get together, with their new Breakfast Club friends, to learn how to make delicious, nutritious food – and then gobble it up! Cooking as a group is a great way to reinforce a feeling of community within the school, connect students with role models and promote healthy eating habits every day.
Training Workshops: Facilitated by our representatives, these hands-on workshops are a unique opportunity for adults in the community to hone certain skills related to youth engagement, leadership and wellness, and discover exciting new ways to get the most out of what the Club has to offer.
And of course the added benefit of having the Club representatives there for a full week is that they are available to answer questions “on the fly” about anything and everything. There’s nothing like that personal touch to really drive home that we’re all part of one big family – no matter where in the country we are!
This program is ongoing until March 20, when our intrepid travellers will make their way back home, full of stories, memories and emotions that they will be sure to share with you in future posts. Don’t forget to check back to find out more about their adventures!