Since 2012, Community Builders has been working with school communities in Scarborough, Toronto. Eastview, George B. Little and Guildwood Public Schools are part of the current three-year Sparks of Courage Project.
Over the past year, young leaders from all participating schools were introduced to the concepts and skills of being allies. They attended a one-day Friends and Allies Leadership Workshop at their school, and gathered at a two-day Youth Leadership Symposium to meet and learn from each other. These young leaders then brought what they learned back to their schools by leading Community Builders Friends and Allies Assemblies for the primary grades.
Reflections from Leaders at George B. Little School
Looking back on the year, students sat down to reflect on what they have learned from their experience to date.
Here are reflections from the young leaders at George B. Little School:
Lessons in being an ally
Learning to be an ally can help you stand up for something.
If someone is in trouble you can step up and say that’s not right and help them be friends.
It is important that people know that everyone is equal and no one is better than anyone else.
If you see someone getting bullied then you should stick up for them.
It is important that they know that people have feelings and one little thing can hurt how others feel about them self and others.
It is important they know that convincing people to be allies will mean that less people will be bullied and there will be less bullies.
Using our ally skills
I used my leadership skills when one of my friends was getting bullied by some of the grade sixes. They were telling her to get off the basketball court, so I told them that we have enough space to share the basketball court. Then I said why don’t we just play together.
Someone took my friend’s ball and called them a name. I asked them why. And got the ball back.
I helped a friend talk through a problem with someone they used to be friends with after someone else caused a problem.
What we want to teach
If I could talk to my younger self,
I would say to them to accept others for who they are.
I would advise other people to not be embarrassed about their culture or where they came from.
I would also tell them to stand up for themselves or others even if they may be afraid. If what someone is doing is wrong they should speak up.
I would tell them to try to stay positive when someone puts them down. They should keep their child heart.
I would tell them to always feel good about themselves.