Adolescence is a time of critical self development; students contend with a host of pressures, risks and choices all while attempting to navigate who they are, what they value and how they want to express themselves in the world. Concerns over “fitting in,” combined with the judgments and assumptions of others can have acute consequences. Important aspirations, feelings and fears are often kept hidden, yet lie just below the surface of what people allow to be seen and talked about. Students crave real belonging in authentic communities that will honor who they are, no matter their appearance, where they live or who they are attracted to.
At Adventure In Adventure Out we believe that acknowledging societal pressures and the real life experience of students is key to allowing these things to be brought to the surface. It is when they stay hidden that potentially destructive actions emerge, which can include many types of bullying behaviors.Thus, our approach is to create a space where students can acknowledge each other’s true experiences, and clarify the positive values and behaviors that will create a school culture that they wish to be a part of.
“You Belong” is a bold and transformative program that engages students and teachers in the creation of a physically and emotionally safe environment where courageous action is encouraged, and the true expression of each person is welcomed and celebrated. Through large group interactive exercises, small group dialogues, sharing of stories and anecdotes, video clips, music and poetry, students will both challenge and then look beyond initial assumptions. Students will explore real life experiences and risks that they face and have the opportunity to discover the everyday hero that resides inside of them. You Belong combines fun, courage, vulnerability, strength and compassion to inspire a school culture of everyday heroic action – a culture where authentic kindness and respect offer students the opportunity to thrive.
Belonging starts with you!