Training in emotional literacy for children offered to teachers

The Alex Panton Foundation is offering training to teachers on an emotional literacy programme for children this weekend.

The charity says that, based on the premise that it is easier to teach and build emotional resilience in a child than it is to fix a broken adult, the foundation is partnering with the UK Partnership for Children to incorporate its evidence-based ‘Zippy’s and Apple’s Friends’ emotional literacy programme into Cayman’s education system.

The programme will be offered free of charge through funding from donors, including the Dart Grant and Cayman Bill Fish Rundown, the foundation said in a press release.

According to organisers, the programme is widely used in the UK and in more than 30  other countries, and is recognised by the World Health Organization, European Portal for Investing in Children, Canadian Best Practices Portal, National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, Early Intervention Foundation, and the European Commission of Good Practices in Mental Health and Wellbeing.

“The programme teaches children skills for life, including how to cope with everyday
difficulties; and how to communicate with and get along with other people while
teaching self-awareness and building emotional resilience. The programme will be
rolled out all over the Cayman Islands and will initially cover children aged from 5
to 9 years, as well as children with additional/special needs,” the foundation noted in the press release.

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According to the foundation, the idea is to implement emotional literacy in schools to enhance mental health, just as P.E. is taught in schools to enhance physical health.

On 19-21 Oct., training will be offered to teachers and participants from various schools and partner organisations, such as the Department of Education, YMCA, Special Needs Foundation, Lighthouse School, Footsteps, Sir John A. Cumber Primary School and Cayman Learning Centre.

The emotional literacy implementation project will be led by Dr. Erica Lam, Dr. Xenia Goddard and Dr. Catherine Day from the Alex Panton Foundation, in partnership with Hannah Craig and Caroline Egar from the UK Partnership for Children, who will be presenting the training this weekend.

The training is based on a training scheme where master trainers are being trained to train others in future. “The idea is that the more trained presenters there are, the more children that can be reached,” the foundation stated.

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