Over 300 engaged support staff and teachers from Vancouver's inner-city elementary schools convened at Vancouver Technical Secondary for an afternoon of learning and dialogue. The theme for the afternoon was "Promoting Resilience in Children and Youth" with a focus on the importance of relationships.
Keynote speaker Molly Stewart Lawlor, a UBC researcher, instructor, and recent PhD graduate, addressed the audience and presented on the importance of social and emotional health, for both the students and leaders in inner-city schools.
"This afternoon's conference provided an opportunity for interested inner-city staff and administrators to learn more about the current research to support and develop resiliency in their students and themselves," says Denise Johnson, Director of Instruction - Field Services at the Vancouver School Board.
An important component in the day was the opportunity for participants to meet in peer groups, discuss challenges, and create take-away strategies from the keynote presentation. Many collaborated on ideas, both large and small, to help build resiliency in students and within their staff.
"Today also provided a valued opportunity for formal and informal networking between the staff and the administrators at our inner-city schools," said Johnson.
In a city the size of Vancouver, with a variety of socio-economic challenges for many of its citizens, inner-city schools help level the playing field for those students who arrive at school disadvantaged because of the complexities surrounding poverty.
There are 14 inner-city schools in Vancouver, serving over 4000 students. The VSB inner-city program goals are to enhance literacy, increase social emotional support, and increase community and parent connectedness. Each school offers services that support these goals.