This year in Term One, I have secured funding from the Ministry of Education to deliver The Journey Project to 160 Year 5/6 children at a local primary school.
The Journey Project is an exploration into mental wellness and how we can creatively respond to this. The aim of the project is to provide opportunity for students to find their creative voice through use of different mediums while learning ways to increase their confidence, ignite their resilience and build endurance for life's journey. It is hoped that both the techniques and strategies learnt, will open up pathways for future creative expression and create a long term mental robustness for whatever challenges life brings. NZ leads the world in the highest youth suicide statistics and it is my desire to play a part in changing that picture.
The Journey Project begins with the presentation of The Journey Story.
This 1250 word story with giant painted illustrations, is a fun look into the importance of our health and well being, with each of the story characters introducing a different topic to think, discuss and creatively respond to.
These topics are ;'The Power of our words', 'Guarding our minds', 'Healthy living', 'Releasing forgiveness', 'Endurance', 'Courage', 'Rest' and 'Community'. Through group discussion, students are encouraged to share their ideas, opinions and experiences, to learn from one another while maintaining their unique identity. Each student is encouraged to keep a visual diary recording ideas, planning sketches, documenting progress etc. The next stage is to take these ideas to creative practice. Different mediums used for the creative practice extend and enhance the student's skill base and experience and give opportunity to discover strengths and interests. These include drawing, design, poetry writing, stenciling, sign making, craft, painting, and modelling.