Our primary school mentoring program ‘I CAN Imagination Club®’ is a program for students who are Autistic, or who have learning differences or experience social anxiety. Whilst the majority of Imagination Club participants are Autistic, the program can be used by a school to engage a broader range of primary students. Our primary school mentoring programs are called ‘I CAN Imagination Clubs – for students with big imaginations’
Our primary school mentoring program ‘I CAN Imagination Club®’ is for students aged 8-12 who are Autistic, or who have learning differences or experience social anxiety – students with ‘big imaginations’. Each session is designed to develop optimism, belonging, confidence and emotional literacy in the students to help them channel their strengths and develop resilience to their challenges.
During the sessions, our mentors avoid the term ‘Autism’ and the language which surrounds Autism due to the fact that many families are yet to disclose diagnoses or are in the middle of a diagnostic process.
Inter-school programs are also available where multiple schools come together from the same region to form a group. This option works particularly well in regional areas.
Imagination Club® can be implemented in any school setting. Schools decide, in conversation with I CAN staff, on an appropriate space to run the program within the school (e.g classroom or library), or online.
Sessions run for 45 mins to 1 hour and 15 minutes Programs can be delivered across 16 (or less) fortnightly sessions throughout the course of a school year.
Two I CAN Mentors (Network Leader and Mentor), facilitate each session, one of whom is on the Autism Spectrum. *All I CAN Staff hold current Working with Children’s Check. Each session must be supervised by at least one VIT (or relevant state jurisdiction) registered teacher.
Students get to know each through identifying the necessary components of an effective team and the value of what each individual has to offer.
Students are upskilled in capacities for listening and compromise through activities and social engagement and personal growth.
Students are encouraged to share what specific areas of communication they find difficult as well as helpful strategies for navigating concentration, conversation and public speaking.
Students are given practical advice on how to best navigate their personal emotional landscapes. Emotional literacy is explored here through the I CAN Imagination mascot: ‘Cam the Chameleon’.
Students work together on creative projects which can be exhibited at the Imagination Club’s end of year celebration.
“Our daughter seems more confident after each session. We feel that our daughter has become a more confident in the way she approaches life despite still having many stumbling blocks. I was so happy when we were advised that this program is going to be running at CWPS. I think it is a great program for children on the spectrum.”
“Having the program has allowed me to sit and watch children become confident in areas that is outside their comfort zone. My approach to my teaching has definitely changed to better cater for a child with Autism. Mackellar PS is a safe place for children with disabilities, but this has given children that participated the confidence to talk to others about how they feel and the vehicle for some parents to talk to their children about Autism.”
“Our students really connected with the Imagination Club and made strong bonds with students from other schools and the mentors from I CAN. They always looked forward to the sessions and enjoyed sharing their experiences with their peers and their families. The Imagination Club was a very positive experience for our students.”
WHY WE MATTER
I CAN SCHOOLS
WHY WE MATTER
I CAN Network Ltd. PO Box 356 Ashburton 3147, Victoria, Australia
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: icannetwork.com.au
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