Dancing for Mental Health Awareness

posted: Friday, June 1, 2017

Every year each class in Junior School selects a philanthropy project in support of their chosen charity. This year, the Grade 5 students have chosen to support the True North Youth Foundation, which serves as the entity through which "The Winnipeg Jets Hockey Club performs its philanthropic responsibilities to the Province of Manitoba. It fulfills this obligation by supporting registered charities within our community, who focus on the youth of our province and by developing and operating programs that serve disadvantaged kids."

The Grade 5s were fortunate this year to take part in Project 11, one of the True North Youth Foundation's initiatives. PROJECT 11, is a Winnipeg Jets True North Foundation initiative as which is part of the NHL's Hockey Talks program. It is an educational cross-curricular prevention program to begin the conversation around positive mental health skills. Project 11 was inspired and created in honor of Rick Rypien #11, former player of the Winnipeg Jets and Manitoba Moose PROJECT 11 uses concepts such as practicing focusing the mind, increasing self-awareness of feelings and strengths, and building positive relationships.

To raise awareness and funds for the True North Youth Foundation, the Grade 5s hosted a dance in Richardson Gym on Thursday, May 18, where all Junior School students joined in to promote music and movement while donating to a worthy cause. They welcomed back two SJR alumni, Antonio Cianflone '11 as the DJ and Nina Cianflone '13 is emcee. They had the students jumping, singing and some were even break-dancing!

Every Grade 5 students had a job to do at the dance; running the freezie stand, greeting students, face painting, handing out loot bags, sorting the donations, collecting the students from classrooms, handing out prizes and encouraging the younger students to have fun!

The Grade 5s also wanted to spread a little kindness to the other students and at the end of the dance so they offered each student a 'Loot Bag of Joy' filled with items that would spread joy and kindness to those around them.