Program supporting kids’ social and emotional development set to broaden its reach

Building on its success in schools in Logan Central over the last 5 years, Logan Together partners YFS and Communities for Children have extended The CLUB program to Browns Plains State School.

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Social and emotional wellbeing is a key ingredient in children’s healthy development, as it impacts on their ability to understand and manage their emotions, connect with those around them, make responsible choices, and handle challenging situations more effectively.

The CLUB, which stands for Communicating, Learning, Understanding and Belonging, aims to support the social and emotional wellbeing of primary school children aged 5 to 12 years.

Delivered in small groups in 45 minute sessions over an 8-week period, The CLUB connects with the Behaviour Support or Guidance Officers in schools to help identify kids who may benefit from the program.

This includes children who may appear shy and struggling to make friendship connections, as well as kids who may be demonstrating disruptive behaviours in class that indicate difficulty regulating their emotions, leading them to ‘act out’.

Program Manager, Michael Carter, said that the program was extending its reach to Browns Plains in response to the Logan Together Roadmap and State of the Children’s reports, which highlighted the need within the community. He stated that “with the addition of Browns Plains State School, the program is now offered in 5 schools across Logan including Eagleby, Harris Fields, Woodridge and Kingston State Schools”.

Group Facilitator, Jessica Jackson, has been delivering The CLUB in Logan for the past year, and said she is amazed at the changes in the kids’ behaviour and interactions with each other.

“One grade 5 boy came to the group having been in trouble regularly, getting into fights and disrupting class, but by week 3 he was able to identify his own behaviour. He told me that he didn’t want to be like that anymore because he didn’t like disrupting everyone.”

“One grade 5 boy came to the group having been in trouble regularly, getting into fights and disrupting class, but by week 3 he was able to identify his own behaviour. He told me that he didn’t want to be like that anymore because he didn’t like disrupting everyone.”

Ms Jackson said that one student had struggled to make friends and was having difficulties with bullying and negative interactions with other girls, but since joining The CLUB had developed a lovely friendship with another girl in the group. Because of the friendship, she now has less conflict with others because she has someone by her side.

“Today they were wearing best friend necklaces and I have seen their friendship strengthen over the 8 weeks. In the last session she told me that the best thing about the group was meeting her new best friend – sweet!” she said.

Each session starts with a strength stone ceremony, giving the group a positive start and mindset that is consistent from week to week. They talk about helpful and unhelpful thoughts, and always finish each session with a game and an opportunity for social interaction amongst the group.

“It’s a really multicultural group, and in a recent session, the kids were sharing about the kind of food they make and eat with their families – it was a really nice way for them to connect” Ms Jackson said.

The program also helps to connect families within the school with other supports available within the community.

“In week 8 we have a graduation ceremony, and we invite parents and school staff. The kids get a certificate and we have a celebration with food, which is a great way for us to connect with parents and strengthen their connection to the school.” said Ms Jackson.

The CLUB is funded by The Salvation Army’s Communities for Children, and delivered by YFS – both proud Logan Together partners.

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