Resources for Seriously Optimistic Schools
‘Open, reflective and respectful conversations about important things—our strengths, values, relationships, and the ways we learn and grow—can enhance our self-esteem, create our identities, and give us hope. They are at the heart of emotional literacy.’
Schools are increasingly called upon to take a proactive role in the enhancement of self-esteem, wellbeing and emotional intelligence. These are essential ingredients in building families and communities that are filled with hopeful, engaged, resilient and compassionate people. There is also a growing understanding of the role that these things play in preventing and addressing such behaviours as bullying, substance abuse, school refusal and self-harm.
How can schools respond to this growing challenge to provide esteem-building, creative, culturally-inclusive resources and programs?
Many schools are currently drawing on the skills of the social work sector by using the highly creative card packs, stickers, books and picture books developed by St Luke’s Innovative Resources.
St Luke’s, now part of Anglicare Victoria, is well known for its ‘strengths-based’ services for children, youth, families and communities. Drawing on that expertise, Innovative Resources has become well known in Australia and overseas for its role as a publisher of original, high-quality resources that are designed to create transformative conversations with children and young people about their feelings, goals, strengths and challenges.
These ‘seriously optimistic’ card packs, books, stickers and posters have become essential items in the tool kits of teachers, principals, welfare coordinators, parents, social workers, counsellors, managers, psychologists, and childcare professionals worldwide. They can be found on school camps, in classrooms, staff rooms, career guidance offices, and in the tool kits of mentors and team leaders.
While children, adolescents and adults alike respond to the range of original illustrations, cartoon characters, photographic images or contemporary techno design, the real transformative power of these resources lies in the thoughtful reflection and meaningful conversations that are generated by using them.
This is why the resources published by Innovative Resources are sometimes described as ‘conversational prompts’ because they are used to encourage conversations about the important things—our strengths, values, relationships, and the ways we learn and grow. It is these conversations of meaning and significance that enhance our self-confidence, create our identities and give us hope. They are at the heart of emotional literacy.
‘Anything that builds optimism and gets children and young people talking about their strengths and noticing those of others is really important. So we challenge ourselves all the time to create high-quality, colourful and even cutting-edge resources for classrooms.’ said Russell Deal, Creative Director of Innovative Resources.