Approach: Week Six Recap

8th-Grade

…Communication…

Last week 8th-grade groups focused on communication with an emphasis on texting. Like any technology, texting has it place, but it may not always be the most effective way to communicate. In the initiative, “LOL” groups explored the classic phenomenon of, “there’s two sides to every story” when they were unknowingly given two different renditions of the same scenario and asked to resolve it over text. After twenty minutes of engaging back and forth, the twist was revealed, participants were asked to consider…

If they could identify what the other person was feeling?

If they wrote things they would not have been able to say to the persons face?

If the conversation would have sounded differently if they were communicating in person?

Groups determined that more often than not it is better to resolve a conflict face to face than it is to text. In fact, research states, when engaging solely through text messaging, humans are only accessing 7% of their capacity to communicate. The other 93% is interpreted through body language, vocal tone, pitch, and emphasis. Moral of the evening may we all be a little more inspired to communicate with 100% of our potential.

9th-Grade

…Self Reflection…

9th-grade groups turned their focus inward and examined self expression through art. When it comes to being ‘artistic’ we are often limited by our beliefs that it should look a certain way. Members watched a short video by artist, Callen Shaub, gaining inspiration on how to explore art playfully. Check it out here:

Following the video members were given card stock, paint, and brushes with instructions to spontaneously create without judgement. Turns out everyone is an artist after all! Groups also explored writing as a form of self-expression. Every six months BYEP participants write themselves a letter, the practice allows for them to reflect honestly about the passage of time, and observe their growth over a six month period. Members could write freely or choose from the following prompts to construct a letter to their future selves.

What are your current goals?

What are your current strengths?

Do you have any limitations you for see turning into strengths?

Is there something you want to let go of?

What positive affirmations do you tell yourself? If you don’t have any, what do you need to tell yourself to improve your mental health?

What is your favorite thing about yourself right now?

What ways do you currently express yourself?

What is something you would like to over the next 6 months?

Voila, a mini time capsule! This exercise not only provides a snapshot of memories, it also increases self-awareness, and cultivates gratitude.

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