‘Caring for our earth, caring for each other and caring for ourselves.’

Bringing the Symposium to Our Children

It is 3.30 pm and I am in the school yard sharing the story of Awakening the Dreamer with my child’s teacher. Three days ago I completed my training as a facilitator and I am keen to share the experience, the life of the symposium message is running deep in my veins, bringing together life’s experience in a new found meaning. Little did I know how one profound question ‘Please can you bring the symposium to our class’ would lead to an entirely new primary school program, the program is called ‘Jump Up’ and this is its story.

I am blessed to be a parent at the Winters Flat primary school community class in Castlemaine, Australia. I am not a teacher, so agreeing to present the symposium to our class was a large undertaking. I called in help from my mentor Alison Elliot and many late night session planning conversations ensued. We explored, we laughed, we researched, we wondered, and we wrote the first full primary school symposium for children.

A Program to Share

The kids loved it, the teachers loved it, the principals loved it, and I fell in a heap at the end of term and took a break! In April this year I picked up the project again and reached out to the Pachamama to share my work with them. It turns out that there has long been a call for the Pachamama to bring the symposium to children, but where to start? In Ruel’s words ‘Helena, you have just been and gone and done it! The program has been beautifully thought through, designed and presented’.

Preparations are now well underway to bring Jump Up to the international ATD community. A team of 5 experienced educators and facilitators have started working with Helena Read and Tracy Apple to review the existing material and develop the first Jump Up facilitator training program. Helena is also making plans to travel to San Francisco for a Jump Up internship at Pachamama head office. We are seeking grant funding with auspicing assistance from BTC to enable Jump Up to be run as an action research trial in Australia (and possibly the USA) in 2012.

Next Steps

If you are inspired to find out more about Jump Up please join the symposium for kids discussion on the facilitator’s network, there is also a short video (currently images only with sound track in development) of the kids at Winters Flat school enjoying the program.

I look forward to sharing the next steps of this exciting work with you all and to meeting you on symposium-for-kids.

With peace in blessed unrest,