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April 06, 2017
Seasons for Growth is a small group program designed to help people who are living with the effects of change, loss and grief.
The program is facilitated by trained “Companions” who walk alongside participants on their grief journey. Seasons for Growth explores the impact of the change and loss on everyday life and assists participants with learning new ways to respond to these changes.
I became involved with Seasons for Growth 12 months ago. I teach in a single stream, Catholic Primary school in the hills outside of Perth. Our staff identified that the explicit teaching of Social and Emotional Learning was very important for our students. My Principal recommended that I train as a Seasons for Growth Companion.
The training affirmed for me that Seasons for Growth was a very special program and one that I was sure our families would embrace. I am the only Companion at our school. I feel it is a real privilege to walk alongside the students on their Seasons for Growth journey
Sure enough, when the note was sent home inviting parents to consider their children participating in Seasons for Growth, the response was remarkable. This year the response to Seasons for Growth has been fabulous once again. In order to accommodate the older students, we have decided not to offer the program to students in Years One and Two for this year. I feel it is important that the needs of our upper primary students are catered for before they head off to high school.
One of the highlights of the program is the Celebration Sessions. The students are very thoughtful in their consideration of who their invited guest will be and in return their guests feel very special to be part of the Celebration. There have been many heartfelt tears from proud parents as they listen to the wise words and learning’s of their children.
One of our students often spoke about her Grandmother during our Seasons sessions together. She shared memories and feelings about what a special person her Grandmother had been in the family before she passed away. When the student’s mother attended the Celebration session, she was touched to hear of all that her daughter had shared with the group. As a Mother, her aim had been to ensure that her children could feel that they knew their Grandmother through the families sharing of stories and memories. One very proud Mother went home that day, quite overwhelmed by the wisdom and insight of her daughter to recognise how special her Grandmother had been to their family. Seasons for Growth provided this mother and daughter the opportunity to celebrate their love for a very special family member, who will now be forever remembered.
Our children live in a super charged and fast paced world where they often don’t have the opportunity to look for and listen to their feelings. I am so grateful to be able to support these young people through a journey where they have the opportunity to grow and learn more about themselves. As one of our Year Five boys said at the end of Seasons for Growth, “feelings are like sign posts, we just need to take the time to read them.”