After its initial visit early last year, The Resilience Project (TRP) has returned to Ararat to kickstart the 2021 curriculum in local participating schools.
TRP Education Coordinator Elias Karageorgiou spent three days in the town last week, delivering professional development sessions for teachers and introducing a new cohort of Year 7 students to The Resilience Project’s secondary school program.
The visit was organised by Resilient Ararat, which connects with schools through the Ararat Schools Resilience Network.
Central Grampians LLEN Acting Executive Officer Jane Moriarty said the group had its first meeting for 2021 on Thursday.
“It was great to see all the school representatives re-energised and inspired after their sessions with Elias,” she said.
“The meeting was a chance for schools to get together and share the successes and challenges they encountered during their first 12 months implementing the TRP curriculum and seek advice from Elias and each other.”
Mr Karageorgiou said he was grateful to be able to visit Ararat in-person.
“With the year we had last year, it’s so good to be able to get around to all the schools and have that face-to-face interaction,” he said.
“One of the best things has been hearing the students using the language of The Resilience Project and seeing how the practices of gratitude, empathy and mindfulness are starting to become second nature to them.”
Mr Moriarty said that after several successful community projects in 2020, including the #beanresilient campaign and Wellbeing Webinar Series, Resilient Ararat would adopt a more school-centric focus over the next 12 months.
“In addition to working through The Resilience Project curriculum, schools will collaborate on a number of activities throughout the year, including a resilience-inspired art trail,” she said.
“Everyone is really excited about this project and its potential to highlight the importance of resilience to the wider community. Each of the schools involved will be painting their own panel which will represent what their school community is grateful for. The panels will then be displayed at our Ararat schools, and our rural schools, to create a community art trail.”
“Materials will be developed to explain the messages behind the art and highlight useful strategies for improving mental health and living a happier more fulfilling life.”
Ms Moriarty said the ongoing work of the schools would be complemented with youth mental health first aid workshops throughout the community.
Community members can keep up to date with Resilient Ararat’s projects and activities by following the group on Instagram and Facebook.
PHOTO: The Resilience Project Education Coordinator, Elias Karageorgiou, joined in on a mindfulness colouring activity with Maroona Primary School students during his visit to Ararat Rural City last week.