Education without Borders has expanded beyond projects in South Africa to serve First Nations in the Lower Mainland through partnerships with AnxietyBC and Dogwood 25.
EwB and AnxietyBC have partnered with the Alternate School Programs in Chilliwack to strengthen knowledge and capacity about the management of anxiety and anxiety disorders among students/parents/caregivers and educators. A large percentage of students in the programs are of First Nations heritage, from the Sto:lo Nation (also known as Shxwetetilthet).
The goal is to reduce the symptoms of anxiety among children and youth attending alternate schools by providing educators, students, and caregivers with a series of targeted, core anxiety intervention skills workshops and tools.
From September 2015 to May 2016, EwB provided financial support to a pilot program designed to train administrators and educators at C.H.A.N.C.E. Shxwetetilthet Alternate Middle School and the Education Centre Secondary School in Chilliwack, together with students from these schools. To date, 15 workshops were undertaken and 117 people were directly trained. Approximately 234 community members received information on anxiety management as a result of this program.
Education without Borders is providing financial support to Dogwood 25. This non-profit collaboration provides culturally responsive mentorship opportunities for Aboriginal students in elementary, high school and post-secondary schools using an evidence-based model of peer mentorship that supports academic success.
The goal is to help First Nations youth obtain the education and self confidence required to realize their full potential.
In June 2016, the Dogwood 25 Society successfully completed its third year of mentorship programs for Aboriginal students in Vancouver Schools. This year five schools participated, including Britannia and Southlands which have the highest number of Aboriginal students in the Vancouver area.
The program mentors were First Nations students enrolled in the Native Indian Teacher Education Program at UBC and the co-op program at Douglas College. The students were in grades six and seven, the key transition years leading from Primary to Secondary School.
Students worked with their mentors in after-school sessions using the Academy of Math/Literacy Program. This individualized training program improved math skills and math literacy among students.