“IMatter” Student Projects offer a peer-to-peer youth empowerment program that feature portraits of youth accompanied by declarations of self-worth exhibited in their school and communities. "IMatter" projects address several Social Emotional Learning Core Competencies, particularly Self-awareness, Social Awareness and Relationship Skills. In a safe yet challenging environment, participants interact face-to-face, sharing thoughts and feelings, then sharing insights and reflections in the form of "IMatter" statements.
Students can expect to:
Recognize and identify emotions, thoughts, and values and how they influence behavior
Foster effective communication skills
Cultivate a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism and self-perception
Take the perspective of, and empathize with others
Develop healthy, respectful, rewarding relationships with diverse individuals
"IMatter" Student Programs integrate 4 key components:
1) "IMatter" Hand-On Interactive Workshops: Utilize YouWho? game cards to foster social-emotional learning, active listening, empathy and community in the classroom and beyond.
2) "IMatter" Art Exhibits: Individual photographic portraits are superimposed with each student’s “IMatter” Declaration. Resultant images are printed as posters are installed in schools
as communal celebrations of self-worth. Also included is a digital sideshow that incorporates all of the children’s photos. There's even an option for kids to photograph one another!
3) "IMatter" Pride Cards: Laminated wallet-size versions of students’ posters are designed to be carried in wallets, purses, etc. to reassure kids of their worthiness during times of stress or doubt, e.g. transitioning to middle school or high school.
4) "IMatter" Community Forum: Students, teachers, school administrators, elected officials and community members are invited to participate in facilitated forums that initiate bold, honestintergenerational discourse regarding issues plaguing today's youth, including family life, school culture, substance abuse, social media, anxiety, depression and suicide.
Overall Objectives and Benefits
• Leads participants to realize the transformative power of human connection
• Invites and encourages intergenerational dialogue regarding challenges facing today’s youth
• Fostesr awareness of critical social and emotional issues
• Enriches self-worth, self-expression, empathy and social engagement
• Cultivates a well-grounded sense of confidence, optimism and self-perception
• Fosters effective communication skills
• Helps students recognize and identify emotions, thoughts and values and how they influence behavior
• Guides participants to take the perspective of, and empathize with others
• Develops effective communication through authentic expression and active listening
• Proudly and publicly celebrates the best of our youth
• Develops healthy, respectful, rewarding relationships with diverse individuals