SAFE in SCHOOLS
Player / Facilitators:
HANS BONGERS is a graduate of the Academy of Physcial Education of Amsterdam. He moved to Canada, played one season with the Vancouver Whitecaps, taught ten summers at the Université de Quebec à Montréal ("the Magic of Street Football") and directed a summer camp for five seasons. Throughout the years he has been an educator / social circus animator at Shawbridge Youth Centers and a motivational speaker / performer in schools ("Happy Youth Creations") and for various adult groups ("The Juggling Act of Life" ).
LÔDVI BONGERS is a graduate of Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf in Arts & Communications. She has been an animator, counselor and educator for youth under the Youth Protection Act for many years, using social circus and jazz / hip hop dance. She has been the director / metteur en scene of many talent shows for youth of all ages and plays herself in a band (singer / key boards) . After eight years in New Brunswick where she was Program Coordinator of a Maison des Jeunes and Director of Communications for three radio stations across the province, she is back in Montreal in full force, working a wide diversity of events and grant writing for various non-profit organizations.
ADAM CLARKE is a graduate of Concordia Universtiy in Sociology. He is an educator / social circus animator and runs a music therapy program for Shawbridge Youth Centers. Besides being a musician / recording artist, he is also a gifted all-round athlete and has coached volleyball at high school and college levels.
STEEV BLACKETTE is a graduate of Dawson College (Community Recreation Leadership Training) and of Concordia University in Therapeutic Recreation. He has been a youth care worker, drugs awareness counsellor, leadership trainer and special events coordinator in schools, group homes and shelters from the Caribbean to Nunavut. He is an all-round athlete and Steppin choreographer and is currently Mentor Coordinator for a Youth In Transition program in Toronto.
COSTA KOUTROKOIS is a graduate of the University of Ottawa in Social Sciences. Over the years he has continued to study and integrate a variety of approaches in his work, including massage therapy, osteopathy, social circus (at Cirque du Monde, part of Cirque du Soleil), clowning and physical theater, contact dance and fitness / personal training. He has worked many years as an educator / social circus animator at Shawbridge Youth Centers, is a free-lancer for Cirque du Monde, is one of the main inspirators of the acro-yoga movement and runs a Wellness Center in Montreal..
LESLIE HUGGINS is a graduate of Concordia University in Leisure Sciences. He has been a physical activities coordinator, behaviour technician, fitness & wellness instructor and drugs awareness counsellor in various schools and community centers. He is an all-round athlete and coach. He is also an outdoors activities specialist and an avid DJ. He currently provides therapeutic recreation for a drug & alcohol rehab and for Batshaw Youth & Family Centers.
PLAYER / FACILITATOR
A player / facilitator (PF) is an athlete / artist who participates in a SAFE in SCHOOLS session as a player, while being - at the same time - in charge of creating (or reinforcing) a Positive Peer Culture in that session in order for all participants to get the best out of themselves, individually and as a group.
In a Street Arts session there are no teachers and students, all players are fully engaged in their sport, game or form of art. However the PF's in the group take short breaks from their own practice to show beginners how to get started or inspire more advanced participants in their developments. PF's have developed the skill to practise with full Self-esteem & Focus while keeping an eye on all participants and sensing the overal ambiance. After each short intervention they get back to their own practice showing they "walk the talk" (or "dance, juggle, drum, etc. the talk").
When PF's sense there is a lack in one or more of the ingredients for a PPC (Self-esteem, Focus and Respect), they will intervene in a creative way; from calling out some general comments, to taking one or more participants aside or even pausing the session for a meeting about the specific issue(s).
SAFE in SCHOOLS PF's start each project with an inspiring show / demonstration, followed by a training session for the key students to become student PF's . Teachers and other school staff can become PF's too, however they can also facilitate from the outside of the sessions. It is important for student PF's to be "seen" by adults and have their mature behaviour approved. In fact, all students get to be "seen" on their best by teachers, educators, other adults and each other. This is one of the keys for a Positive Peer Culture to manifest.
We have observed over the years that everybody can become a PF. To be a PF does NOT depend on background, age, academic level, general behaviour or other characteristics. Some students who "step up to the plate" will surprise you. Often the only thing it takes is to experience how great a Positive Peer Culture feels and how everybody's Sports & Arts skills thrive in such an atmosphere.
SAFE in SCHOOLS PF's are already in their State of Playing (or FLOW state) when the students and staff arrive. Yes, we come in early! Each student who walks into our S.A.F.E. AREA experiences right away what it is like to be in a Sports & Arts space where people are in full PLAY, respecting themselves, focusing and feeling gòòòd. The PF's set the bar from the start!