Its that time of the year again. One of the busiest and most exciting times of our Settlement Workers in School (SWIS) Program. Every year at this time, the SWIS team begins preparations for the annual Newcomer Orientation Week (NOW) Program. NOW is a four-day long program designed for newcomer youth and led by newcomer youth.
NOW is a vital part of our high school activities. It runs during the last week of summer, just before school starts in September. However, at key high schools, NOW Clubs offer year-round activities for newcomer students. These clubs provide a fun learning environment for Newcomer Youth. All those who join participate in regular gatherings that, among other things, are aimed at developing leadership skills. They groups attend health promotion sessions, go on field trips (e.g. to City Hall), and join in celebratory activities throughout the school year.
One of our team members, Lucy Zhuang, held an information session at Harbord Collegiate Institute recently for eight students who are interested in being Peer Leaders this year. They all knew about the program from last year, when they participated as newcomer mentees. Once a newcomer has participated in the NOW Program, they often wish to become a Peer Leader. And those selected take part in a 2-day training activity that will prepare them for the role. The recruitment process for Peer Leaders is in high gear by June of each year. We want to wish them all good luck and thank them for their leadership!
More information about NOW here.