The Council | Fall 2014
Deidre Petry, Garden Spot High School
The Council is a strengths-based group approach to promote healthy emotional, social, and psychological development in young adults. The program engages learners in activities, dialogue, and self-expression to promote healthy thinking, acting, and responding to themselves and others. It increases emotional, cultural and social literacy and promotes skill building and safe, healthy, positive and strong identities. It focuses on building security and self-acceptance; activities are built around “fun” and non-stressful activities while learners make a commitment to attend, participate, and follow the group norms or rules. A major focus of the program is the concept of resiliency. The outcome of growth-fostering relationships, it is the ability to “bounce-back” from adversity. The hallmarks of resiliency in youth are, caring and supportive relationships with adults, high expectations for self and others, meaningful participation in the community, and a positive cultural-ethnic identity.