What We Do
At Thinking Forward, our main goal is to provide anti-bullying character education that aims to help children and youth make positive life choices. The programs we offer engage children in creative and interactive activities that focus on 3 themes of leadership.
- INWARD LEADERSHIP explores the importance of establishing trust in relationships, by demonstrating integrity in making the right choices at school, home, and in the community. We want children and youth to self-explore by finding their unique strengths and using those to define their purpose in life. This aspect of leadership emphasizes on building one’s character and building a strong sense of responsibility.
- OUTWARD LEADERSHIP focuses on helping children and youth to work together effectively. As an essential part of their character development, participants will be encouraged to partner with each other’s strengths through teamwork. This aspect of leadership teaches participants to value one another and to join together in collaboration.
- FORWARD LEADERSHIP relates to a leader’s vision for a better future. We challenge children and youth to identify issues or problems in their community and to create positive change in those areas. This aspect of leadership helps participants take initiative in making a difference by demonstrating compassion for the needs of others and reaching out to their community.
Why We Exist
Bullying has become an ever-growing problem across schools in Canada.
- On a recent World Health Organization Health Behaviours in School-aged Children survey, Canada ranked a dismal 26th and 27th out of 35 countries on measures of bullying and victimization, respectively.
- In Canada, a child or teen is said to be bullied every seven minutes on the playground.
- A 2010 research project studying 33 Toronto junior high and high schools reported that 49.5 per cent of students surveyed had been bullied online.
- 86% of Canadian teachers feel bullying and violence are serious problems in public schools.
Thinking Forward believes children and youth should be able to learn, play and grow in a positive and accepting environment. It is said that “the best way to stop bullying is to prevent it. Working to promote environments based on respect and empathy, and reaching out and being inclusive of others are great ways to stop bullying from happening in the first place”. A big part of our mandate is to help children understand and accept each other’s differences as strengths. Through our 4 week program, we want to help children and youth learn the importance of responsibility (inward leadership), collaboration (outward leadership) and making a positive change in their communities (forward leadership) so that they can one day become compassionate leaders themselves.
 Craig, W. M., & Harel, Y. (2004). Bullying, physical fighting and victimization. In C. Currie, C. Roberts, A.Morgan, R. Smith, W. Settertobulte, O. Samdal, et al.(Eds.), Young people’s health in context: International report from the HBSC 2001/02 survey. WHO Policy Series: Health policy for children and adolescents (pp. 133-44) Issue 4.
 Bullying.org Where You Are Not Alone. (n.d.). Bullying Basics. http://www.bullying.org/htm/main.cfm?content=1084
 Faye Mishna et al, “Cyber Bullying Behaviors Among Middle and High School Students,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 80, no. 3 (2010): 362–374. http://definetheline.ca/dtl/cyberbullying/cyberbullying-in-canada/
 Taillefer, P. (May 14, 2012). Remarks published in the proceedings from the Canadian Teachers’ Federation presentation to the Standing Senate Committee on Human Rights on Cyberbullying.
How We Deliver Programs
- We offer a 4-week arts and leadership program where facilitators visit classes for 1 hour (for children) or 2-3 hours (for youth) each week to deliver age-appropriate lessons and activities. Our programs can be customized to align with student needs and school schedules
- For sample lesson plans, please contact us and we would be more than happy to show you the type of programming we offer!