Parents- we’re all in the same boat. Trying to prepare our kids for an uncertain future and wondering “Is this enough? Will they have what they need?” Talk about STRESS.
There’s one skill though, that has been essential through the ages and will continue to be, and that’s effective communication. Whether it’s interviewing for a job, trying to explain your point of view to a stranger or even asking someone out on a date, being able to say what you mean is crucial!
At Head Start Public Speaking For Kids, we’re about so much more than public speaking. We’re about communicating and self discovery.
Our curriculum, incorporating ideas from revolutionary creatives ,educators, and world class speakers has been crafted to help kids progressively discover themselves and gives them the tools to speak it to the world.
How are we different?
We ask kids to think about who they are and what’s important to them and then we help them articulate that vision. Lots of adults ask kids “What do you want to be when you grow up?” But the more important question is: What’s important to you? What do you love? What do you hate? And most important of all: WHY? Thinking about the WHY helps kids land on values that are meaningful to them. If this exercise helps turn kids even a degree or two towards something that they love, it’s a huge win.
We also ask kids to think about their fears and why they hold them. We share our fears with each other to witness the universality of them. We learn to articulate them so they’re recognizable and learn how to walk through them with more confidence every time.
Kids learn to listen to others here too, one of the most important skills anyone can have – we don’t really need to tell that to you parents, do we? lol! We probably can’t get them to clean their rooms but we can ask them to consider viewpoints other than their own and even far outside of their social circle.
We also ask kids about hope – what are their hopes for the future? For themselves? For the planet? Visioning is a powerful tool for discernment that they can bring into their lives!
Over the years, we’ve had so many parents tell us that their kids are much better equipped for the world after working and playing with Head Start Public Speaking For Kids.
Here are just a few of them!
If I was to chose just ONE activity for my kids…this would be it!!! They LAUGH, they LEARN, and they love it! I have NEVER asked them to do their work for Paula, they are so excited to participate, they get it done! Their confidence has soared in all aspects of being “centre stage”…public speaking, performing musically, even their riding tests on their horses. I recommend this to EVERYONE! Paula, we are so glad to be part of this. Thanks!
Dagmar Lynch – mom of 14 year old Sarah Jane and 12 year old Kate
Our two children enjoyed learning so many practical skills in Head Start Public Speaking for Kids under Paula’s expert tutelage. They continue to use these skills in day to day interactions. For instance, our son, who was usually talked-over in many situations prior to taking Head Start Public Speaking for Kids, enthusiastically stepped into a leadership role for the first time in his life. Both children learned to develop more cogent speeches, learned to reflect on the effectiveness of their presentations and conversations, and learned to listen better. They both developed the confidence to speak in front of large groups on their own – once to hundreds of people at Earth Day! Head Start Public Speaking for Kids is an absolutely brilliant learning opportunity.
Sandra Grant – mom of 14 year old Nadia and 12 year old Nima
Paula’s class offered the structure and encouragement for the kids to feel comfortable and enthusiastic about public speaking. It was the right pace and amount of challenge to build their confidence. It is a highly beneficial life skill and my two children greatly enjoyed Paula’s humour, skill , and excellence at guiding them. They’ll be back next year!
Georgina Brandon – mom of 15 year old Felix and 12 year old Bridget
The things that matter to kids matter to us all and now is the time to give them voice in ways the world will hear. The tools we give our kids now will be used on the building blocks of the next decades. The surprise and delight for us as parents was the genuine thrill and energy that our kids showed in this program. At every age, the voices and shaping of their messages was powerful, hilarious, sincere and above all, meaningful. They were given a means to share the world as they saw it – full of truth and meaning, full of textures that get overlooked and undervalued by the world out there. We adults sat up and took note of things differently. They, as kids, felt their ability. To say what was important to them. and say it with full delivery. It was awesome. Kids who were shy that I would never have imagined stepping into this so easily. They now know new measures of their own capacity. The Stuff they are made of. Paula’s coaching was key to this outcome. The format was solid. The kids were ripe. But the partnership she provided connected the dots. Grounded the process. Enabled the steps from start to finish. Her skill and natural enthusiasm made every step feel not only achievable, but thrilling. Motivating. It was the supportive group element that she helped make safe, the partnership she provided each child to share the courage and shoring up, as well as the final celebration of the delivery that put it out to the world. It could not be taken back then with any doubt or misgiving. It landed. It was received. It was amazing. It will be with them and available now forever. Let’s keep it growing!
Shannon Woode – mom of Jillian, 14
I was so pleased that you were offering public speaking to the kids as I was always impressed by your people skills and hoped you would be able to pass that along to our kids. I felt that my son Jared was really challenged to draw deep from within himself to tell the best story he could, engaging the audience, and making his story make sense. He is a natural story teller, but the story could sometimes get lost in the translation. The work you did with him helped him to focus on the main points he was trying to relay to an audience. Jared says his vocabulary, spelling, writing, memorization and confidence in himself has really improved. He says he felt really good about himself after he gave his speeches. Jared really thinks about engaging his reader or listener when writing a story now, which is a valuable skill going beyond himself to build a bridge to others. I also think in listening to others’ stories, your world really broadens and you can begin to understand more about people and life and to not feel so alone. Paula, you have been such an encouragement to the kids, from the smallest victory, while at the same time drawing them forward to achieve even more. This is what a good teacher and mentor does.
Shelley Jankola – mom of Caleb, 16 and Jared, 12
Finding you out who you are is one of the most important things any of us will ever do. Teaching your child how to bring that into the world is one of the most important things WE’LL ever do. More than ever, each of us needs to find our voice and speak our truth into the world. It indeed will set us free.
“When the whole world is silent, even one voice becomes powerful.” — Malala Yousafzai