Formerly known as Happiness at School
Life is 10% of what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. –Charles Swindoll
Since 2012, programs formerly known as Happiness at School™ have been delivered in 4 school boards in Ontario. Expansion plans are under way in this new registered charity company.
Stand UP for Student Well-Being currently has three main implementation programs to deliver led by 1 or 2 professionally trained comedian coaches who work as visiting artists.
- Each of the three programs has a different curriculum for grades 4-6, 7-9 and 10-12
- Youth develop comedic writing for performance skills
- Youth write and perform their own stories based on their own life experiences
- Appropriate mental health and well-being skills are taught in this context
Six Week Funshop with culminating Comedy Showcase
1 or 2 Comedian Coaches interact with each class for a one hour session each week over a six week period. They can work with up to three separate classes in classrooms over the day, depending on the timetable. Teachers are key players to the success of the program by encouraging students and assisting in the editing and performing process between comedian coach contacts and with their presence during the visits.
Stage 1 offers a crash course in stand-up comedy using an innovative, activity-based approach to teach literacy skills and mental health awareness. Students will complete several activities from their grade appropriate Student Playbook.
In Stage 2 budding student comedians with the strongest scripts will be selected to work with comedian coaches in two small group visits to refine and edit their performances for the Comedy Showcase for their peers in an assembly format.
One Day Funshop
This One Day Funshop in an “in-school field trip” format introduces specific components from the Six Week Funshop format and condenses them into one day of non-stop laughter. Essentially, the classroom is transformed into a writer’s room, a comedy club and a judgment-free learning space, all in one day.
1 or 2 Comedian Coaches interact with one class for the entire day with a planned lunch break. They take the students through a jam-packed course on the positive outcomes of writing and performing their own stories as stand-up comedy.
Teachers remain in the classroom and assist students in this unique format.
It is designed to introduce the program to schools and comes with a less expensive fee for smaller schools.
Based on the Six Week Funshop, this program is designed for youth during their Summer Break or Winter Breaks, in the setting of a summer school program or a summer camp program. It could run for anywhere from a day to a week-long program.
We work with hosts to custom-plan an exciting experience depending on the site and number of youth involved.
It was great to see my students who would typically not have the confidence to perform in front of their class volunteer and share their personal stories through their short skits. It also touched upon their mental health issues and made talking about very personal but real issues with their peers using a platform that was really engaging! ~Suk Wu, teacher, Galloway Road P.S., TDSB