Helping children value learning through teaching the fun, creative and employable skill of balloon twisting.
Etobicoke, Ontario, July 1, 2018 – Let’s Get Together! is excited to announce the success of their new initiative True North Friends Junior Balloon Twisting Workshops.
Since mid May 2018, Let’s Get Together’s six Junior Balloon Twister Trainers (JBTT), with the support of an adult coordinator, have taught over 250 children between the ages of 10-12 years of age how to balloon twist using a growth mindset. The JBTT themselves range in age between 10 – 12 years and have been offered employment opportunities as Twisters since the start of this initiative.
This unique workshop was funded by Healthy Kids Community Challenge Rexdale’s fourth theme Power Off and Play which promotes powering off devices before sleep, during meal and snack time, and encourage of physical activity, social interaction and family time. The True North Friends Junior Balloon Twisting Workshops were specifically designed to help children develop this employable skill while promoting the importance of growth mindset, healthy social skills and acceptance of self and others. Children who learn this unique skill will have another cool activity in their “life toolkit” that encourages them to put down the electronics, explore creative arts and enjoy building meaningful connections within the community. The funding also provided each child with their own balloon twist kit to keep, and each of the 18 organizations and schools visited received their own club starter kit, so their newly trained Junior Twisters can continue to practice and teach their peers.
What is Growth Mindset?
Growth mindset, discovered by world-renowned Standford University psychologist Carol Dweck, is the belief that the most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work – brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment. (excerpt taken from Mindset)
Connection between growth mindset and balloon twisting
“Balloon twisting is a wonderful and cool way to teach anyone how to learn!! It teaches children how to be more patient, focused, creative, self-resilient and communicative, which is often a struggle for many children today” explains Alison Canning, Executive Director for Let’s Get Together! and resident of the Kingsview Village Westway Neighbourhood. “Balloons can pop, fly away or untwist at any point, so the children often take a different approach, accept feedback/suggestions, learn from their mistakes and try again. Since the children want to make their own balloon character they continue to work hard and persevere until they have their creation. The interesting part is that their final product is often not what they expected, but they don’t get discouraged – they’re motivated to pick up another balloon and try again. This time they ask for help or suggestions or watch their peers. This is growth mindset in action.”
Balloon twisting allows for compassion and develops young leaders of tomorrow today. “It’s fun teaching people, especially when they’re my age, because I can do something they can’t and it’s nice to share the experience of what I’ve learned,” says Seyara Rambukkanage, a Grade 6 student, resident of Etobicoke North and a Let’s Get Together!’s Junior Balloon Twister Trainer.
“This workshop made me feel really good about myself using the (growth mindset) phrase ‘This make take some time’. It actually made me feel more patient about making the balloons today, and I feel really, really good about it!” said one of the students from The Elms Junior Middle School workshop held on June 25th.
“Balloon twisting is a great activity for the kids, showing them what is not possible is actually possible by pushing the boundaries and twisting and making beautiful décor,” shares Jenifferjit Sidhu, Media Relations Officer for Toronto Police Services. One of Toronto Police Services Community Outreach Programs participated in the balloon twisting workshop.
The fun continues
The fun continues with the True North Friends Junior Balloon Twist-Off held this Friday, July 6th at the Rexdale Foodie Festival at Toronto Albion Library. Children 14 years and under will have a chance to showcase their new skills and creative minds between 4:15 – 5:30pm. Let’s Get Together! and their Junior Balloon Twisting Trainers will also offer free 15 minute workshops to children and their parents how to twist after the Twist-Off at 6pm and 7pm.
To book a workshop or register for the Junior Balloon Twist-Off visit http://www.truenorthfriends.ca or contact 416-302-8349
About Let’s Get Together!
Let’s Get Together is a not-for-profit organization that creates opportunities for parents, youth and communities to access resources that provide educational assistance and support student well-being. Their mission is to encourage healthy parent involvement in children’s education and inspire youth to value learning while making it accessible and equitable.