As social distancing creates new challenges and barriers to making social connections there is more need to teach and encourage inclusive behaviour. The Variety Just Like You program has been doing that for some time now but when schools closed the team had to quickly pivot our delivery methods to ensure the same calibre of learnings could happen in this new educational environment.
We are therefore thrilled to share that Variety Just Like You has gone digital! In the last week of May 2020 our program facilitators Paul and Natalie held sessions for Year 1 & 2 and Year 3 & 4 on Sydney’s north.
With the unprecedented impact COVID-19 has had on education the program team has worked incredibly hard to find a way to deliver the program that best suits the current situation at school. To this end, there are two delivery options for the digital program – one for students in the classroom with a digital facilitator and one fully online.
For those not familiar with the program, Variety Just Like You is a disability awareness program designed to build understanding, acceptance and inclusion. Through celebrating differences, developing empathy and creating inclusion, students learn that people with a disability are the same as everyone else – they are ‘Just Like You’.
Variety Just Like You is designed for primary school students’ specific year groups and mapped against the Australian Curriculum. We currently have facilitators in Sydney, Newcastle, Central Coast and ACT. Variety Just Like You workshops are lively, interactive and compelling, where students are engaged to reflect on their own roles and actions as a citizen in their school and community.
We currently have over 400 students confirmed to participate in the Variety Just Like You program over the coming months and we hope to welcome many more.
“[The facilitator] was once again amazing!!! He is such a wonderful presenter, engaging with the students, always ready to adapt and helpful with technology. [Moderator] was also fantastic!! She helped with IT problems, was polite and kind to all students and staff, helpful with clear information about the program. Hats off to the team who put this all together into an online version.” Jason Murray, Brookvale Public School, NSW
“Variety will continue to deliver the program digitally for as long as required. Many of our existing Term 2 bookings are being converted to digital sessions and we are reaching out to schools that have been harder to access previously to offer them this new digital option. We are proud of the impact that this program has in schools and how the team have so quickly shifted to the digital space to ensure we are able to continue educating primary school students to develop understanding, acceptance and inclusion of people with a disability.” said Marisa Turcinskis, Head of Kids Support at Variety.
For more information on the Variety Just Like You program or how to get your school involved please get in touch.
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