Wood's Homes Blog

Transition and the importance of friendships

May 15, 2018
By Elizabeth Bonk-Richards, School Support Counsellor at Children's Village School
Transition and the importance of friendships

So often in our work with young people, we have little opportunity to see tangible changes in the clients we serve. That’s what makes the successes so very rewarding! 

This past year, I had the opportunity to work with a youth whose growth was in some ways intangible, but in others was extremely visible. The student had the opportunity to transition from Children’s Village School where he had been a student for 2 years to the Transition classroom in another school. Some of the challenges that this student had experienced in previous school placements related to his peer interactions. When he first transitioned to the new school, we expected that this would be an area that we would need to focus our work. 

And focus we did! At this new school, the student was exposed to a large class size (30 other students!) and with that came all of the difficult social interactions that can result! Through many misunderstandings, bumps and yes even some bruises, the student was able to start to trust some of his peers, and allow them to help him to learn what it means to be a friend. This started with a peer who befriended him on a field trip. This peer asked him to sit with her on the bus back from the swimming pool. From this simple interaction, a true friendship began!  Now the two play together during gym class and work on shared projects together during class time.

This is not the only friendship that this student has been able to cultivate either.  His desk was close to a different peer and the two began to chat with one another. They soon realized that they had a common interest in a genre of books and of course video games. When asked how this relationship began, this student reported, “One time during reading and writing we started to chat a lot about Legend of Zelda and it was really fun!” This friendship has continued through the year and it is clear that this is valuable to our student “he’s a good friend.  He’s funny we chat a lot, he’s awesome!”

While it is great from the outside to see this student begin to understand the importance of relationships, this is also becoming something that this student values. When he was asked he reports that “I like having friends.”

At Wood's Homes, we strive to build and encourage meaningful relationships for our clients; ones that can act as a support when they're faced with a sudden challenge. Every new connection has the potential to become a source of strength or a life-lasting bond and we're proud to be involved, even if we only play a small part in someone's journey.