The Alex Panton Foundation (APF) is pleased to announce that over the last month it organised a two-day training session for teachers as part of the rollout of its Emotional Literacy Program called “Zippy’s & Apple’s Friends”, in partnership with the UK Partnership for Children. The Foundation trained a total of 25 participants for the Emotional Literacy Program (18 teachers and 7 master trainers). This Program is offered FREE of charge, thanks to funding received from the APF’s generous donors, including the Dart Grant, and Cayman Billfish Rundown tournament winners who voluntarily donated a portion of their winnings to assist the APF in furthering its mission. These donations will cover the first year of the program’s materials and operations. The APF will continue to fundraise to offer this program well into the future.
Out of 32 countries who have implemented this program worldwide, The Cayman Islands is the first to secure the license for both the mainstream and Special Educational Needs & Disability (SEND) pathway from the beginning of implementation. This ensures equal access and opportunity for all children, regardless of ability or need. Additionally, the Cayman Islands is one of only 5 countries in the world to implement the SEND program, in line with the Cayman Islands Disability policy, which aims to improve inclusion and equal access to health care, including mental health care.
The APF is honoured to collaborate with the Department of Education to implement the Emotional Literacy Program in the Light House School and Sir John A. Cumber Primary School, along with private and NGO partners such as the YMCA, Special Needs Foundation Cayman, Cayman Learning Centre, Star Fish Village, and Footsteps.
Dr Catherine Day, a consultant clinical psychologist, and one of the two leads for the Emotional Literacy Program, said, “We hope that this program will enhance schools’ existing social and emotional curriculums, benefiting children with additional needs by providing holistic care.”
“The program focuses on story/activity-based programs, giving children the opportunity to explore and develop skills to cope with difficulties; these skills in turn would have a lasting effect into adulthood,” said Dr Xenia Goddard, Therapist and mainstream lead for the Emotional Literacy Program.
The program places emphasis on building resilience, increasing empathy and cooperation, and reducing bullying by improving classroom climate.
To learn more about the Zippy’s and Apple’s Friends Program or the SEND Program, or for more information on upcoming events, please visit our website at www.alexpantonfoundation.ky or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Alex Panton Foundation
The Alex Panton Foundation (APF) is a non-profit organization, founded by Wayne and Jane Panton in memory of their son Alex who succumbed to the effects of severe depression at aged 16. The APF’s mission is to improve the mental health of children and young adults in the Cayman Islands through advocacy, awareness and support. One of the aims of the APF is to provide hope and educational resources to those suffering from anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses. APF also provides information and support to friends, family, teachers, students, carers and the wider population through various forums and seeks to address discrimination and the stigma of mental illness.