The “I’m Thumbody” program is a mental health program for children which is designed for use within the public school system at the grade 3 level. It is presented in the classroom by trained volunteers in two one-hour sessions. The first session focuses on the awareness of the uniqueness of self and others, and the second session focuses on identification, recognition and acceptance of feelings. Each session has a range of activities, from the examination of thumbprints to group discussions about different types of feelings.
In addition to the classroom experience, parents and teachers are provided with material to assist them in reinforcing the development of self-esteem and good mental health in children.
- To promote healthy self concepts
- To stimulate the development of self confidence.
- To instill feelings of self worth, individuality and responsibility.
- To generate an understanding of each person’s uniqueness and focus on the value of their individual
- To enhance self-awareness.
- To generate an understanding of each person’s uniqueness and focus on the value of their individual differences and strengths.
- To promote mental health among children by building an awareness of self-esteem.
- To provide information to the public about mental health by promotion of the “I’m Thumbody” program and the concept of early childhood mental health.
- To provide a proactive community-based mental health program that is positive and rewarding.
- To support teachers in their efforts in promoting good mental health and healthy self-esteem in students.
The thumbprint was chosen as the unifying theme as it represents the uniqueness of each individual. Just as no two thumbprints are alike, no two people are alike.
Teacher and volunteer evaluations are provided to evaluate both the program delivery and content, and the volunteer training session.
All volunteers must participate in a training session through the CMHA before presenting the program in the classroom. They are selected for their personal suitability to the program and are requested to provide character references, if they are not referred by the school.