Tips and tricks from past facilitators

From Facilitators:

Building Wellness™ is the single best thing that “I Have A Dream” has given to this program.

After I finished the curriculum I thought, ‘this IS possible!’

It teaches [students] that they can make a choice.

I enjoy the flexibility of the program and the way the lessons cover multiple aspects of a topic.

From participants:

I’ve also learned that NOBODY is perfect at all.

I really liked the “what is gender” [lesson] because it was fun and really interesting.

I liked learning about diabetes because my dad has it and it’s good to know about what he has.

  • Enthusiasm from staff and the facilitator makes or breaks the Building Wellness session.
  • Be engaged, animated and participate in activities with the students.
  • Use a dynamic and powerful voice that commands the students’ attention and respect.
  • Be prepared – have all supplies and materials on hand.
  • Ask probing, open-ended questions to get students thinking. Give them time to think of their answers.
  • Quiz the children on last week’s lesson (and even review other lessons). This helps them to retain the information and has been shown to help them on their post-evaluations.
  • Having the children warm up with 1-2 minutes of activity (jumping jacks, laps around the room, high knee lifts, etc.) helps them to get their energy out and concentrate better on the task at hand.
  • Deep breathing exercises can also be helpful to increase concentration on the topic at hand.
  • Setting ground rules at the beginning can be useful. I.e., raise your hands, no talking while I’m talking, etc. These may need to be reviewed before every session.
  • A circle of chairs and/or tables works best with the facilitator on the inside. This makes discussion easier and more interactive.
  • If the facilitator is not a regular staff member, an introduction from the Teacher/Program Director helps to gain respect from the students.
  • Using real-life examples and experiences work well. Statements like “what helped me at your age” are effective.

"I Have A Dream" Foundation

322 Eighth Avenue, 2nd Floor,
New York, NY 10001.
Telephone: +1 (212) 293-5480

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Building Wellness™ was conceived by the Eugene M. Lang Foundation in 2013. Its programs were developed under the auspices of the Foundation with the cooperation and support of educators, community organizations and health care providers. On January 1, 2016, the Foundation transferred ownership and operation exclusively to The “I Have A Dream” Foundation. This volume is the property of the “I Have A Dream” Foundation. Its contents are subject to copyright regulations and may not be reproduced without permission.
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