Bluewater District School Board

Bluewater's Internet Cafe Keeps Students Connected page

Internet Cafe Keeps Students Connected

Internet Cafe Keeps Students Connected
Posted on 05/05/2020
Internet Cafe Keeps Students Connected

The John Diefenbaker Senior School Students' Council has been working to create a space that encourages students to be social and involved with others. The Students' Council's new Internet Cafe, which started out as a once or twice weekly online presence, has evolved to encompass many students and community partners.

The initiative is serving as a space for students to meet and chat, connect with others, and get advice from professionals, such as Jackie Ralph of Canadian Mental Health Association Grey Bruce. Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program Coordinator/Facilitator Dave Barrett is also providing information sessions along with other community partners, who are assisting students with future job searches (VPI Working Solutions), fitness goals (Britt Franks), and managing healthy relationships (Jon Farmer). Teachers are able to use the lunchtime sessions as 'reach aheads' to help with programming and meet curriculum guidelines, while Students' Council members gain leadership skills and enhance their own portfolios using this online learning curve.

The meetings, which take place over Microsoft Teams, are moderated by students and overseen by teachers. Some of the teachers have been checking in to reconnect with their students, and share their own experiences while practicing physical distancing. The Internet Cafe is a casual space with loads of character and skill attached to it. While there are many members behind the scenes, moderators Tallulah Mund, Avryl Bender, Aleesha Ferrier, Briar Harper, and Kaylee Lantz, are making the most out of being able to keep students talking, while giving out prizes that have been generously donated, and encouraging ALL students to share experiences, smiles, and laughter. In the cafe, there is only talking and no chat. Cameras must be on unless a student does not have access to one. The goal is to promote those face-to-face relationships so that, upon returning to school, students can say, "Hey, I met you through the cafe." Some students have even used the opportunity to share their musical talents online.

The Students' Council has been trying very hard to keep students and staff involved by running an online contest where students can show how they are spending their time wearing JDSS swag, through the coordination of spirit days, and by demonstrating support of our essential workers, many of whom are JDSS students!
Bluewater District School Board is located on the traditional land of the Saugeen Ojibway Nation, which is represented by the communities of Saugeen First Nation and Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation.
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