Our Workshop Program
Bringing our mission into the classroom.
Homelessness: The Importance of Caring
Project Empathic's workshops are designed for elementary-aged students, discussing homelessness through an objective lens, and are intended to evoke both empathy and understanding.
Each workshop runs for 60 minutes and is directed by a small team of specially-trained volunteers who contact teachers to integrate our program into their classrooms.
“Homelessness and the Importance of Caring” is the first workshop in our planned series, with both an intermediate and primary version available, and addresses:
The definition of homelessness
Primary causes of homelessness
And through interactive activities and discussions, the importance of developing empathy.
Currently, our team is developing follow-up workshops to create an integrated program that continues dialogue on homelessness both in and out of the classroom.
We aim for these discussions to spur independent change, as knowledge is a driver of empathy, and empathy is a driver of action.
Workshop Design, Background, and Curricular Connections
How we create each workshop, from start to finish.
Research and Consultations
As students ourselves, we recognize that we have significant learning to do before we can teach others. It is essential that we don't overshadow or ignore people who have lived or living experience of homelessness, and we represent their experiences accurately and respectfully.
Given this consideration, each workshop is created through an extensive research and consultation process, where our team consults nonprofit staff, frontline outreach workers, trauma-informed counselors, and most importantly, people with lived experience of homelessness to discuss their insights into our workshop topic. We then supplement our content with academic research to ensure our facts are objective and accurate.
We believe that experiences and stories capture the heart of the issue, while research allows us to delve deeper into the specifics of our content, which is why we heavily invest time and resources into designing our program and identifying key information to teach students.
One of our consultants captured this process beautifully:
“"As a person who has lived experience [of homelessness], I am choosing to share my knowledge and vulnerability. On the other end, I ask that you be invested in change—that you take this knowledge and share it."”
As classroom time is valuable, we work closely with BC-registered educators to review our workshop content so it aligns with the mandated British Columbia Ministry of Education curriculum.
Specifically, our program explores Grade 6 and 7 Social Studies content of global poverty and inequity, long-term cause and effect, and ethical judgment. We also discuss practicing ethical behaviour, acting against discrimination, and exercising leadership to tie into core Career Education curricula.
For further details and other grade-specific connections, please reach out to our team at email@example.com.
Bring Our Workshops To Your Classroom
Download and access our resources
Dear Teachers/Educators/General Public,
Thank you for your interest in Project Empathic’s program. We are a youth-led organization committed to sparking classroom action against homelessness. We engage children to write empathy cards for unhoused people and run an educational workshop program to teach students why card-making and further actions are important, so our community may develop empathy and unlearn the stigma of homelessness. We seek to start nuanced conversations between children, their teachers, and their parents around these issues.
Between the summer of 2023 and 2024, our organization will be going through a one-year transition period as many executives enter university, and we will be working on an ad-hoc basis to get through our governance changes, including incorporation. We look forward to restarting our programs in September of 2024, but we hope, in the meantime, that you may be encouraged to bring homelessness into your discussions with your students.
Facilitating a workshop in your classroom:
Our program consists of slides and presentation notes for our first workshop, a pamphlet, and worksheets in a three-step process.
Slides and lesson plan: Created in consultation with educators, frontline outreach workers—and above all—people with lived experience of homelessness, these materials are the core of our workshop program. They tackle common stereotypes surrounding homelessness and build empathy through engaging discussions and activities, such as an “imagine” scenario and a “solutions to homelessness” brainstorming session. Please feel free to adapt the slides or lesson plan to suit your students and teaching style.
Worksheets and pamphlets: The worksheets are optional discussion questions following the presentation to encourage students to reflect on these issues. Meanwhile, the take-home pamphlets allow students to bring this discussion home to their families to facilitate an extended conversation about homelessness (e.g. “What can our family do?).
Card-making: After the lesson, teachers work with students to create cards for people experiencing homelessness, so that the students may tackle the housing crisis themselves and personally invest in the matter. A card-making handout is included in our materials with detailed guidelines and example messages.
If you create cards with your students, please mail them to the address below, and our team will distribute them.
PO BOX 99900 DQ 227 713
RPO EAST HASTINGS