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Holistic Learning Camp: Help for Students and Schools

April 15, 2005 -- The report cards are out and many students and their parents are reeling from lousy grades. They’re not alone. The Ontario school system just got a report card itself. In fact, it got two and the news is not good. The 2005 Secondary School Tracking Report from People for Education
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 highlights the fact that, in recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of students failing to graduate from high school. Another report, "Signposts of Success" from the C.D. Howe Institute, shares another disturbing statistic – roughly one quarter of all students are expected to fail standardized tests for literacy.

 “  More than that though, we want teachers and parents to learn Fearless Mastery for themselves.  
A new Toronto-based organization says that’s not acceptable. Friends of Fearless Mastery says that basic literacy scores and student attitudes can be improved with new teaching styles that fully engage the spirit and imagination of children. Friends of Fearless Mastery is demonstrating new ways of learning in pilot classes sponsored by the Toronto School Board and in a summer camp
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 to be held this July in the heart of the Muskoka lakes.

"Kids experience fear when they fall behind in traditional classrooms," says Diane Devenyi, Executive Director of Friends of Fearless Mastery. "Often they’re overwhelmed by fears of failure, shame, lost career opportunities and so on. Although that may motivate other kids to improve, too many don’t know how to deal with the fear. Instead of choosing to improve, they retreat … into apathy, helplessness and disdain for school. Parents and teachers see it as a lack of motivation. In response Fearless Mastery takes a holistic approach to learning. We strive to engage every part of a child – their mind, body, emotions and spirit - to help them discover their own sense of purpose in learning. More than that though, we want teachers and parents to learn
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 Fearless Mastery for themselves. After all, the best way to teach any behavior or attitude is to model it."

Last summer was the inaugural year for Camp Kawandag, which featured the Fearless Mastery program. Ten teachers and about fifty camper students, aged 8-17, showed up for the month-long camp at Rosseau Lake College, a two-hour drive north of Toronto. Activities included all the traditional fun of a summer camp such as hiking, campfires, land and water sports but the focus was definitely on learning to learn. Campers found themselves engulfed in a virtual summer storm of learning that married fundamental literacy with craft making, storytelling, music, games and other activities. Everyone in the camp learned and played together since Fearless Mastery focuses on the joy of learning with others.

Praise for Fearless Mastery following the camp was remarkably effusive from both students and teachers. Even more remarkable was the acclamation of parents once they saw the changes in attitude and marks from their children.

Devenyi began her career as a tax lawyer but discovered a passion for education while helping her son overcome his own learning challenges. With extensive research into best teaching practices and lessons from personal development gurus like Anthony Robbins, Devenyi helped her son become an exemplary student who is preparing to attend university. Using her own money for further research, training and development, Devenyi soon won the support of school administrators for pilot classes in the Toronto School Board system.

Friends of Fearless Mastery is a registered, non-profit Ontario organization dedicated to advocating and modeling holistic education. For more information about Fearless Mastery programs and the summer camp, please visit our web site: www.thelearningforce.com. Diane Devenyi can be contacted at 416 229-9283 or e-mail protected from spam bots.

Media Relations:
Chris Whitside Communications
Phone:416 703-1695
email: e-mail protected from spam bots
web: www.geocities.com/seawit


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