Over 4,000 Kids To Embrace Their Emotions With WorryWoos

In a world that’s so fast and furious, exciting yet exhausting, never has there been more urgency in educating our children in how to emotionally cope with it all.

Now children in Port Macquarie-Hastings across 19 primary schools, 22 early learning centres and the Werin Aboriginal Centre will be skilled in learning emotional intelligence.  Our next generation of children will be able to recognise and embrace their emotions through a program, funded by The Westport Club called, “Inspiring Children to Embrace their Emotions with WorryWoos”.

The program, aimed at children aged between 3-8 years, supports developing emotional awareness and understanding in an interactive, meaningful and safe way. The WorryWoos are a group of plush toy resources and accompanying storybooks and educational resources, endorsed by Dr John Irvine.

Dr John, Australia’s most respected Child Psychologist, spoke at the launch presentation on Wednesday 9 May and facilitated a 2-hour specialist training workshop on the program where over 112 teachers and 101 educators will support an anxious generation on how to beat the Worrybug.

“Emotional Intelligence is broadly defined as being able to recognise, understand and manage our emotions. It is just as important as a child’s academic ability and in fact, is a better predictor of happiness and success in life”, Dr John implores.

Living our vision through community support

The Westport Club is known in the Port Macquarie-Hastings region for its contribution to literacy resources.  Jenny Edmunds, the Club’s Community & Sports Manager, says “we were overwhelmed by the feedback from the teachers and educators that attended the stakeholder’s meeting in February saying they are crying out for such programs.”

Emotional wellbeing is the foundation for happiness and success in school and in life generally. The urgency of addressing children’s developing emotional needs is all too obvious to seasoned educators. Statistics indicate that 25.7% of children under 8 years suffer from anxiety and every educator is more than aware of the rising incidence of anger and aggression in children.  What is not as obvious are the silent confidence sappers such as body dislike, self-rejection, loneliness and social rejection.

Within 3 months of the program’s introduction into 83 primary schools on the NSW Central Coast, 93% of teachers said they would highly recommend the program to other teachers and 87% said the children had positively responded to the way the program was being delivered.

“These figures are encouraging as it is well documented that the number of young Australians seeking help for depression and anxiety is alarming” says Mrs Edmunds.  “We live in such a fast-paced society so the objective of this program is to provide educators (and parents) with the tools to identify the signs of mental health challenges in children, and help them learn to deal with them before the symptoms become perilous.”

Participants in the Program are:

Autism Spectrum Australia PMQ ASPECT School
Comboyne Public School
Harrington Public School
Hastings Public School
Heritage Christian School
Herons Creek Public School
Huntingdon Public School
Kendall Public School
Lake Cathie Public School
North Haven Public School
Rollands Plains Upper Public School
St Agnes’ Primary School
St Joseph’s Primary School – Port Macquarie
St Joseph’s Primary School – Wauchope
St Peter’s Primary School
Tacking Point Public School
Telegraph Point Public School
Wauchope Public School
Westport Public School
24/7 Family Day Care
Bangalay Child Care & Education Centre
Columba Cottage Early Learning Centre
Daycare on Lincoln
Discovery Early Education & Care Centre
Early Connections Port Macquarie-Hastings
Fernhill Road Pre-School
Goodstart Learning Port Macquarie
Hastings Pre-School & Long Day Care
Joey’s House Early Education Centre
Kids Haven Early Learning Centre
Lake Cathie Children’s Cottage
Moruya Drive Child Care Centre
Port Macquarie Community Preschool – Annex
Port Macquarie Community Preschool
St Agnes Early Education Centre
St Joseph’s Early Childhood Services
St Joseph’s Preschool & Long Daycare
TG’s Child Care Wauchope (Hastings St)
TG’s Child Care Wauchope (High St)
TG’s Child Care Wauchope (Riverbreeze)
Wauchope Preschool Kindergarten Inc
Werin Aboriginal Corporation

Photo gallery

Check out the photos taken at the WorryWoos presentation night on Wednesday 9 May, 2018. Thank you to all those who attended and made this night the success that it was.