Left to Right: Desiree Phillips, SNAP Senior Trainer - Community Facilitator at CDI; Doron Fox, Connected North advisor for Indigenous traditions and mentorship; Janine Lawford, Hincks-Dellcrest Centre and Willa Black, founder of Cisco’s Connected North initiative pictured in Carcross, Yukon.
SNAP goes Digital
Given Canada’s vast geography, delivering mental health and wellness programming across all our provinces and territories is no simple feat. Cisco’s Connected North initiative offers a solution for this: video-conferencing technology that enables real-time collaboration between remote communities and urban centres anytime, anywhere, and on-demand.
As part of this innovative endeavour, Child Development Institute (CDI) partnered with Connected North in April 2017 to deliver SNAP to Ghùch Tlâ Community School in the Yukon.
Using SNAP’s school-based model, sessions are being delivered twice a week to students in grade four. With the help of a giant screen at TakingITGlobal’s Toronto office, SNAP facilitators are able to speak and interact with a classroom that is over 5,000 kilometers away.
The pilot initiative wrapped up at the end of June. CDI plans to eventually use Cisco technology to take SNAP to additional sites in Canada’s north, as part of the SNAP National Expansion Campaign.
“We are so proud to be working with Child Development Institute to offer the SNAP program to our Connected North schools – giving teachers and students the tools they need to reduce conflict in the classroom, build emotional self-control and help strengthen the resilience of students in Indigenous communities across Canada,” says Willa Black, Cisco Canada’s Vice President of Corporate Affairs and founder of the Connected North program. “There is no question that children in the remote north do not have the same access to resources and experiences as their counterparts in the south. Connected North changes this by bringing a range of education and youth mental wellness services digitally into classrooms from the Yukon to Nunavut and beyond.”
CDI thanks Cisco and Connected North for recognizing SNAP’s power to improve the lives of children in hard-to-reach communities through technological innovation, and looks forward to a continued partnership.