CHIPS has conducted well over 500 popular land and sailing-based days since the program commenced under FaHCSIA’s Communities for Children Grant in 2003. In 2016, the iBelong program was supported by a CommBank Grant; from 2017 to 2021 Colorific partially sponsored the days and from 2020 the Payton Foundation has assisted by providing some volunteers for this program.
The iBelong days have three main aims, to show children:
- how they belong in the community;
- that they are an important part of the community and
- how their needs are met when they are part of the wider community.
The focus of the iBelong days align perfectly with the five outcomes of the Victorian Early Years Learning and Development Framework (VEYLDF): Children have a strong sense of identity; Children are connected with and contribute to their world; Children have a strong sense of wellbeing; Children are confident and involved learners; Children are effective communicators.
For older primary aged students, the iBelong days fulfil the Victorian Curriculum’s integrated inquiry-based approach to learning, as part of the citizenship and social engagement curriculum.
iBelong days also aim to reconnect primary aged children experiencing social, emotional or physical difficulties, with their peers, teachers, parents and significant others through relationship building activities. The program addresses issues such as: self-esteem, resilience, confidence, building and maintaining positive relationships, team work and healthy social networking.
Children take part in a variety of physical activities and learn new skills such as sailing, bike riding and orienteering and also learn about local indigenous cultures. Children also get to participate in decision-making, which helps them to feel more positive about themselves and in turn, gain a greater understanding of others.
The iBelong program is available to all primary schools within the Cities of Casey and Cardinia and includes all transport, food, activities and show bags.
To become involved with CHIPS’ iBelong Program, or to book a day for your students, contact us today.