Changing the Narrative and Helping Kids Find Connection in a Disconnected World

COVID-19 has propelled kids on a journey of self-discovery. Captains & Poets is changing the narrative around how this global shared experience for young people could create empowered, self-aware world citizens.


The isolation and sense of loss imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic on young people has the potential to mark this generation with a heightened level of self-awareness and empathy toward themselves and others. Kids are learning first-hand what it means to be vulnerable and are being given the opportunity to connect with the vulnerability of others. Online learning, lost rituals and rites of passage, and ongoing narratives about the effects of isolation on different segments of the population have amplified the importance of life skills such as resilience, compassion, and inclusive thinking.

Approximately 66 per cent of Canadians polled worry that the COVID-19 pandemic will impact children’s mental health and well-being and their social and emotional development, according to an Abacus survey commissioned by Children’s Healthcare Canada. Compound the broader circumstances with an alarming increase in hate crimes, racist incidents, and cyberbullying and it becomes clear there is an increasing need for essential conversations around social structures and how we operate as communities. Being at the centre of it all, schools are faced more than ever with the task of creating connection and supporting students’ emotional well-being in order to lay the foundation for learning.

Captains & Poets is answering this call to action in a difficult time by bridging Social Emotional Learning (SEL or EQ) with Inclusion programming to help create more positive and inclusive learning environments. The foundational curriculum is easy, turn-key and teacher-led for Kindergarten to Grade 12. It is built to inspire kids to discover and uncover the best parts of themselves and supports the need to foster resilience and empowerment in what is proving to be a challenging and uncertain time.

The Captains & Poets curriculum encourages young people to explore the captain and poet in themselves and others in order to nurture self-awareness and compassion. Participants learn that while we all have unique differences, we also share common qualities that we may express or experience differently. Captains & Poets is designed to ignite a journey of self-discovery, teaching kids the value of embracing their whole, authentic selves so that they can accept and embrace others in the same spirit.

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