They are helping children deal with confusing emotions.
The Catholic Family Services (CFS) fall sessions will begin on Sept. 25 with Riding the Wave. Other fall programs will include Taming the Tiger, Climbing the Rock, Calming the Storm and the Banana Splits Day Camp.
“These programs have been running for a long time -- for many years,” said Rose Rothenburger, director of programming.
The programs were started to help parents and children navigate the difficulties in life, she said.
“I think it is really hard to raise a family nowadays,” Rothenburger said. “Parents recognize there are a lot of pressures out there for children. I think it is a little bit harder to parent kids and that is part of the reason.”
The programs are very popular, especially Taming the Tiger, an anger management program for children.
“The reason we run the programs, especially Taming the Tiger is there is a real need,” Rothenburger said. “Every time we offer it, the classes fill immediately.”
Rothenburger said the programs are not just for the children -- many of them also have a parent component, such as Taming the Tiger.
“It is our most popular program and I think that’s why -- it deals with issues children deal with when it comes to anger and anger management but it also includes the families,” Rothenburger said.
Another popular program, Riding the Wave, deals with interpersonal violence such as domestic violence, bullying at school or the playground and gang-related violence.
Climbing the Rock is similar to Riding the Wave, but is for preteens and teenagers instead of children and does not include a parent component.
On the first night, facilitators divide the participants into different age groups.
“(The facilitators) are social workers or teachers -- people with experience and education,” Rothenburger said. “Every class, each group learns the same thing, just maybe at a different level. The parents will also discuss the same issues their kids are discussing and hope to help their kids cope with the issues.”
Instead of sitting the children down and expecting them to learn in traditional ways, the sessions teach them valuable skills in creative and active ways. For example, in previous sessions the facilitators have used a baking soda and vinegar volcano to teach children how pressure builds up until it overflows -- much like what happens if they bottle up their anger.
All three of those programs are funded by the Department of Justice Victim Services, Rothenburger said.
Since they have funding, Rothenburger said, they are able to offer transportation and a babysitter n location to the families.
“We really just take away all the barriers and make it easier for them to attend,” Rothenburger said.
They also offer an adult anger management class, Calming the Storm, which costs $30, Rothenburger said.
“(For) Calming the Storm we have received funding from three different places -- The Saskatchewan Knights of Columbus, The Prince Albert and Area Community Foundation and Lady of the Prairie Foundation,” Rothenburger said. “Because of that we can offer it for $30, which is very reasonable.”
The last program CFS will be offering during the fall session is the Banana Splits day camp for children coping with parental separation.
“Banana Split is partially funded by the Northern Lights Development Foundation,” Rothenburger said. “We used to do it as a six week program but we tried to do it a little different this year and it has been quite successful. Rather than have the kids come for the six weeks, we have had a day camp on the Saturday.”
Their programs are very popular and fill up quickly, Rothenburger said.
“At the end of all of our sessions, we have an evaluation that everyone fills out and it is very positive feedback,” Rothenburger said. “We do have other programs, they are just not offered in this season because we don’t have the funding.”
Anyone interested in the programs can call CFS at 1-800-922-3202 or email Rothenburger at firstname.lastname@example.org.