Dio has been part of the Moorelands Kids family since 2017, working in roles from Program Leader to Site Coordinator. This past summer, Dio became a Program Experience Leader and Head of Creative Arts at Moorelands Camp. “No matter what I did, I always felt supported,” she says. “I love the community I have at Moorelands.”
What has your experience been like leading and teaching the Moorelands Kids’ Habits & Qualities (HQs)?
The kids are fun to be around, of course, but working in after-school programs and seeing their growth throughout the year is really rewarding. I like being a part of that growth.
I think the best part of teaching the HQs to the kids is the moment they discover they are using them. For example, when we see someone caring for others, we will tell them, “Hey, did you see how you just modelled caring? You weren’t just thinking about yourself, you were thinking about other people, too.” When we point it out to them, they see it isn’t hard and that it’s something they can do.
What is an important lesson that you think Moorelands teaches our kids?
No D’s – demeaning, disrespecting and diminishing. We call these out whenever we see them to make the kids aware and show how to find a different way of responding.
Self D’s are common, too. This is when kids say things like “I suck at this,” or “I can’t do this.” At Moorelands, we teach them to redirect that mindset to say “We can do this, we just have to think of a different way to do it.” Then we problem solve around it together so they don’t diminish themselves or feel they are less than what they are.
“Moorelands is here to work through it together. We’re going to try and adapt, meet them where they’re at and go from there.”– Dio
What is your favourite memory of working at Moorelands?
One year, we had a leadership retreat with the LED kids and a few VITAL kids. We planned to take them up to camp for a weekend. For many of them, Moorelands was new and it was a culture they weren’t used to. It was hard for them to adapt, so each week we implemented the HQs and encouraged them along so we could take them on the trip. By the end of the 10 weeks, we took quite a few of them to camp. Seeing the growth just within that 10 weeks was amazing.
What message would you give the kids as they head back to school this year?
We want to create a safe space for the kids. We’re coming back after two and a half years of Covid, doing a full day of school plus after-school programs, and it might be difficult for some kids. I want them to know that Moorelands is here to work through it together. We’re going to try and adapt, meet them where they’re at and go from there.