Lessons Learned from Zippy and Apple

This week sees the Casa Year 3/Kindergarten and Lower Elementary children saying goodbye to their friends, Zippy and Apple, for this school year. We have spent the past seven months getting to know these two very special friends who have taught us so much about feelings, communication, friendship, conflict, change and loss, and developing coping skills.

The children’s commitment and engagement was crucial to the success of the Zippy and Apple’s Friends Social and Emotional Literacy Program; their interest and enthusiasm allowed them to learn many things, from building and maintaining solid friendships to solving a variety of day-to-day problems. 

While we engaged in a range of different activities every week, including story-telling, drawing, games, activities, and role-play, the children especially enjoyed the opportunity for talk and discussion, where they spoke about real-life issues that they had encountered and what strategies they used to solve them. Classmates were invited to contribute further solutions to help their friends if they wished. From these conversations, it is clear that the children had used their learning from the past few months to cope with different situations. As the children were encouraged to apply their learning from our sessions to their everyday life both at home and at school, it was important to consistently use the language of the program in classrooms and to encourage the children to chat about our sessions with their families at home. Hopefully, these conversations will continue. 

Last week, I asked the children to reflect on our sessions from the past few months and identify one thing they have learned. The following is a selection of their answers: 

  • How to be a good friend 
  • How to calm down 
  • That it is important to be kind 
  • That it is ok to cry if we feel sad 
  • That it is good to ask an adult for help 
  • That we should tell others how we feel and why 
  • To do some breathing when we feel frustrated 
  • To ask our friends to play their favourite game if they are feeling sad 
  • To tell the teacher if someone is not being kind to us 
  • To think of nice things to distract ourselves if we are not feeling too good 
  • To stop and think before we act 
  • To think of our golden rules 
  • To listen to our friends 

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