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YES program helps students with social emotional wellbeing

YES program making a difference for student social emotional wellbeing

Data collected about the impact and operation of the YES (Youth Empowerment & Support) Program for the 2022-23 school year shows that the program is highly utilized and valued by school communities in Chinook’s Edge. The YES program touches over 80 per cent of the division’s student population through Success Coaches who visit every kindergarten to Grade 8 classroom multiple times each school year.

“The YES Program is foundational for our students in kindergarten through Grade 8,” said Marcie Perdue, Associate Superintendent, Student Services. “We know that when students gain important prosocial skills through the YES program they are more likely to succeed socially and with their own mental health.” 

“We are proud of the positive impact we are having with students and in schools,” said Raelynn Notley, YES Program Manager in Chinook’s Edge. “We help students learn to manage strong feelings, to self-regulate emotionally, have empathy for others, manage conflict and solve problems in a healthy way. Our purpose is to give students the confidence and skill to form strong and positive relationships with others, and to take care of their own mental health, which is important while they are in school - and for their futures.”

Did you know…

  • Success Coaches visit every kindergarten to Grade 8 classroom in the division multiple times each school year to deliver proactive programming that helps students learn a common language about mental health, and to strengthen social skills. 
  • The YES program is delivered by Success Coaches who work directly with students to create social and recreational activities.
  • In addition to visiting every K-8 classroom, YES Success Coaches also form clubs and groups with the intent of providing positive opportunities for students. 
  • YES Success Coaches also provide summer camps at no charge to families
  • There are YES rooms in our schools (for K-8 students), often with couches and games, lego and art supplies, and a relaxed atmosphere. Students can access this space as they need - including for a chance to calm down and get ready to learn, to stretch or practice mindfulness.
  • The YES program is just one of the social-emotional supports available to Chinook’s Edge students. See how YES fits with all of the supports, here: https://www.cesd73.ca/about/news/post/building-student-social-emotional-wellbeing
  • The YES Program is part of a province-wide initiative and is supported by Alberta Health Services and Mental Health.

Chinook’s Edge YES data collected for the 2022-23 school year

  • Between September 2022 and June 2023, YES Success Coaches provided targeted supports for 2,084 students
  • YES established 325 groups in division schools
  • More than 500 student attended YES summer camps in 2023
  • There were 3,974 visits to classrooms to provide programming for all K-8 students
  • The total number of K-8 students impacted by YES last year was 7,369

One school administrator said, “The YES program provides a resource and outlet that is unmatched in a typical school. We have witnessed students gravitate to the YES room and the Success Coach in an effort to connect socially. In the past, students would have sat on the sidelines and immersed themselves in technology.” 

Another administrator said, “YES is part of the fabric of our school. Our Success Coaches provide unique opportunities for kids to openly discuss mental health in safe environments while building perspective and skills integral to middle school success. We are so fortunate to have the YES program in our school, and their powerful impact and connection with students is evident every day.”