Family Transition Place hosting Resiliency Poem Contest for youth

April 29, 2021   ·   0 Comments

By Sam Odrowski

The pandemic has had a profound impact on youth and their mental health.

However, through the chaos, many have shown resiliency, which has led the Orangeville Public Library to team up with Family Transition Place (FTP) to bring the Resiliency Poem Contest to youth from grade 4 to grade 8 in the region.

The contest involves creating a 6 Word Story Poem highlighting how you or someone you know has shown resiliency over the last year.

The poems are then submitted to by May 13 at 4 p.m., for a chance to win a prize and have your poem featured on FTP’s social media feeds.

Travis Greenley, youth educator at FTP says the theme of resiliency comes at an important time.

“It’s near the end of the school year, kids have been moved back into remote learning, so talking about ways to be resilient, still log on every single day for your Google Meet lessons, and do the best you can right now, I think is a really important message to get out to young people,” he said.

“They’re being asked to do things students have never been asked to do in our country’s history before… I think they should give themselves the credit they deserve for doing their best, but also giving us some tips and skills on how to remain resilient and strong during a very difficult time.”

Some examples of a 6 Word Story Poem could include “Life Happens. I come back… Stronger!” or “You. Me. Them. Together. One Community.”

The poem contest is a part of a contest series that FTP has been running in Orangeville since the start of the school year.

A trailer for each of the contests are posted to YouTube as well, which is then shared in local schools. To see the trailer for the the Resiliency Poem Contest, visit:

The first event in FTP’s contest series was a poster contest launched through a partnership with Children’s Mental Health with the theme of mental health and wellness.

“Students made posters to demonstrate what they were going to do to maintain their mental health at the start of the school year and since then, we’ve been doing different contests every six weeks or so,” noted Greenley. “It’s just giving young people something to do, but also something to kind of look positively towards right now, because things are pretty heavy for most people, including young people who are now at home learning.”

Greenley told the Citizen that in his role as a youth educator for Family Transition Place, he’s seen the challenges they’re facing firsthand.

“They’re in class now, but there’s no outside visitors allowed in the school. There’s no field trips, there’s no pizza days, everything is completely different. Wearing masks all day, while there’s air purifiers humming in the background makes it difficult to even hear your teacher at the front of the room. Then your moved back to your home and trying to learn from that location. It’s been really, really hard for young people to maintain their mental health and wellness during this time and to stay optimistic and hopeful,” Greenley explained.

“You’re disconnected from your friends. You’re disconnected from your extracurricular activities. It’s very difficult to learn in this environment.”

To help with this, teaching children about resiliency, hope, and gratitude have been areas of focus as well at the schools, in an effort to help their mental state through the pandemic.

Going forward, Greenley said FTP will continue the contest series up until the end of June and are still determining if they can carry it through the summer.

He also plans on hosting a workshop for dads in June, through FTP and Dufferin Parent Support Network, where they talk about parenting during the pandemic and ways of being a good role model during this difficult time.

More details will be released through FTP once they become available.

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