Nicol Garzon

Nicol G

Bachelor of Arts, Honours Psychology, 4th year

Course: PSYCO 423 - Peer Relations in Childhood (Winter 2021) with Instructor Wendy Hoglund

Who was your community partner and can you describe the project objectives?

This term, I had the opportunity to work with ABC Head Start Society. They are a fantastic early learning program that enables children and their families to access various opportunities and support. We were tasked with creating multiple blog posts geared towards parents and individuals who visit ABC Head Start’s website and social media pages. Within them, we explained the developmental benefits of prosocial behaviours relating to peer relations, such as kindness and responsiveness. We presented parents with strategies to foster these behaviours in their young children and included active learning opportunities that their children could engage in.  

What was your biggest takeaway from your CSL placement?

This is my third CSL placement, and every time I am delighted to get to know amazing organizations and programs that we can find within our community. Many of the families ABC Head Start serves are immigrant and refugee families, which I especially love. To know that newcomer families and their children can find such great support from professionals and specialists is incredible. For this specific CSL placement, diversity and inclusion were significant components, and we also concentrated on providing activity ideas that were accessible to all. As such, I have learned to consider these concepts when creating educational resources for parents and the general public. 

How can you apply any newly gained knowledge/skills to your future endeavours (courses/employment/volunteering)?

My CSL placement has allowed me to put into practice what I’ve learnt in class. Though other aspects of my undergrad have provided me with chances to push myself in academic settings, contributing to the resources provided by ABC Head Start has given me a different type of understanding and knowledge. As it is my dream to work with children in the near future, it has been a very enriching experience to create these blog posts catered to them and their parents. Mainly, taking empirical evidence and applying it to a real word setting has been very helpful as I anticipate using this skill in my future career. 

What are some of the ways that COVID-19 has affected your community partner or your placement?

Since in-person contact with the children was not a possibility, ABC Head Start provided us with the option to still make a significant contribution to their organization. It was a great alternative and very different from what I’ve done in the past with CSL. Of course, ABC Head Start has not stopped providing its services and continues to deliver its classroom-based programming safely! I feel very fortunate to have provided my help to such a fantastic organization that provides pre-school children with strong foundations in their early years.