I would like to thank you not only for the award, but for the amazing program. It is safe to say that Pass It On has hugely changed my outlook on how it is to be a female highschool student and opened me up to all sorts of people I never would have talked to otherwise. It has helped me grow immensely over the past 5 years. I will use this award toward my tuition for attending UVic in September.

Anonymous PIO-G Participant

June 19, 2020

Throughout my time at GISS and in Grade 8, I thoroughly appreciated the stability and structure Pass It On offered me. Being able to connect and further understand my peers, as well as older women, was truly enlightening and an experience I think all students should take part in. Pass It On is such a special program, and it really helped me throughout High School as well as transitioning from Middle School to High School.

Anonymous PIO-G Participant

Thoughts and feelings on why pass it on was for me: pass it on is a wonderful, supportive space where i felt seen and accepted as soon as i joined. the prompts and conversations each week were always eye-opening in ways i never expected, the format of going round the circle and answering questions helped pull me out of my shell, and after a year of the group i feel like a much stronger, more confident, more open person because of it.

Grade 11 Anonymous PIO-G Participant

2020 PIO-G

SWOVA Pass It On Programs at GISS are inclusive, meaningful and impactful.  The high school teens engage in valuable training as mentors to their “little buddies”.  I am lucky to be the “room host” for this program and hear the deep and meaningful conversations and coaching that SWOVA leaders guide the teen-mentors through each week. The students, both buddies and mentors, finish the program with a confident sense of well-being, tools for real world problem solving and the ability to care about other individuals and their community. I have watched the program for enough years now to see the little buddies grow into mentors and the circle is growing exponentially, in fact, regretfully, they might even outgrow my classroom soon!

Shari Hambrook

High School Teacher

Honestly, I’d probably credit Pass It On for being a huge help to the development of my self-confidence towards speaking aloud and about being honest about how I feel and what I think.  I am not trying to kiss the program’s ass or anything though I GENUINELY FEEL THAT WAY!   I have come to realize that I speak/voice my opinions or thoughts all the time these days without feeling worried or anxious which is new to me.  I love myself.  I love my friends/boyfriend.  I am a happier and more confident person.

Anonymous PIO-G Participant

PIO-G 2020

I have learned more from you than I could have ever imagined, and from the program,

learned more about myself than I can comprehend. You have given me the opportunity to form

relationships with the most incredible people that without this program most likely wouldn’t

have occurred. While Pass It On doesn’t directly correlate with any of my future academic/career

plans, it has helped shape who I am now and who I am becoming. So in a sense it does.

Anonymous PIO-G Participant

The work you did with my kids really did help. They started speaking with more kindness, working better together, and allowing me to help them when they were struggling. I was dreading spring break since I was afraid that it would move them backwards…and then the coronavirus showed up. Most are doing better than expected with online learning, but it is far from ideal.

I will speak with the kids today and mention that you sent the video for them. That will increase their interest.

If you ever get to the south end, stop by the farm. We have baby geese, lots of vegetable starts, and plenty of room for social distancing (I remember that your partner is immuno-compromised).

Cleome Rowe

Middle School Substitute Teacher

The program promotes the development of respectful leaders and encourages children to explore their strengths on their own and collectively … We often bring the learning from each [The Empathy Project] lesson into other conversations and expectations during the school day.

Gail Bryn-Jones

Elementary School Teacher

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to do the empathy project this year. It was so valuable and so on point with what was happening in the class at the same time. I loved doing 1-2 topics a week, it made for a great pace. I love having the “tasks” up on the wall, they will continue to be a prominent feature in our class to help remind us of the was that we can be better people.

Some feedback: I believe it was lesson 4 and 5 were two very heavy conversations. I did not do my pre-lesson prep and didn’t realize that those two were going to be such big conversations. They took up a lot of time needing lots of debriefing and conversation at this age level. Great topics, but definitely would have been best digested over 2 days each instead of one day each. The kids loved Daniels funny jokes and sense of humor! The activity in the last one did not work very well. Problem was that I had fewer students than there were matches so when they were distributed they didn’t really match up well. It was also hard for the kids/ me to figure out if they were walking ones or sitting ones. It would have been beneficial to have a S1 or W1 or S2 or W2 on each card to help with that. I don’t have a great solution to the number of kids one though… hmm, I guess other than a bunch of prep work in pairing up all the items with paper clips beforehand. 

This was such a great experience. Another cool idea would be to have a number of sessions 4-6 that can be done at the beginning to get to know Daniel and build a base line, and then for there to be a once a month theme and session to look forward to throughout the rest of the school year. My EA and I are working on ways that we could so something like that on our own but it would be awesome to just be able to log in once a month to get out topic and hear from Daniel. The kids also love the suspense of unrolling the theme banners. Those banners are brilliant, beautiful size, well said, and I love the quality of the material as well.

Thanks again to both of you! I will put the pre and post assessments in my mail box for Erin to pick up. They will be in an envelope.

Andrew McPhee EP online - Fall 2020

Elementary School Teacher

What about SWOVA programs is important/ impactful/ meaningful/valuable?

I appreciate the 6-week Peace Kids program as it contributes to the social/emotional goals I set for my classroom. The program promotes the development of respectful leaders, and encourages children to explore their own strengths on their own and collectively. The delivery is perfectly suited to my Grade 4/5 class as students find the activities and dialogues both playful and thought-provoking. We often bring the learning from each Peace Kids lesson into other conversations and expectations during the school day. The value of Peace Kids is evident at the end of each hour-long session as my students are left smiling, upbeat and asking for more. 

Gail Bryn-Jones

Elementary School Teacher - Peace Kids

Thanks so much for the excellent programming. I was so glad to be able to deliver it. It was very clear and well organized. Thanks so much for your hard work.

My students all commented that they wished Kate were able to come in person, though!

Wishing you an excellent holiday.

Ann – You’re very welcome. The students were very engaged so I did both sessions. They particularly enjoyed the body language one.

I used the model I’ve seen Kate use and had the students sit in a circle. We did most of the discussion questions (we skipped one of them due to time constraints) and I had a great level of participation.

It was remarkable how well Kate’s personality came through in the videos. Her presence really puts the students at ease.

We learned a lot about each other through this one session. The timing was great, as we know each other well at this point in the year and it will help prevent conflicts from developing as we move towards the last part of the year.

I liked how open ended the questions were too.

Ann Valikoski RP Online

My son doesn’t usually look forward to large group activities, and he was eager to go to PIO each week. I think it was the first time that he felt like he “fit in” somewhere. He felt seen and heard.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

My son made friends which was huge for him. Because of this he is happier, enjoys going to school (at least to see his friends). Without this program I’m not sure where he would be.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

I’ve noticed my son’s confidence soar and learning how to build new relationships. Share his feelings in a safe space. We love this program.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

This is a great program for boys and young men to comfortably stretch their comfort levels and grow self-esteem and confidence. It really has a lot of potential to help youth build strong character by focusing on connection, trust, play, and conversations.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

I highly recommend this program. It is a place where boys can feels comfortable to express themselves. My son, who is not always enthusiastic about group activities, always looked forward to going.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

This group gives our boys a safe place to develop and understand their emotions and develop their strength while connecting to nature and new Friends.

Anonymous Parent of a PIO Boy

June 2021 PIO-B Parent Survey

Hi Kate !

I meant to send this email last night, but got caught up in a wave of homework. I wanted to thank you for welcoming me to Pass It On – I had an absolutely wonderful time last night. Everyone in the group was beyond welcoming and kind. I was blown away by the openness and compassion that everyone showed for each other. I realized how much I’ve been missing the presence of female companionship, and I am so grateful to have an opportunity to be a part of Pass It On. I am so excited to get to know everyone better, and to work on opening myself up to new, beautiful, honest and sometimes tricky conversations.

Thank you, thank you, thank you,


Olivia Sugden (Anonymous)

January 20, 2021

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