L.E.A.F. = Life. Education. Art. Feelings.
The Laurel Palliative Care Foundation values the importance of encouraging young people to become fully aware of how precious their life here on earth is, that every life will experience a beginning, middle and end. In line with this, the Laurel Palliative Care Foundation has developed Life Cycles – The LEAF Project. Watch the LEAF Project in action here!
The LEAF concept is more than just an acronym – it represents the natural foundation of the project. Just as a leaf on a tree matures, withers and returns to nature so do the human life with a range of experiences and emotions along the way. Schools are encouraged to support this concept with the integration of community beliefs at the completion of the project.
For young people, expressing their deepest thoughts with words is not always possible. However, from birth and throughout our life cycle we are identifying and experiencing emotion through what we see, hear and touch. The LEAF Project allows young people to release their understanding of life through art and create a supported environment nurturing of discussion.
In the school environment, a student that has welcomed a new sibling or celebrated a family wedding is alluring to peers, often celebrating together, sharing photos and discussing their feelings of joy and excitement. Conversation is natural generally due to the fact that from a young age we have all been encouraged to openly express feelings that make us happy and bring pleasure to others.
When a young person returns to school after a significant change, such as the loss of a loved one or transition in the home, it can be a very different story – in a school environment, this can often be confronting. There can be discomfort and uncertainty when a peer is considering how best to support a fellow classmate. As a result, at this time when a young person needs heightened support, they can often feel isolated. The LEAF Project begins to normalise and create avenues for discussion between peers and teachers regardless of the content.
If you would like to find out more, or bring the LEAF Project to your school please contact the Laurel Palliative Care Foundation on 8243 0320.