Clare Malcolm: A Parents Perspective of JASS
- 13 June 2018
I came across JASS on an internet search. I wanted to be more involved in his preparation for transition into High School but I also knew I had to work with him to build his confidence, build his self-esteem and make him more resilient. When I looked at what JASS was about, I realised it has Daniel’s name written all over it. Being active, being adventurous, trying new things, helping others, being involved in your community….this was just Daniel. It was perfect for him.
I researched it a little bit more then I called up the office to ask if I could do it with Daniel, as opposed to it needing his school to register him to do it. I was delighted they said yes.
Wider Achievement for me is what makes an individual grow into a responsible citizen and an effective contributor. The skills of:
- Planning and organising
- Trying something new
- Taking on board a challenge
- Setting targets and goals
Are all the qualities employers want in their employees, not necessarily the straight A student. Whilst I want my children to do well academically, I know results are not everything and they need to learn employable skills, and how best to do that than using JASS.
Daniel said to us at the end of the summer holidays, that:
He was going to make Primary 7 count. He was going to make it his year, his year to show everyone he is not Anthony’s wee brother, but he is Daniel and show EVERYONE what he is capable of achieving.
AND WITHOUT ANY DOUBT JASS HAS BEEN A VEHICLE FOR HIM TO DO EXACTLY THAT.
Daniel has achieved so much!
To say we are proud of Daniel is an understatement, he has blown us away with his focus and determination to do this Award. He has enjoyed the satisfaction of completing section after section, it’s given him the motivation to move onto the next part of the Award. He will be walking to school or discussing his day and then, he says “This could be a really good idea for the Me and My World Section of JASS” it is great to see him so engaged and enthused about this award, and to see passion in him for something other than just sport, is great!
Daniel is a “throw yourself in at the deep end” kind of boy. He is deputy head boy at his school and he wants to be a good role model for everyone. Daniel is funny, witty, like to have a laugh, very chatty, he is very kind but extremely sensitive (a side that not many people see). He is passionate about sport and helping others, he is determined, enthusiastic and JASS has given him a motivation to succeed we have tend not to see in him. Daniel is on the go and anyone who sees him play any sports will see a true grit and determination in him, he always gives 110% in everything (sport) he does. He also does the same with any responsibility he is given, he just gets in the “zone” and it is lovely to see.
Since starting Primary 7 in August 2016, Daniel has made a huge impact on others, and in 6 months this is what he has achieved (and continues to do):
- Completed his Bronze Award
- Completed his Silver Award,
- Completed his Pope Francis Award (ongoing from P6)
- Helps with the Credit Union in School on alternate Fridays
- Runs a Club for children with Additional Support Needs every Monday and Thursday Lunchtime
- Runs the Walking Bus every Monday and Thursday Morning
- Young Leader for Netball (after school Tuesdays)
- Young Leader for Badminton (after school Mondays)
- Young leader for Tennis
- Represents the school
- The Basketball Team
- The Netball Team
- The Cross Country Team
- Captain of the Football team
- Collects food for the St Vincent De Paul Foodbank from his neighbours
- Donates Toys/Clothes to YMCA/Local Hospice Shop
- Took part in baking for MacMillan School Coffee Morning
- Took part in Christmas Enterprise Activity
- Tidies up the Church after the Vigil Mass (Hymn Books/Pamphlets)
- Sings in his school choir and entertains at Old Folks Home/Church Groups/Community Event
I did think, this is TOO MUCH, but he wants to do it and as parents, we will NEVER discourage our kids from doing anything that helps them and others.
Daniel enjoys doing it.
If you were to ask us to sum up JASS in a few words and what it has given our son, other than the badges and certificates, we would say:
- it has been a vehicle for him to step outside his comfort zone
- it has given him an opportunity to develop his leadership skills
- It has been a motivator for him to become involved in his Community
- He has PRIDE in HIMSELF
- He has a BELIEF in himself and his abilities
- And his CONFIDENCE
Before Daniel started JASS, he would NEVER read at school, he wouldn’t mind reading in his own class but to read at Mass or at school assemblies would have Daniel up the night before, upset stomachs and real nerves. Since doing JASS, he has read at the Christmas Assembly and even offered to do someone else’s part who was off sick….that is how JASS has helped my son, he has become CONFIDENT. You can’t buy confidence but you can do things to help build your confidence and belief in yourself.