Finnish Program Puts Student Welfare and Mental Wellbeing Top of the Agenda

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In a new interview with CMRubinWorld, Ville Turkka, founder of Icehearts in Finland, reveals how a therapeutic sports program is preventing school dropout.

Social development of students plays a major role in the type of adult they will be in society.

Icehearts, a youth development program in Finland, uses sports, mentoring and social work to develop life skills in boys who are considered to be at-risk for dropping out of the education system. Created by Ville Turkka in 1996, the innovative hockey program targets boys from pre-school to high school and focuses on individual self-development. The improvement in students is attributed to a curriculum focused on self-discipline, long term goals, and offering troubled children a stable mentor. “Each member of the team must recognize one another as individuals with unique skills, cultures, and personalities,” says Turrka. Many of the young men involved in the program come from a single parent household. “The players learn discipline, tolerance, courage, and respect,” adds Turrka.

The Icehearts program also offers support and advice to the children’s parents.

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Ville Turka is the Founder of Icehearts in Vantaa, Finland. The Icehearts program uses sports, mentoring and social work to develop the social skills in at-risk youth.

CMRubinWorld’s award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, brings together distinguished thought leaders in education and innovation from around the world to explore the key learning issues faced by most nations. The series has become a highly visible platform for global discourse on 21st century learning, offering a diverse range of innovative ideas which are presented by the series founder, C. M. Rubin, together with the world’s leading thinkers.

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