High Marks for Lions Quest in Finland
Social-emotional learning has been proven to decrease problem behaviors such as bullying and substance use and increase positive behavior patterns such as self-discipline and conflict resolution. Lions Quest is LCIF’s social-emotional learning program (SEL), and the Lions of Multiple District (MD) 107 in Finland have successfully implemented Lions Quest. The Finnish government has recognized MD 107’s program as a leader in educational curricula for children, and the Ministry of Education and Culture even awarded MD 107 a grant to conduct teacher training workshops.
Local Lions’ involvement is key to Lions Quest’s success, and over the last 20 years Finnish Lions have raised more than US$6 million to support and grow Lions Quest. Since the first workshop in 1991, more than 16,000 teachers have been trained to implement the program in Finland. Eight certified trainers host teacher training workshops throughout the country. Teachers are trained to work in multicultural classrooms, focusing on diversity and addressing the educational needs of refugee children.
Finnish Lions have expanded Lions Quest beyond the traditional classrooms to focus on youth sports. Trained in much the same way teachers are, coaches encourage good sportsmanship, teamwork and conflict resolution.
Understanding that the needs of today’s students are ever-changing, the Lions also created a guide to Internet safety and cyber-bullying prevention. “Responsibility is Mine” teaches children not only how to keep themselves safe online but also discourages them from hurting others.
Taking the program even further, Finnish Lions have become global leaders in the research of SEL. In collaboration with the University of Helsinki, MD 107 conducted a study that showed that Lions Quest training is effective at building teachers’ ability to develop social and emotional skills in their students. This research was published in the European Journal of Social and Behavioural Sciences.
Lions leaders in Finland work with local Lions on Lions Quest, serving as an example of what can be achieved when Lions are committed to a goal.
This article originally appeared in the May 2016 issue of LION Magazine.