The International Program “WeC.A.R.E.” 2012-2013 addressed to teachers, targeting training and intervention for promoting a positive climate and resiliency in the school community was held this school year;  it is a long-distance, web-based program for the training of  teachers and intervention in class.  It is part of the multilevel program “Connecting for Caring”  (C4C), a program  for prevention, awareness building, training and intervention. It was organized by the Centre of Research and Practice in School Psychology of the University of Athens (CRPSP) and the Society for School and Family Consultation and Research (SSFCR) with the generous donation of the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
The Program aims to
  • Strengthen  resiliency and foster a positive climate at school
  • Support children, teachers, schools in difficult economic periods
  • Create an International teacher training Program of prevention and intervention in the school community (local, national, international level)
  • Develop an international school network – schools as caring communities
  • Cooperate with University faculty members and with Psychological Societies in Greece, USA and other countries.
  • Build cultural bridges that promote the essential intercultural understanding, collaboration and action
The specific goals of the program are: (a) building awareness and teacher training on resiliency issues, b) strengthening children’s social and emotional skills, c) strengthening of teachers-students relations, and d) interconnecting schools in Greece and other countries.
Innovative characteristics
  • Specialized training (distance-learning) for teachers in issues of prevention and promoting of mental health and resiliency with multicultural dimensions directly linked to the activities in class and at school
  • Activities with multicultural elements for implementation in class
  • Online interactive education games such as “ Sailing for Caring”
  • Development of an international data basis for good practice in the project website:
To whom is it addressed?
The Program is addressed to: a) teachers in Greece and other countries where there is diaspora and b) Students from public schools in Greece and in Cyprus and schools in other countries where the Greek language is taught
68 teachers from 35 schools of Primary and Secondary levels of education (2 Kindergarten, 23 Primary schools and 10 High schools) and 1061 students from Greece, Cyprus and Greek students of the second and third generation of immigrants in the following countries : United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Belgium.
The structure of the Program
The Program is comprised of:
a) Distance-learning training programs for teachers 
Distance-learning for teachers comprised of three units with the following content: 
1st Unit: Development of the applied model for promoting positive climate and resiliency in the school environment on an individual and class level, acknowledgement of class values and setting of goals
2nd Unit:  Recognition and expression of emotions
3rd Unit: Coping with difficult emotions
4th Unit: Completion of Program – Joint class project (electronic newspaper)
Each thematic unit includes:
  • A theoretical framework (video presentation)
  • Educational material  (articles)
  • Activities for class implementation
  • Multimedia material: Video, ppt presentations (picture-sound), printed material
b) Class intervention: The class intervention program incorporates: a) the implementation of activities with the students in class (“The schools’ boat We.C.A.R.E.), b) a common project between classes, c) the use of the Online interactive game Sailing for Caring which prompts teachers and students to upload material on the electronic platform based on the implementation of the activities in class, while giving  them the opportunity to communicate with other classes, d) uploading of material from the program implementation in class, and e) designing an electronic newsletter entitled “The Voice of the Winds” and uploading it on the electronic platform. 
c) Simultaneous supervision of the implementation of the activities: Supervision by psychologists is carried out through the electronic platform.
d) Evaluation (Questionnaires). Following the evaluation of the Program it became evident that, throughout its implementation, cooperation among students increased, team spirit and mutual support in class were improved, the opportunity to identify and express feelings and emotions in class was strengthened and understanding of others became easier. Based on the evaluation data it also became evident that competition was reduced, while intercultural understanding and acknowledgement of common characteristics among children of different countries were improved.
More specifically, according to the presentations and the teachers’ accounts, changes were evident so much on an individual level as on a class level, during the imple
Teachers comments 
  • The Program was a chance for the students to define themselves as a class and to feel closer to each other, as they had something special uniting them.  They also familiarized themselves with procedures of inner, thorough probing and self knowledge and they now feel at ease with talking about their emotions.
  • (The program helped the students) To cooperate better, to accept everyone as equal members in their class and to avoid violence in solving disputes.
  • The Program helped students both on a language level and on a psycho-social level.
  • (The Program helped the students to gain) Self knowledge, self control, respect towards their schoolmates, a better relation with their teacher.
  • It fostered team spirit, cooperation and communication and helped them comprehend, each one individually, the importance of suitable coping with emotions
  • The Program helped the students mostly with their intrapersonal relations, on issues of mutual understanding and respect of the emotions of others.  It also assisted them with their own psychology when they realized that similar issues concern all the children- and their schoolmates alike but also children from other schools.
  • My relationship and communication with my students were improved.
  • I got to know my students better and I learned a lot about their character and personality, which helped me come closer to them.
The students commented on the Program’s effect on them:
  • It would be really great if we had a similar program every year as it gives us the opportunity to express ourselves without fear.
  • We learned to accept negative feelings as well and try to alleviate their effect on us  through dialogue and the help from friends, parents and teachers.
  • We came closer to one another in a different way and we realized that the person next to us very often feels the need for a kind word or a smile.
  • We felt gratified in helping other children and they, in return, in helping us
  • We particularly liked meeting new people with different cultures and different habits.
  • Getting to know other students from other countries helped us realize that teenagers who live in different countries, although they may be quite different in character and habits, they, nevertheless, share the same feelings and emotions and express the same worries.
Finally the students considered the Programs contribution important in their classes: 
  • We learned the way our schoolmates think, the way they see things that might have never crossed our minds. We learn to cooperate, to give solutions, to discuss peacefully and to truly hold a dialogue.
  • We became more team spirited and we learned to listen to each other.
  • We feel better and more comfortable to talk about our feelings to our schoolmates, because, now,  we know each other more. As members of the class team we now feel closer and we care more for each other.
  • We become sociable and cooperative and at the same time fighting among us is reduced to a great degree.
  • Cooperation with other classes from other countries gave us the opportunity to exchange experiences and see the solutions the others give to common problems