At The International School of Kuala Lumpur (ISKL), nurturing well-being is a fundamental component of school-wide programs to support the social and emotional health of each and every member of our community. Be it our students, parents, faculty, or staff, our aim is to ensure that each community member has access to the support that they need.
In January 2021, ISKL was announced as the winner of the International School Awards 2021, in the ‘Well-being Initiative’ category, as well as being shortlisted for an award in the ‘Strategic Leadership Initiative’ category. ISKL’s Head of School, Rami Madani, said “We know this is a challenging time for school communities around the world. This is why we believe in the importance of having a Department of PAWsitivity – to share the learning, share the smiles, and share the PAWsitive stories – and our ISKL community has been able to do just that. Through this initiative, we were able to bring people closer together, create avenues for creativity, and encourage a deeper understanding amongst our multicultural community.”
The aim of this Well-being Initiative was to find a way for our community to stay connected, united, and supported, while everyone remained at home during the government-mandated campus closure. Through this, our community was able to come together and see all the amazing initiatives that were taking place across all school divisions, as well as with parents, alumni, faculty, and staff.
Using the school mascot, Panther, as the Head of the newly established Department of PAWsitivity, its role was to be the furry friend and chief cheerleader celebrating ISKL’s spirit, the fun times, and all the great things that take place across the entire community.
The ISKL team created a virtual newsroom, sharing 100% community-generated content that includes positive learning stories, creative performances, imaginative challenges, virtual (with school friends), and in-person (with family) moments experienced by our community, as well as outreach initiatives by and for our community.
This online initiative on social media provided a platform for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni to share their heartwarming ‘PAWsitive’ ideas and experiences, express their feelings, and reach out to their friends and colleagues in the only way they could – virtually. Using the hashtag #PAWsitivity, the inspiring submissions aimed to lift spirits and connect people in the face of a global epidemic and included stunning performances such as being part of the ‘Call To Unite’ movement.
The ISKL High School virtual choir took part in a 24-hour live stream global broadcast, celebrating a worldwide shared call to action to be inspired, and shared the stage with performers, visionaries, and leaders such as Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Naomi Campbell, Deepak Chopra, Steve Aoki, and Marie Kondo.
#PAWsitivity also brought the community together through artistic, musical, and physical challenges, such as the Friday Fun Photo challenges, TikTok Tootsie Slide challenges, Getty Art creations, Earth Week projects, and a refugee food drive donation. Last but not least, Virtual Virtuosos was launched to share the joy of music during the lockdown – a movement so #PAWsitive that it has branched out into all divisions of the ISKL community.
Even though interactions were limited to online channels, spirits were kept high through virtual connections during the monotonous months of quarantine. From video and photo challenges to social media movements, the ISKL Panthers were able to stay connected whenever and wherever – and all of this was highlighted and dedicated to a magazine called The Paw!
Despite the many challenges that the past year has brought, the ISKL community has remained resilient in the face of adversity. As such, the well-being of our community is a key consideration across all aspects of the growth of the school. Nurturing the social and emotional health of our students, parents, teachers, and staff remains a priority – ISKL is dedicated to ensuring that the necessary support is provided in order for our community to flourish.