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Who are Third Culture Kids?

"A third culture kid [TCK] is a person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside their parents’ culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background, other TCKs.

~ David C. Pollock 

from Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds

TCKWorld: The Official Home of Third Culture Kids (TCKs)

 

Third Culture Kids have different needs than typical Canadian students yet there are minimal services available in Saskatoon to meet the growing population of newcomers to the city and to local school districts.

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What is TCK Connections?

TCK Connections is a new program for the prairiesmodelled on how international schools work with third culture kids to help them adapt. We create a smaller and safer classroom community for students to feel safe to explore what it's like to go to school in Canada.

It is a unique opportunity for kids to ‘practice’ the social, academic, and language skills they need to be successful in school and daily life.

Connections matter most for these kids, who are often lonely and misunderstood. They need a safe space to make friends and build community with other Third Culture Kids. 

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Newcomer Kids In Need:
The Mission of TCK Connections

At TCK Connections, students will not need to fear judgement from classmates - they are already aware of how different they are, so taking the risks needed to learn (ie asking a question) can be hard in a regular classroom. But here, everyone is in the same situation, and we can discuss the awkward questions and laugh together at our cultural mis-steps. 

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How Does TCK Connections Work?

To ensure that students do not feel overly pressured by academic achievement, TCK Connections will focus on the social, emotional, and academic skills without assessments or district standards that need to be met. Instead, we meet students where they are and first ensure they are ready to learn.

Students learn effectively when they are in a safe and supportive environment. If they are too confused and overwhelmed to learn, school cannot have the exciting and dynamic experience of learning and friendship that we all want school to be. 

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Why do we need TCK Connections?

Public School is Not Enough

Newcomer kids are increasing in numbers in Saskatchewan schools yet resources have been consistently cut. Too many kids do not meet the criteria for the limited resources available. Third Culture Kids Connections is a new kind of program for the prairies, accessible to all students regardless of their reason for being in Canada. 

 

Here at Third Culture Kids Connections, we are able to pay attention to each student because we keep student-teacher ratios manageable. Operated outside the regular school system and funded by parents’ tuition, supplemented by corporate sponsorship to keep the program affordable, TCKC provides all students with the opportunity to practise practical classroom skills in a safe environment surrounded by other third culture kids and supported by staff who understand the unique needs of these students.

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Building Community 

Third culture kids are great at creating culture for themselves and those around them by blending their different ideas and experiences. 

 

We want to help TCKs come together to share their various cultures, skills, passions, and excitement for learning. By building community together with intention, TCKs can develop social and emotional skills that will support their educational journeys. 

 

By creating a safe and welcoming community for learning, TCK Connections works to equip kids with the confidence and tools to thrive in Saskatchewan’s prairie soil. 

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