Key-shirt's mission is to provide a feeling of belonging for children and teens.
Our vision is of a "We are one" community culture while also acknowledging and respecting each person as a unique individual.
- To start a trend of every student feeling safe, valued, and a contributing member of their school community
- To help build conversational and skills between peers
- To use conversational skills to build problem solving skills between peers
- For students with anxiety, to make school feel less fear provoking and more like a community of supportive peers
- To build up children's resilience to life's small daily challenges
Working in schools at every level and watching students over the past 20 plus years we've watched children change from social and free spirited to quiet, more controlled and better behaved. Staff learned how to set tight routines and announce transitions at the 5 minute mark down to the one minute mark and help prepare each child to know what to expect and when to execute the next task or move to the next activity.
We watched as structured after school activities replacing unstructured hanging out at the playground. Children always have an adult present to introduce them to peers and are trained to understand the 'right' way is wait until you are told you can talk.
Children are naturally curious and we as humans are social creatures. Key-Shirt was created to fulfill the wonder and curiosity children have about one another but may not be sure how to ask. They also solve the problem of school uniforms that are excellent at promoting belonging but stifle personal expression. We felt there had to be a way to get students to learn to make connections by learning to talk to one another, put down the phone and enjoy each other's company in real life.
Hong, J. S., & Espelage, D. L. (2012). "A review of research on bullying and peer victimization in school: An ecological system analysis." Aggression and Violent Behavior, 17, 311-322. doi: 10.1016/j.avb.2012.03.003.