Aug 14, 2019
Andy Telfer
WITS Program Foundation

Biography & photo for Andy Telfer:

For the last two years Andy has been the Executive Director of the WITS Programs Foundation, formerly called the Rock Solid Foundation, a charity with bullying prevention programs now spread nation-wide, yet with its roots and office right here in Victoria. Andy moved from Qualicum Beach to Victoria for the job, and has worked in BC’s nonprofit sector for 30 years, helping more than 50 nonprofits to thrive, most of them on Vancouver Island. He sings, MCs, has served on many boards & committees, and most recently was the Co-Chair of the National Advisory Committee for Canada’s Volunteer Awards.

The WITS Program

The WITS Programs bring together schools, families and communities to create responsive environments that help elementary school children deal with bullying and peer victimization. There are two components of WITS: the WITS Primary Program for students in Kindergarten to Grade 3 and the WITS LEADerS Program for students in Grades 4 to 6. Both have a literature-based curriculum designed to integrate with existing learning objectives.

Community leaders, including police officers, firefighters, paramedics and Elders, as well as high school and university athletes, are key participants in several components of the program. They launch the WITS Primary Program with a Swearing-In Ceremony where students are deputized as WITS Special Constables and the WITS LEADerS Program with a special skit called the Tug-of-Help. These community leaders also make school visits throughout the year.