The past several weeks since we completed the in school portion of the Changing Male Conversations Project Ron Kelly and Don Gunton have spent much time working on the evaluations and preparing reports.
There was some really great feedback from the young men about what they experienced as participants in the CMC. When asked if participating in CMC would affect some of their future choices 61% of the grade 7’s and 39% of the grade 9’s said that it would, and one of the comments was “It will affect my future because I will understand more about healthy relationships. The young men also told us that they wished the program was longer so we could spend more time talking about each topic.
We are very pleased that the participants found the program to be worth while and are excited to do it again next year with a new group of young men.
We would like to thank the United Way of Pictou County for partnering with us on this project as well as to staff and administration of West Pictou Consolidated and North Nova Education Centre for all their help making this year’s sessions such a success.
The CMC sessions have now ended up as of May 2, 2016.
Two grade 9 classes of boys at North Nova have completed 8 sessions each. In the last few sessions, discussions occurred on a number of topics identified by the young men.
The topics included:
The topics generated by grade 7’s included:
We hope to include some of the suggested topics in the sessions for the Fall term of 2016 and the Spring term, 2017.
As of May 11, the student evaluations will have been completed and we will be working on the feedback in the following months. Some of the ‘results’ of the evaluations will be shared when they are available, specifically the learnings that the young men have identified after attending CMC.
Don and Ron would like to thank Cathy, Sterling, the Board of New Leaf, the United Way of Pictou County, the School administrations and of course, the Grade 7 boys at West Pictou Consolidated and the grade 9 boys at North Nova.
We would also like to thank everyone who has taken interest in CMC. It has been an exciting and rewarding experience to have planned and delivered this portion of Changing Male Conversations. We look forward to the next 10 months of this pilot project.
We are now in the “Home Stretch” with this school year’s sessions. There are only 2 sessions left with each group. The topics we have discussed to date include Emotional language, Healthy Relationships, Consent, The effects of a porn addiction, What the world expects of men (“the male script”), What the world expects of women and “my personal code” (how I want to be known as a male).The sessions are based on a model of youth engagement and are interactive, and generally lively.
Sessions include check ins, energizers and focused discussions. The program has been designed so that each session is built off the last one with Healthy Relationships remaining the common thread. Our purpose for offering this program is based on the belief that young men need to be engaged in conversations that will make it possible for them to grow up to have Healthy Relationships.
Our experience in working with the grade 7 and grade 9 boys is that they are wanting to have these conversations and are not only willing but eager to participate. We appreciate the Partnership with the United Way of Pictou County and the support of the students and staff at West Pictou and North Nova Schools that makes all of this possible. We look forward to the remaining sessions and will be posting more about the CMC in the near future.
Some feedback we received from the participants:
Grade 9’s “its fun” “its not hard like math” “CMC is informative, its about new ideas and concepts like porn being addictive... I never thought of it that way” “#FreePlayDoh” “I like the icebreakers and exercises”
Grade 7’s “Its good... we learn not to do certain things” “CMC makes you think twice” “It’s about going into things deeper... things that guys (usually) don’t talk about like emotions and feelings” “we are learning about the different experiences males & females have in the world” “we are breaking the barriers of what’s expected of men... by talking about feelings and things like that”
This week marks the halfway point in our first year of sessions with the young guys, both in West Pictou Consolidated with the Grade 7’s and at North Nova with the Grade 9’s. To date, we have had great discussions about a variety of topics such as; Healthy relationships, Consent, and Exploring their perspective of what society expects from men.
Ron Kelly and Don Gunton enjoy learning much from these young men as they walk this new road together.
Thanks go out again to the United Way of Pictou County for their valuable support of this project as well as to both staff and administration of West Pictou Consolidated and at North Nova for helping to make this work possible.
New Leaf would like to announce that beginning today, both Ron Kelly and Don Gunton begin working with grade 9 male students at North Nova High School for the month of April. Again we would like to thank the United Way of Pictou County for their generous financial support in making this pilot project possible, as well as the staff of North Nova. We hope this project will make a difference in how young males talk to each other about important topics. We look forward to updating you as the project moves forward.
We, the New Leaf Board of Directors are pleased to congratulate Cathy Grant on her promotion
to Co-Director and to Don Gunton on his promotion to 3/4 time employee. These promotions
are effective immediately. Cathy has been involved with the New Leaf Program in various
capacities for almost 17 years now, while Don has been involved on different levels including
serving on our Board and as volunteer, and most recently 1/4 time staff person for
approximately 7 years.
We would also like to extend a sincere thank you to Ron Kelly, Co-Director for his continuing
involvement with New Leaf for almost 25 years. Ron is currently moving to half time hours, to
assist staff, Board members, and the New Leaf program itself in making the transition to his
retirement in March of next year.
The Board is confident that that the quality service New Leaf provides will continue under the capable
hands of its current staff.
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