Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Grow Boys! at the Knowledge Institute...

Last Friday I had a wonderful opportunity to share the Grow Boys!  concept with my colleagues from Red Deer Public Schools at our annual Knowledge Institute symposium. The Knowledge Institute is a effort to create a culture that supports original inquiry and applied research among professional educators. “Our goal is to expand knowledge and improve practice within our profession,” says Jay Hetherington, district psychologist and project coordinator. “We recognize that our classrooms are data-rich environments that can support applied research. This initiative encourages, supports and promotes research projects undertaken by our teachers.”

Having the good fortune to be chosen as a presenter at this year's Knowledge Institute turned out to be a fantastic opportunity to showcase what Grow Boys!  is all about, and more importantly, to share our concept with teachers who teach boys in grades other than grade five. Our rationale has always been to provide a local network of people supporting the happy, healthy growth and development of boys within our community from birth to adulthood. We had to start somewhere, and chose grade five as our jump-off point mainly due to the fact that an annual conference for fifth grade girls has taken place for about ten years already in Red Deer. The "Go Girl" conference addresses the issue of physical literacy for girls and intends to highlight the importance of staying active, eating healthy and making healthy choices. We have worked closely with, and learned a great deal form this well-organized effort to support girls.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Welcome Kinsmen!

Grow Boys!  Red Deer is extremely happy to announce that we've struck a partnership with the local Kinsmen Club of Red Deer. This is a major development for Grow Boys! and we are very excited about the opportunities it will create.

Kin Canada has been around since 1920 and  is the nation's largest all-Canadian service club organization. Over 7,000 members in Kinsmen, Kinette and Kin clubs across Canada work to better their communities, enhance the well-being of Canadians and improve the environment. The Kinsmen mandate is a perfect fit for Grow Boys!  We too are totally committed to enhancing the well-being of Canadians, and specifically, Canadian boys whom we aim to support as they grow to be happy, healthy and well-adjusted men themselves... perhaps men, who like the Kinsmen, will want to give back to their communities, families and the young men in their care.

Stay tuned for developing news about our exciting new partnership. Grow Boys!  Red Deer is very proud to have made this connection with the Kinsmen, and we are looking forward with anticipation and excitement  about future collaborative projects!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Some folks around the world are watching

flickr photo image Kieth Williamson
This is a guest post by Michael Josefowicz, retired printer, education advocate, Twitter aficionado and idea generator extraordinaire...

I would like to thank Sean for allowing me to post at Grow Boys. I thought it might be useful to share the view from Brooklyn on what I see as the important work you are doing in Alberta.

The "problem" of boys finding ways to be men in this new emerging world is happening all over the world. Lots of reasons having to do with globalization, demographic changes and new communication technology. But whatever the reasons it's a problem across the globe.

In the States it usually presents as "high school dropouts" and much more seriously as young men of color winding up in the Juvenile Justice System. You probably know that the overwhelming majority of people in American prisions are men of color. From everything I think I know it goes to the problem of finding a meaning in life, ways to make a difference and defining for each of us what it means to be a Man.

In Atlanta, ( @ DrDia ) has done some breakthrough work using HipHop and a program she calls HYPE to work with the same kids who have the same problems. Hopefully she will have some time to help us all get a clearer view of her program.

It is helpful to know  that I've become friends via Twitter with other amazing people who are all trying to help figure it out.

I also wanted to add some words that probably will sound like jargon to many, but bear with me. Over the last year or so I've been tweeting with Sean and a couple of other wonderful people defining something that has evolved into nemetics. Maybe seeing what your are up to with Grow Boys! through that metaphor will help.