When it comes to topics such as positive body image and self-esteem, often the discussion shifts to young girls and women. However, many involved in that conversation believe that more emphasis should be placed on ensuring that boys and young men are included in that discussion as well. Boys and young men also require access to the tools necessary to ensure that they too have a strong sense of self-worth and a positive view of their bodies, which is why Conestogo Public School has organized a workshop on Apr. 16 to tackle this very subject.
It’s called R.I.S.E. Up – Raising Individual Self Esteem – and it is set for next Saturday from 9 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m. at the school.
“I believe that strong self-esteem is the root of pretty much all success, academic or in life, so it’s something I believe in deeply,” said Barb Lustgarten-Evoy of Fergus Educational Services, who will be conducting the day-long seminar, which will also include arts and crafts, videos, music and games.
“We’re a very hands-on and interactive program,” she laughed.
The day will also include an appearance by George Kourounis, best know as “George the Storm Chaser,” the star of Angry Planet.
“He’s full of energy and enthusiasm, and he’s a go-getter. We love having him as a part of the day,” said Lustgarten-Evoy.
All children struggle with self-esteem issues, she added, and to suggest that one gender requires more attention or more of the focus would be remiss. The truth is that we do often see society having a different expectation from boys and their feelings, she added, or of how to touch base with those feelings and how to investigate what’s really going on.
“The main issues of basic self-esteem that contributes to academic success and social skills exist just as much in boys as it does girls,” she said.
The boys’ workshop comes almost a year after a very successful girls’ workshop at Conestogo last May, with nearly 50 girls and their parents attending. This year they hope to have 40 boys at the workshop.
“After having a successful girls day, we said ‘yes’ we definitely wanted to have one for boys,” noted Juli Chinnick, co-chair of the Conestogo Public School council.
“The boys will be broken into smaller groups and they will be directed in different areas and on different things to discuss, and to self-examine themselves in areas like personal strengths, responsibility, accountability, healthy body image, and a whole bunch more activities,” she added.
The day is free for boys and their parents to attend, with sponsorship coming from the school council and the Conestogo-Winterbourne Optimist Club. Anyone is welcome to attend, but must pre-register.
To register, contact Chinnick at 519-664-1915.