In September HeartWood received a grant from the Department of Health and Wellness to lead the Healthy Living curriculum with 43 male-identified Grade 7 youth at Bayview School in Mahone Bay, on Nova Scotia’ south shore. This work is modelled after similar work happening with boys in HRM.
As HeartWood also brings an expertise in training and coaching adults in youth work, we saw this as an opportunity to build our capacity in this innovative and very important work. Working in partnership with Be the Peace and the Second Story Woman’s Centre we hosted 12 lessons for male-identified students, while a Second Story staff facilitated a female-identified group following a similar lesson plan.
The sessions were held in circle and included experiences and discussions on topics of: social expectations, gender identity, sexual orientation, healthy relationships, body image, puberty, consent, pornography, and social media. Time was allotted for students of all genders to come together to explore specific concepts and share their learning. The program was well received by teachers and administration.
This work has also helped lead to additional work with 56 students at New Germany Rural High School, thorough the winter and spring of 2015.