December 28, 2005

Coaching Boys into Men

The folks at the Family Violence Prevention Fund are working to . . . prevent violence within the home, and in the community, to help those whose lives are devastated by violence because everyone has the right to live free of violence. They have some wonderful Man-Making tools that will help adult men to coach boys into young men who understand the issues of violence toward women and to help them escape some of the messages in today's music and media.

One page of their website titled Coaching Boys into Men. Whether you are an actual sports coach or not, this page has a simple but powerful formula for both teaching boys directly about violence prevention issues and for helping you walk the talk by making sure you're informed and being a great role model.

They have also produced an educational resource section called Coaches Corner. A boy's sports coach serves as a powerful Man-Maker in any young mans life. Sports not only fills countless developmental needs for young males, but the coaches position of power allows him to set the values and rules of his "tribe" of boys. The highly detailed information in Coaches Corner will help any coach to use his transformational role to the best possible advantage.

"There is only one thing more satisfying than helping a young man become a great basketball player - helping a basketball player become a great young man."
John Thompson, Sr.
Hall of Fame Coach, Georgetown University

December 26, 2005

Pathways to Manhood

This non-profit in Australia has a rich and honorable history of developing world class Man-Making programs. They have been at it for a long time, and have the intention of putting every boy in the country through their Pathways to Manhood program. If you're looking for a great model for an organizational structure that can bring the benefits of initiation and right of passage experiences to thousands of men and boys, these good men and women have your answer.

December 10, 2005

Guys Read

Jon Scieszka grew up with five brothers. He taught elementary school for 10 years, raised a daughter and son, and has written books for kids for the last 15 years. Out of his passion to get boys to read, he has created Guys Read.

Jon notes that "A lot of boys are having trouble reading," and lists the following data as testimony:

• The U.S. Department of Education reading tests for the last 30 years show boys scoring worse than girls in every age group, every year.
• Eighth grade boys are 50 percent more likely to be held back than girls.
• Two-thirds of Special Education Students in high school are boys.
• Overall college enrollment is higher for girls than boys.

That's why his mission is to: . . . motivate boys to read by connecting them with materials they will want to read.

Jon's website is a great way to accomplish that goal. His site is very boy oriented, fun, and useable. He provides a list of recommended books for Young Guys, Middle Guys, and Older Guys, and a search engine that allows searches by favorite book, favorite author, or simply a subject or topic. If you know a young guy (or not so young... Jon has an adult section too), point him at this site and see what happens.

Part of Jon's mission is to "Make some noise for boys." He says, "We have literacy programs for adults and families. GUYS READ is our chance to call attention to boys’ literacy." Just in case you want to join him in this cause, he'll give you permission to use his site and will equip you with a Guys Read poster, stickers for recommended books, and bookmarks. Very nice.

Oh, by the way, in addition to being an extremely creative approach to a huge problem, Jon is also a great role model for any man who has experience with a hobby or interest and is considering reaching out to boys. What if every adult man did something similar to help boys?