For the last two days CPO hosted a Master Trainer session so that all four school Boards in Ottawa can deliver the anti-violence program “The Fourth R” “Les A, B, C des Relations.”
It’s a great program which has scientifically proven results in changing adolescent behaviours with regards to risky behaviours associated with substance abuse, sexuality and personal relationships. Aimed at grades 7, 8 and 9 (11-15 year olds) it uses the health part of the Phys Ed class to work through ideas, role plays, refusal skills, values clarification to help youth work through how they want to handle the complex world they are entering.
But that’s just technical! What I love about the program is the commitment, the enthusiasm, and the skills of the teachers who day in and day out work with our young people in the classroom. The teachers we have worked with over the past 4 years have been amazing! It’s a tough job to teach 13 years olds about complex issues, and I have been truly impressed by their capacity to get right in there and connect with students.
And the other thing I love about “The Fourth R” is how efficient it is. The teachers are going to be in the classroom anyhow – so why not use that opportunity to teacher healthy relationships skills! Training teachers is much more economical than sending in outsiders to the school to do special workshops. And the teachers stay and develop long-term relationships with the kids. At the end of that day, isn’t that what it is all about? Helping kids develop healthy attachments to school and healthy attitudes towards sex, drug, violence and alcohol?