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Men wanted: new program for boys needs mentors

Big Brothers Game On coordinators Bobby Juco and Matt Strating are seeking volunteers to start after school programs for boys in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody. - SUBMITTED PHOTO
Big Brothers Game On coordinators Bobby Juco and Matt Strating are seeking volunteers to start after school programs for boys in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody.
— image credit: SUBMITTED PHOTO

ig Brothers of Greater Vancouver is putting out an emergency plea for men to come forward and help out with the Game On program that provides physical activity, communication skills and healthy life styles experiences for boys.

Game On is an after school mentoring program for boys in Grades 4 to 7 currently at Maple Creek middle in Port Coquitlam but Big Brothers would like to expand the program to four other schools in School District 43. Currently, 45 children are interested in joining and Big Brothers would at least like to get a program up and running at Citadel middle school in PoCo, where a similar program for girls has been a success.

But so far there aren't enough men offering to step-in and run the program, which runs for 75 minutes once a week for eight weeks.

Citadel counsellor Karen Leeden said boys are struggling with depression and anxiety resulting from lack of connection, self-esteem and poor social skills and would benefit from Game On.

“They need some social emotional learning beyond the classroom in a safe, small group atmosphere with a positive male role model as a guide,” explains Leeden. “The reality is that there are few male support workers in the school systems, and even though teachers, counsellors and youth workers alike address some of the issues, the fact is boys can give you the answers but they don’t seem to put it into practice, likely because it’s delivered by women.”

Men who are interested will be screened and then provided with training to deliver a prepared curriculum, which includes activities and games. Eight male volunteers — two per school — are needed for the program to be implemented at four more schools in the Tri-Cities.

"We can’t start the program because we are waiting for a handful of men to donate their time,” stated Bobby Juco, Big Brothers’ mentoring coordinator responsible for the Game On program, in a press release.

Eight male volunteers are needed for the program to be implemented. To help, call 604-876-2447 or go to www.bigbrothersvancouver.com.

 

dstrandberg@tricitynews.com

 

 

 

 

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