The Journey to Body Confidence

2019 DSEP Cadre Trainers

2019 DSEP Cadre Trainers

Written by Cairn Guidance, a Dove Self-Esteem Project Partner

 The theme for the Dove Self-Esteem Project’s (DSEP) 2019 Cadre Trainer Retreat was The Journey to Body Confidence.  Every human being takes this journey, most of which is probably not wholly conscious.  We become who we are by experiences, thought processes, and the significant lives that touch ours, amongst other things.  Does anyone just wake one day and know they are body confident?  It’s a process that probably ebbs and flows. 

A character in a movie, told another character who had just said something disparaging about themselves, if they didn’t like it, do something about it.  They weren’t seeing what the disparager saw, however, they honored where the person was and made a suggestion.  If there is something a person does not like within themselves, they have the power to change it.  Was the disparager basing their remarks on unfulfilled realistic personal goals or what they thought others expected or thought?  These were fictional adult characters.  However, how often do youth have this conversation and make changes based on the unrealistic expectations of others, such as their peers, or manipulated media images or messages?  How do adults, specifically educators, help students on their journey to adulthood? On their journey to body confidence and positive self-esteem?

The Dove Self-Esteem Project’s cadre trainers (cadre) came together in June for a day and a half retreat to focus on their role in this journey.  While some of the cadre provide direct services to students, they all focus on increasing awareness and implementation of the DSEP Confident Me! body confidence and self-esteem lessons, for 11 to 14-year-old students, to the educators who teach these youth.  The retreat was designed to recharge, increase knowledge and skills, and provide opportunities to network across cadre and within the cadre located in their region.  The cadre has grown to 25 professionals located across 23 states in each region of the United States.  They represent health and physical educators, school nurses, school social workers, school counselors, and prevention and wellness professionals.

To say they each understand the importance of the DSEP Confident Me! lessons is an understatement.  Being able to give educators tools to support the instruction of their students is a core of their mission.  They know there are students who are struggling with peer pressure, personal and professional social media issues, appearance ideas, etc.  They also know the DSEP Confident Me! lessons add value to the educator’s instruction.

Cadre share their message primarily via local, state and regional conference presentations and exhibits. They also write articles and blogs, as well as host webinars.  Many are an active presence on social media.  The retreat gave them the opportunity to learn from each other, collaborate and share ideas.  Their goal is to make The Journey to Body Confidence as positive and as seamless as possible for students through the educators who teach these students. 

How often do we as adults say something disparaging about ourselves to ourselves?  Learning about these lessons can remind us that we too may internalize unrealistic external measures regarding our appearance ideals.  We may offer compliments to other adults and our students based on how they look or how they dress, instead of honing in on those things that truly make the person who they are.  The DSEP Confident Me! lessons help educators adjust the way they offer recognition to their students, while helping students better value themselves and others and what makes them who they are as unique and contributing individuals.

The Dove Self-Esteem Project cadre trainers hope, when you learn they are present at your conference or meeting, that you stop by their presentations or exhibit booth.  If they write an article or blog, they hope you read it and take away some jewels.  If they host a webinar, they hope you attend.  Students do not learn as well when they do not feel the best about themselves.  They do not reach out and grow as well.  Students who do not feel the best about themselves may make poor choices.  Educators are there to help students become their best. The DSEP Confident Me! lessons are there as a support.  Visit Dove Self-Esteem Project to learn more about the no cost, researched, single and five-lesson curriculum.

Meeting, Greeting and Impacting SHAPE Tampa Conference Participants

SHAPE Tampa Attendees at the DSEP Exhibit Booth

SHAPE Tampa Attendees at the DSEP Exhibit Booth

Written by Cairn Guidance, a Dove Self-Esteem Project Partner

The Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) had an impactful presence at the recently held SHAPE Tampa conference. Information was shared on the project via an extremely well attended session and a very busy exhibit booth. DSEP cadre trainers Michelle Rawcliffe and Dawn Graff-Haight provided an informative and interactive session which led many of the attendees to visit the exhibit booth to declare their intent to implement the DSEP Confident Me! lessons.

Cadre trainers Mary Wentland, Michelle Rawcliffe, and DSEP Cadre Coordinator Antionette Meeks greeted both health and physical education professionals and students majoring in the profession.  One of the notable “ah-ha’s” was hearing the college students share their familiarity with DSEP through their courses.  Many educators already using the lessons in their classrooms also stopped by to share their thanks and value of the lessons.  Still others stopped by or were encouraged to stop by the booth to learn how to support their body confidence and self-esteem efforts.  Those new to DSEP were often happy to learn the lessons are research-based, available at no cost, and easy to incorporate.

The energy and excitement surrounding attendees was almost palpable.  The spark of interest in the eyes of those learning about DSEP or sharing their experiences markedly impressed upon the booth hosts the meaningfulness of DSEP to these educators and the impact on their students.  Hearing these comments cemented what the booth hosts already knew:  DSEP produces positive outcomes for students.  Students experience a lot as they matriculate through school and an unfortunate by-product along the way may be a lack of body confidence and poor self-esteem.  DSEP uses interactive tools and experiences to help students strengthen their self-esteem and improve their body confidence.

Educators understand the need for students to not only be physically present, but to be mentally and emotionally present, prepared and ready to learn.  While there may be many reasons why students may not be ready to engage in the learning process, DSEP focuses on building and supporting body confidence and positive self-esteem.  Often students may look outside of themselves seeking approval from their peers and center on physical appearance versus the depth of who they are as individuals.

Several educators and future educators who visited the DSEP exhibit booth opted to share personal characteristics or what they appreciate about themselves via social media.  It was not about how they looked, what they wore, or their choice of hairstyles.  Please search #DoveSelfEsteem tagged with #SHAPETampa to read these powerful posts.

To learn more about DSEP, visit the Dove Self-Esteem Project website. To be entered to win an all-expenses paid trip to attend the SHAPE 2020 conference in Utah or another national professional convention, please email info@cairnguidance.com for more information.

Announcing A New Partnership with AXE!

 AXE wants young men to grow up confident in their own brand of masculinity.

Cairn Guidance is pleased to announce a new partnership with AXE to address gender stereotypes, bias and harassment by offering a no-cost program, Generation Unlabeled, for the school setting. Our partnership and new curriculum was publicly announced at SHAPE America in Tampa last month with a sponsorship of the General Session, a performance by Carlos Andrés Gómez and a vendor booth in the exhibit hall.

 You probably think of AXE as the body spray that your students layer on in the hallways, but they’re much more than that! As the go-to grooming brand for middle and high schoolers who are learning to style for themselves, AXE offers a wide range of grooming items including deodorant, body wash, and hair products designed to help guys look and feel their best.

However, they recognize that some of the ads they created in the early 2000’s negatively reinforced stereotypes that would not be acceptable by today’s standards. In 2015, AXE went back to better understand the effects of negative stereotypes on their core young male audience. Partnering with Promundo, a global research leader, they conducted a study and found that 72% of young guys reported being put in the “Man Box,” a set of beliefs about masculinity that place pressure on men to act a certain way. Along with other findings, this statistic helped AXE reinforce their core mission to inform young men that there’s no one way to be a man.

Carlos Andrés Gómez introducing the partnership at the SHAPE Tampa General session.

Carlos Andrés Gómez introducing the partnership at the SHAPE Tampa General session.

Armed with research, they re-worked their marketing campaigns to champion a portrayal of guys that don’t fit traditional standards of masculinity (see “Is It Ok For Guys…” on YouTube). From there, AXE brought this message into high schools through their Senior Orientation program, an in-school workshop that encourages students to shape their school culture through self-expression and inclusivity with the help of marquee talent partners like John Legend and Super Duper KYLE. Now in 2019, they’re taking their mission a step further...   

Building on the success of its Senior Orientation programs, AXE now wants to reach students at an earlier age before they’re exposed to the social pressures of high school with the creation of this specialized curriculum that will be implemented in middle school health classes across the nation. Generation Unlabeled’s four interactive lesson plans cover a range of topics – from toxic masculinity and gender stereotypes to harassment – asking students to analyze today’s society and culture, themselves, and conclude with a call to action, like creating a new school policy. By directly educating teens and empowering young men to define what masculinity means for themselves, our goal is to foster the first generation of students to grow up in a society without toxic masculinity.

Our team represented by Edelman, Cairn Guidance and Carlos Andrés Gómez

Our team represented by Edelman, Cairn Guidance and Carlos Andrés Gómez

As an educator, you have the opportunity to create environments where students thrive so they can win at education. Part of your role supporting young people in schools is about creating healthy and safe classrooms and teaching students using relevant and current health education curricula.
Items given away at the AXE booth at SHAPE America.

Items given away at the AXE booth at SHAPE America.

These no-cost lessons will be available this summer, so please keep in touch. We will be offering incentives to those that implement the lessons in the classroom, as well as looking for pilot teachers to provide on-going feedback and student work samples to ensure this program is creating the outcomes we hope to achieve!

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact us at info@cairnguidance.com

The Case for More Love in Education

By Liz Thorne

I was recently in Austin, Texas for the 6th annual Ready by 21 Annual Meeting. Organized by the Forum for Youth Investment, the meeting focuses on ensuring all youth are ready and prepared to meet life’s demands. It brought together folks in youth development, program quality, education, government and community based organizations all focused on ensuring youth are ready.

A major focus of the meeting was on promoting equity through the lens of readiness as a right. It’s not enough to help young people beat the odds but we need to work with the adults and leaders in communities to change the odds.

Research tells us that just one supportive adult relationship can help buffer young people against risk and help them overcome challenging life circumstances. But let’s zoom out and talk about supportive communities, or as Dr. Shawn Ginwright describes, radical healing.

In his keynote, Dr. Ginwright compared the idea of radical healing to experiments conducted on plants. Researchers would place one plant in a chamber of poisonous gas to test the plant’s response. As you might expect, the plant shriveled and died. But, when the researchers placed multiple, or a community, of plants they didn’t die. Rather, they cleaned the air of the poisonous gas. Together the community of plants garnered their collective strength to change their circumstances.

How can we harness the collective strength of communities to change the odds for youth? During Dr. Ginwright’s address on radical healing, there were three thoughts going through my head as this relates to our work in adolescent and school health:

  • We have to take care of the adults in schools. Youth are often placed at the center of our work. Resources, opportunities, and training must be made available to provide physical, emotional and professional support to the adults that show up every day. Particularly, educators and professionals working in economically disadvantaged schools or communities, and those who have faced generations of trauma and marginalization.
  • We need more opportunities for Participatory Action Research or experiential learning opportunities.  PAR is one way for young people to reach into their community, examine the context and begin to understand and garner their strength as an agent of change.
  • There is room in ESSA for a focus on readiness, but we need advocates in the states. ESSA provides an opening, but we will need to focus on state-level efforts to address social, emotional and physical needs of students and staff in schools. (Check out our ESSA State Plan Page for more information). 
Power without love is reckless and abusive, and love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love.
— Martin Luther King Jr.

Whether you call it a supportive relationship, radical healing or trauma-informed education, to me it all boils down to one thing. More love in education. Showing, not just telling our young people, that they are valued. Demonstrating they are valued by equipping them with the skills to harness their power and change their environment for the better. Dr. Enwright ended his keynote with a quote from Dr. King that I think sums up the relationship between love and power.

 

 


 

 

Next week... SHAPE America, in Boston!

Next week, 5500+ health educators, physical educators, dance educators will be coming together for SHAPE America's annual convention, held in Boston this year. It's not only SHAPE's biggest annual event, but it's March Madness & St Patrick's Day. Let the craziness begin. 5500+ fellow educators creating, learning, facilitating, presenting, sharing, networking and advocating for the whole child. 

The Cairn Guidance team will be there in full force... we will be exhibiting for the Dove Self Esteem Project, booth #519, so come see us for free give aways! We are also thrilled to be sponsoring the General Session on Wednesday morning-

“Creating a Kinder and Braver World”
Maya Enista Smith will discuss Born This Way Foundation’s (founded by Lady Gaga) commitment to supporting the wellness of young people, and empowering them to create a kinder and braver world.  Working together with SHAPE America members, the foundation wants to see a world of people whose decisions and conversations are driven by kindness, acceptance and compassion.

We are presenting the following sessions:
Tuesday, 8am-noon - Systems Changing; Systems Changing simulation: In an engaging skill-building team session, participants will be confronted with realistic decisions and experiences, be compelled to consider new ways of looking at their goals and their work, be challenged to review what they consider legitimate indicators of success, try proven methods for making system-wide changes in their school setting related to their health education, physical education or school health initiative/program, distill their experience into action-oriented learnings and have fun! 
Wednesday, 3:30-5:30pm - Facilitating Role Plays in the Health Education Classroom: Role Playing is an effective skills-based learning strategy in the health education classroom, as it aligns to most of the National Health Education Standards. This session will guide participants through a variety of activities to increase their comfort and confidence facilitating role plays as well as give ideas on how to overcome challenges. Scoring rubrics will be shared aligned to role plays if using as an assessment tool in the classroom.
Thursday, 3-4:15pm - Enhancing Assessment in Health Education: an update and history of the Health Education Assessment Project and how SHAPE America is updating/revising and supporting this resource for teachers.

We have some other commitments- we are sponsoring the health education track and will be doing a 20 minute Dove Self Esteem Demo on Wednesday from 2-2:20 in the Exhibit Hall.

Can't wait to connect with colleagues, friends, cadre members, clients and partners in Boston! 

 

 

 

Cairn Guidance Work Updates

We have just been notified that we will be presenting two sessions in Bend Oregon at the School Employee Wellness Conference in March for OEA Choice TrustJess will share her information on creating sustainable staff wellness programs as well as moderate a panel of school health champions sharing they staff wellness success stories. 

Read More

KAHPERD 2015

Congratulations to my home state’s health and PE professional association for record numbers at their annual conference! The Kentucky Association for Health, PE, Recreation and Dance kicked off with a PGES (Professional Growth Effectiveness System) workshop facilitated by Jamie Sparks and me. Over 75 participants attended the workshop to learn more about teaching enduring skills and assessment within health and PE classrooms. 

Read More

American School Health Association Conference 2015

I don't remember when my first ASHA conference was, but it was at least ten years ago and I think I've attended every year since. The American School Health Association's mission is to transform all schools into places where every student learns and thrives. I'd love for the organization to grow, for all school administrators to put the health and well-being of their school community first in order to see their students' academics improve. However, that's not the world we live in.

Read More

Howard L. Bost Health Policy Forum

The 2015 Bost Health Policy Forum hosted by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky kicked off with a welcome from Kentucky's Lieutenant Governor Crit Luallen. She reinforced the importance of economic vitality, livability and strong communities related to the health of Kentuckians. We heard from a variety of health advocates on topics including education, the built environment, worksite wellness and food systems from Andrew Dannenberg from the University of Washington, Vera Oziransky from the Vitality InstituteMary Gwen Wheeler from 55000 Degrees, and Margo Wootan from the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

Read More

RMC Health Board Meeting and Healthy School Leadership Retreat

It has been a fantastic week in Vail, Colorado! I feel incredibly fortunate to be on the Board of Directors of RMC Health, a non-profit that serves those working to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional health of children and youth. We had a great Board meeting that included both a business meeting and some strategic planning for the future. 

Read More