Students gain from United Way grant

United way helps 100 Mile House Grade 7 students learn about self-esteem

Victoria Nissan

Victoria Nissan

A recent United Way funding influx will help South Cariboo Grade 7 students gain self-esteem counselling this year through a special program run by School District  27’s student support services.

The funding is from a United Way Community Fund grant, one of five recently allocated in 100 Mile House through the local Community Impact Council (CIC).

The $2,000 grant will go toward the costs of running four days of programming for 150-200 students from seven local schools this spring, says teacher/counsellor Cheryl Christianson.

All the girls graduating from SD27 South End elementary school this year will have the opportunity to attend a one-day course called Turn Beauty Inside Out (TBIO).

Local Grade 7 boys will benefit from the day-long Turn Masculinity Inside Out program (TMIO), she says, adding together the courses are known as TB/MIO.

“It is to empower girls to find their beauty, voice, strength and self-respect,” Christianson says.

“For boys, it’s about seeing a different truth and authenticity in their masculinity, and being respectful of themselves and their future partners.”

Christianson runs TBIO with five other women in a series of workshops.

The TMIO program is facilitated by Vancouver-based “manology” expert David Hatfield.

Both locally-developed programs strive to reverse the negative and potentially damaging effects of gender image myths propagated by media and music, Christianson says.

The grant stems from all-local United Way donations, some of those from employee payroll deduction programs, which are then allocated by the CIC to community organizations that fit within one of five categories.

The grant for TB/MIO falls under the Growing up Great classification, aimed at helping children and youths reach their full potential.

The money will go toward the 100 Mile Lodge facilities, where the program is held, and the expense of hiring Hatfield, she explains.

Every year, student support services is knocking on doors to cover the $4,000-$5,000 costs and make this program happen, so Christianson says the grant will really help.

“Our deep gratitude goes to the United Way and all the people whose donations will support this program to make our community stronger. Big thanks also to the CIC members for seeing the need and importance of our program and providing us with this funding.”