Role model program aims to help boys to be boys

A BOYS' welfare project started by Menai Public School is helping children reconnect and engage in their learning.

The Boys Initiatives Program was established to address the needs of male pupils.

Targeted at grades 3-6, it aims to identify children who could most benefit from male role models, including children at risk of behavioural problems.

The idea was launched this year when the school realised there was a need for boys to be involved in activities that were separate from the classroom.

It involved pupils doing male-supervised activities including bike-riding and skateboard riding, which teach communication, co-operation and resilience.

Assistant principal Neil Tasker said the weekly workshops were a success.

"It was recognised that family structures had changed [at the school] . . . a lot of children come from family housing with independent mums who are doing the best for their kids," he said.

"So we don't teach only literacy and numeracy, but life skills.

"It gives them the chance to practise skills that may not be used so frequently in this computer-driven era.

"The boys help each other out."

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