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Monday , 28 September 2020

Cold Lake Teacher Wins Innovation & Achievement Award

Northern   Lights  School  Division  would  like  to  congratulate   Cold  Lake  Outreach  School  teacher  Don  Moore  on   winning  an  Innovation  and  Achievement  Award   from  the  Outreach Education  Council.     Moore  was  recognized  at  the  Outreach  Education   Council  Conference  on  Friday,  October  2  for   creating  the  Tough  N’  Talking  (TNT)  program  at   Cold  Lake Outreach.

“Don  Moore  saw  a  need  to  reach  out  to  a  group  of   students  and  developed  an  innovative  approach   that  has  empowered  those  students  and  re-­‐ engaged  them  in  learning,”  said  Board  Chair  Arlene   Hrynyk.  “The  Tough  N’  Talking  program  truly  exemplifies  Northern  Lights  School  Division’s  mission  statement  –   Working  Together  to  Help  Every  Student  Learn  and  Excel.”     Tough  N’  Talking  started  as  a  class  for  male  students  at  Cold  Lake  Outreach  that  covered  topics  such  as  social   skills,  sex  education,  confidence  and  communication  skills.

On  the  first  day  of  class,  Moore  recalls,  they  started   the  conversation  by  talking  about  stereotypes  and  the  potential  impact  of  the  program  quickly  became   apparent.     “I  will  always  remember  the  first  day  we  did  this,  we  set  up  a  chart  about  what  is  “masculine”  and  what  is   “feminine.”  On  the  masculine  side,  we  put  your  typical  things  like  “work,”  “strong,”  and  “being  a  good  father,”   which  I  thought  was  wonderful,”  he  explained.  “But  what  really  struck  me  was  on  the  feminine  side  they  wrote   “school,”  “reading,”  and  writing.”  When  I  asked  them  about  this,  to  get  the  dialogue  going,  the  response  I  go   was  “men  don’t  need  to  know  how  to  read.’  And  to  me,  this  was  the  moment  when  I  realized  we  had  something   here.  We  had  a  young  man  who  had  just  showed  us  why  he  didn’t  care  about  school,  teachers  and  education.   And  we  had  a  window  of  opportunity.  By  the  end  of  the  year,  this  same  young  man  was  attending  fairly   regularly,  avoiding  big  trouble  and  trying.”

The  program  has  since  expanded  to  include  a  group  for  female  students  with  its  own  unique  dynamic,  led  by   Lara  Ripkens.  The  current  group  is  looking  at  role  models  and studying  psychology  and  sociology  to  understand   how  people  act.  Altogether  almost  40  students  are  involved  in  the  TNT  program  on  a  weekly  basis.

*Press Release from NLSD

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