Raising boys to be well-rounded men
By Lynne Marsala Basche
Castle Pines residents Paige Taylor and Gina Mead started Project Strong Girls with a mission to empower girls to find their inner strength to manage the day-to-day challenges of school and friends. Taylor and Mead learned that these challenges are not girl-specific. When parents and educators approached Taylor and Mead about offering a series for boys, Project Strong Boys was born.
The belief that boys should be stoic and hide their feelings is not healthy. Boys, like girls, need to be taught how to show empathy, express emotions, and manage stress so that they lead healthy, productive lives. Project Strong Boys’ inaugural three-week series in April hopes to build character and inner strength, and promote respect in elementary-aged boys. The objectives are taught in a fun, encouraging environment.
Using age-appropriate activities, participants learn to cooperate and listen to peers through team-building activities that teach life and character-building skills. “Our aim is to give boys tools that they can use to stay strong mentally, physically and emotionally,” explained Mead.
Taylor and Mead know that kids tend to respond better to peers and have included local teen boys as guest speakers for the Project Strong Boys series. The teens will discuss their adversities and how they overcame challenges. The goal is to provide the boys a forum to share with each other and learn from the group. Mead noted that in previous sessions, the richest conversations took place when she and Taylor stepped out of the discussion, and kids shared their thoughts in an open forum.
Mead hopes Project Strong Boys will reinforce messaging that is already being taught at home. “We want to give boys as many tools as possible to handle different circumstances so that when they are faced with difficult situations, they will make the right choice,” said Mead. “We want to teach boys that having a strong character is as important as being physically strong.”
Asking the question, “Who do you want to be,” Mead hopes that Project Strong Boys will contribute to raising boys who mature into courageous young men. By developing healthy bodies, learning about teamwork and managing anxiety, as well as discovering a deeper sense of awareness and respect for themselves and others, Project Strong Boys gives boys strategies to combat any situation that comes their way.
To learn more about Project Strong Boys, including registration for the April session, visit www.projectstronggirls.org.
Three week series:
April 16, 23 & 30
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
TTE library, grades 1 – 5
$65 for the series
(includes a $10 materials fee)
Register at www.projectstronggirls.org.