Grade 8 Boys Pilot 2020: Program Background


Program Goal

To foster self-awareness, confidence and supports towards a successful transition to high school for Grade 8 students


Desired Program Outcomes

  • Self-Awareness and Esteem
  • Self-Confidence
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Acceptance of Diversity and Differences in Others
  • Personal Power and Responsibility


Program Structure

This is an after-school program that will run on Tuesdays between February and May 2020 from 4pm to 6pm at Gulf Islands Secondary School. The adult male facilitator will be responsible for the supervision of the group and for leading activities and discussions that meet the program outcomes.


Theory of Change

Research suggests that the transition from middle school to high school is particularly challenging and stressful, requiring significant adaptations at a time when academic achievement and parent involvement typically declines (Isakson & Jarvis, 1999). The transition can often be associated with declines in school connectedness, one of the most important predictors of student success (Bonny et al., 2000). Change in familiar relationships coupled with larger class sizes, fewer opportunities to interact with teachers, and a more competitive and grade-oriented environment can lead to negative views of self and a reliance on peer relationships that may or may not be healthy (Eccles, Midgley, & Adler, 1984, Hertzog et al., 1996). All of these pieces can eventually impact variables such as high school completion and healthy transitions beyond.

The program is based on the theory that fostering elements required for healthy relationships in Grade 8 boys in advance of their transition to high school will build within them the resilience and scaffolding required to bridge to a new high school environment.