Friday, July 28, 2017


One of my favorite benefits of being an ASCA member is the fact that you can view all their webinars on demand for free. During the school year I never have time to watch them but each summer I take the time to watch the ones that will hep me improve my program and practice. I encourage all elementary (and middle school) counselors to watch Confident Me, A Free Body Confidence Program (2017) delivered by Jessica Lawrance. This same program was presented at the ASCA National Conference earlier this month. The purpose of the webinar and session was to make counselors aware of this evidence-based free curriculum and encourage them to try it out in their schools. They are even offering a great incentive to those educators who try it out this fall and complete a brief survey. You can apply then to be entered in a drawing to earn an all expense paid trip to your state conference or ASCA 18! Watch the webinar for more details.
The program addresses how "Low body confidence and low self-esteem have a strong influence on a child's learning and school life. Anxiety about drawing attention to appearance has been linked to reduced capacity to focus and less active participation or engagement in class, resulting in poorer academic performance. Six out of 10 girls admit to avoiding at least one “normal” everyday activity because of feeling concerned about their looks, with one in 10 admitting to skipping school for this reason." 
You can teach either the 5 session or 1 session curriculum and be eligible. The curriculum primarily targets middle school but it is definitely appropriate for upper elementary. It is designed to be delivered to girls and boys together but can also be done separately. Each lesson has an educators guide, a short PowerPoint, and student worksheet download from Learn more from other schools using the program by following #DoveSelfEsteemProject on Twitter.
I like that this program addresses all the negative body talk our students engage in and explains the reality behind media appearance.  There is a lesson that explains the metaphor sinking in a "whirlpool of comparisons." Kids today are bombarded with pressure to fit an perfect body type that does not really exist. It is great that Dove offers this resource for free with no effort to sell their products. They are currently revising it to be more applicable to diverse American schools so check back later in the year or follow along on Twitter to see when it gets updated. 

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