By Antionette Meeks of Cairn Guidance, a Dove Self-Esteem Project Partner
The Dove Self-Esteem Project (DSEP) has reached more than 82 million young people worldwide. Educators provide the instruction and DSEP cadre trainers (cadre), by in large, introduce DSEP to educators across the United States. Each year, the cadre come together to refresh, refocus, and reorient themselves on how to best share DSEP updates and new associated educational resources with educators. This year, cadre trainers met in New York City over two days in July. The location was selected because the partners in this endeavor, Dove and Edelman’s key representatives, are primarily located here.
The retreat was a great opportunity to learn from each other via presentations and working sessions. While the retreat was fun and engaging, the sessions were meaningful in that they help cadre trainers provide educators with the latest and best information. It also provided the opportunity to re-connect with one another, especially since cadre trainers tend to work individually and in regional teams around the United States. It helps reinforce that they are not working in a vacuum, as well as learn what cadre trainers are doing beyond their regions. These connections are important to the success of DSEP.
“Connecting the Dots: Body Confidence and Its Impact on Learning” was this year’s theme. Without fail, educators want all students to do well. Students may have many things that concern them, including body confidence and self-esteem issues. We know that body confidence and self-esteem have a relationship with how students feel about themselves, the activities in which they participate, and their academic performance. The cadre trainer increases the awareness of the educator of 11- to 14-year-old students about DSEP and its impact. The retreat was designed to increase the knowledge, skills, and competence of the cadre trainer. Participation helps them better discuss, present, and host informative exhibit booths at conferences or virtual events.
This year’s retreat exposed the cadre to the “big picture”. What they do is only a part of the Dove Self-Esteem Project, with each branch and other activities, all related to positively impacting the body confidence and self-esteem of youth and adults. In essence, cadre trainers saw how their role connected with the other projects within Dove’s vision. Through an interactive session conducted by Dove Self-Esteem Project Educator, Dre Brown, one of the curriculum writers for My Hair My CROWN, the cadre learned more about the why of the curriculum and legislative efforts around the country to end race-based hair discrimination with the CROWN Act – a bill that Dove has worked to pass across the US since 2018.
Regional teams shared the different tools they created, such as educational and activity laden calendars to be used at school or at home, articles and blogs, videos, and podcasts. These are materials cadre trainers can use to increase awareness and inform educators. The activity calendars are great additions to the classroom and support the DSEP curriculum and student knowledge and skills.
Continued work by job-alike groups was also a part of the retreat. Cadre Trainers were placed into five job-alike groups during the spring. These groups represented cadre who currently work at the district-level as health or physical education administrators, classroom health or physical educators, school counselors, and university level educators in health, physical education, social work, and mental health counseling. Each group was tasked with creating a slide deck geared toward use with educators in the identified groups. The slide decks were completed during work group sessions and shared during a general session.
An opportunity to network during meals, breaks, and after hours added to the experience and allowed for both professional and personal connections. The formal and informal opportunities to share and learn from each other always makes the DSEP retreat a lasting and impactful experience. Cadre trainers understand the importance of positive body confidence and self-esteem. Connecting the dots and introducing educators to DSEP provides educators with DSEP tools that support them with increasing student body confidence and self-esteem that can impact academic performance. At the end of the day, it is all about the student, their ability to achieve and be successful, becoming well-rounded and contributing adults.
To learn more about the Dove Self-Esteem Project or to download the free resources, visit: Dove.com/selfesteem or email us at email@example.com.
Leave a Reply