Carter and Sky : New Directions

United Way’s 2018 Campaign Ambassador Carter is a participant in Coaching Boys into Men. This program is facilitated by strong adult role models in our community who have undergone program training with our Partner Agency New Directions. Coaching Boys into Men, referred to as CBiM, is a 10-week evidence-based program that introduces important relationship skills to young men. These groups can be in a classroom setting, a faith-based or interest-based group, or a sports team. Carter is completing the program with his basketball team; sessions are held after basketball practice.

Coaching Boys into Men was introduced to Knox County in 2018 when it was adopted as a program on United Way’s 2018 investment agenda. New Directions and Danville schools piloted the program, presenting it to eight graders. Since then, the program has gained traction. Additional facilitators have been trained and are actively introducing new groups in Knox County. While sports-themed, the curriculum is adaptable to young men not involved in athletics, and to various age groups. It is also flexible. Program facilitators receive card sets that have topics, discussion points, leading questions, conversation ice breakers, and supportive references to use in their groups. These are to be used as script or as reference, facilitators are encouraged to adapt the lessons to their audience, draw from their own experiences, and lay the foundation for a trusting group and open dialogue.

Coaching Boys into Men addresses masculinity, aggression, consent, digital disrespect, and other topics. Wide participation in the program can create climates that promote the developing and maintaining healthy relationships with all peer groups. The sports-themed curriculum introduces young-men to healthy relationship skill and enables discussion of topics that are often glossed over until issues arise. Carter sees the program as meaningful. “It has taught us what an impact we can make on people in the community. Being able to serve others and respect others around us.” His basketball coach, supports Carter’s team completing Coaching Boys into Men and reinforced Carter's claim. He insists “this program fits well with our team's 5 pillars: Servanthood, Thankfulness, Passion, Humility, and Unity. These pillars have a huge impact in basketball and in life for our young men.”

This United Way partner program helped Carter learn to be an active part of his community. By donating to United Way of Knox County’s Campaign, you will be supporting Coaching Boys into Men and the other local programs that United Way implements or invests in. Give, Advocate, Volunteer. LIVE UNITED.