Resources for Educators

Clubs, Curriculum, Lessons Plans, Media


Getting started:  While it is true that student populations differ from school to school, the same best practices for engaging and mentoring boys are utilized by all BCN teacher/leaders. Typically, prospective chapter leaders visit schools where after school clubs run successfully, to observe and participate over several sessions.  Reciprocal visits are the next step, when BCN welcomes new chapter boys, teachers, administration and other stakeholders to the Network, in their own space.  Resources, including content, mentor development and access, access to scholarships, field trips, access to summer camps, and ideas for accessing the local community for additional supports if needed, are shared.  BCN maintains contact with all chapters throughout the year, providing advice and assistance when needed.  Resources are shared between chapters, and small start-up grants are available to cover EOC time, meeting meals, travel, etc.  To learn more about after school chapters or how to start one in your school, please be in touch.

Our BAA Curriculum H.O.P.E. for Boys Leadership 11 has been approved by the Abbotsford, West Vancouver and North Vancouver school districts.  The course has been adapted successfully for middle school use, and also to integrate grades 10 and 12.

Excerpt from the Board/Authority Approved Framework: H.O.P.E. for Boys Leadership 11 considers all aspects, opportunities and challenges of contemporary life and 21st century learning for young Canadian male students today. It also explores the male universe historically, and in the future, as it relates to individuals, relationships, careers, communities, aboriginal and western societies, environment, the global village, and most particularly Canada.

In this course, there is a strong emphasis on the development of the individual (in essence, laying the foundation of H.O.P.E.) through the receiving of intense support in the areas of Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship, and Education. Hope is developed through the strong connections these young men will make to positive male influences in their lives. Opportunity is what is provided through the Boys Club Network mentors and the system of networks the organization provides. Positive mentorship comes through interactions with mentors and positive role models who will help guide students in a proactive and productive way. Educational opportunities are increased by helping to keep these young men in school and learning that knowledge is power.

This course promotes a healthy balance of personal well-being and academic success among boys and includes focused consideration, awareness, reflection, and improvement of one’s self and others. Learners will start with focusing on “Who am I and how did I arrive here? (consideration of family, ethnicity, social, physical and mental health and well-being, circumstance) leading to “What do I want to achieve/ want to become?” (consideration of individual and group values, beliefs, traditions, aspirations, academics) and finally, “How might I get there?”(consideration of ambition, education, mentorship, conflict management, financial literacy, physical and mental health and well-being, field studies)”.

Communication, creative and critical thinking, empathy, outreach, and responsibility figure prominently in a cumulative capstone project that focuses on personal development, well-being and empowerment, and celebrates the unique gifts, goodness, contributions and micro or macro leadership potential of all young men, regardless of race, religion, economy, or identity.   Aboriginal worldviews and perspectives are explored within First Peoples Principles of Learning.

The curriculum course concept and development was co-chaired by BCN President and co-founder Walter Mustapich and Abbotsford School District Assistant Superintendent Gino Bondi.  A working group of 18 educators, youth and mental health workers, Aboriginal educators and other stakeholders created the initial framework, based on in-class and field experience with boys ages 12-19.  To learn more about the curriculum and how BCN can help gain approval in your district, please be in touch.

A comprehensive list of lesson plans directly related to the H.O.P.E. for Boys Leadership 11 course are currently in development. All lesson plans follow the BC Ministry of Education’s New Curriculum guidelines, and cover topical subjects of particular interest and relevance to boys (based on teacher/leader, administrative and student feedback).  Recently, together with BCIT, we started building a framework for lesson plans that consider post-secondary entry into trades, business, computer science, and other scholarships.  A third stream of lesson + work plans for boys interested in pursuing specialized fields of study or apprenticeship (culinary, policing/justice, etc), are being developed together with working mentors and post-secondary institutions.   Lesson plans will be made available to all teacher/leaders as they are completed and approved.  To learn more, please be in touch.


Movies, Videos and Books

Teacher/leaders know how best to engage chapter boys in discussion, debate, and mindful learning.  The following movies, videos, books and references have been recommended by BCN chapter teacher/leaders, mentors, and other stakeholders whom over the years have found their content to be useful and instructive, and contain themes and messages of resilience and hope. Please preview before presenting, and use you own judgement in considering. is a great reference for reviewing film content before viewing. See also, Resources for Boys page.



FINDING FORRESTER | Drama/Sports | PG13 | Sean Connery | Columbia Pictures   Play trailer | Link to movie
A unique relationship develops between an eccentric, reclusive novelist and a young, amazingly gifted scholar-athlete. After the novelist discovers that the young athlete is also an excellent writer and secretly takes him on as his protégé, they develop an unlikely friendship. As they learn more about each other, they learn more about themselves, and ultimately, with the help of his new mentor, the basketball star must choose the right path.

CREED | Drama/Sports | PG | Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone | MGM Warner | Play trailer
Adonis Johnson (Jordan) never knew his famous father, world heavyweight champion Apollo Creed, who died before he was born. Still, there’s no denying that boxing is in his blood, so Adonis heads to Philadelphia, the site of Apollo Creed’s legendary match with a tough upstart named Rocky Balboa. Once in the City of Brotherly Love, Adonis tracks Rocky (Stallone) down and asks him to be his trainer. Despite his insistence that he is out of the fight game for good, Rocky sees in Adonis the strength and determination he had known in Apollo—the fierce rival who became his closest friend. Agreeing to take him on, Rocky trains the young fighter, even as the former champ is battling an opponent more deadly than any he faced in the ring. With Rocky in his corner, it isn’t long before Adonis gets his own shot at the title…but can he develop not only the drive but also the heart of a true fighter, in time to get into the ring?

INTO THE WIND | The Terry Fox Story | Un-rated | Directed by Steve Nash | Link to trailer
Into the Wind is a 2010 documentary film which chronicles the story of Terr Fox. At the age of 18, Fox was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The cancer had taken over his right leg, which was then amputated six inches above the knee. However, three years later, Fox set out to raise funds for cancer research and raise awareness by running 30 miles a day from the Atlantic Ocean in Newfoundland to the Pacific Ocean in British Columbia, totaling over 4000 miles. The film was directed by the NBA star Steve Nash who grew up in Canada and followed Fox’s run across the country as a kid in 1980, and narrated by Taylor Kitsch. Two thirds across Canada, Fox was once again diagnosed with cancer, which had spread to his lungs.  Fox died at the age of 22, inspiring the Terry Fox Foundation.

UNBROKEN | Documentary | Snowboard Life of Mike McMorris | Un-rated | Adam Burwell | Play trailer | Link to movie
Canada’s Mark McMorris has defied the odds since he began his snowboarding career in 2009. Filmmaker, and childhood friend, Adam Burwell follows Mark every step of the way as he competes with the world’s best in Big Air and Slopestyle earning his spot on the Canadian Olympic team. Then on March 25, 2017, everything changes. With the competition season over, Mark explores the Whistler backcountry with his brother Craig, Torstein Horgmo, and friends. While cameras are rolling, the unthinkable happens – a horrific accident leaves Mark clinging to life with his brother and friends doing all they can to save him. After Mark wakes up in ICU, a battle to save his life becomes a battle to save his passion and career as a professional snowboarder with an uncertain future ahead of him. With intimate access, this 44-minute documentary shows 23-year old Mark McMorris at his most vulnerable and resilient as he battles to get back on his board and doing what he loves. Candid interviews with family, friends, and snowboarding legends tell the story of one of the sport’s most influential riders facing an existential crisis.

THE BLIND SIDE | Drama/Sports | PG13 | Sandra Bulloch, Tim McGraw | Warner  Play trailer | Link to movie
A remarkable true story of All-American football star Michael Oher. Teenager Michael Oher (Quinton Aaron) is surviving on his own, virtually homeless, when he is spotted on the street by Leigh Anne Tuohy (Sandra Bullock). Learning that the young man is one of her daughter’s classmates, Leigh Anne insists that Michael-wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the dead of winter-come out of the cold. Without a moment’s hesitation, she invites him to stay at the Tuohy home for the night. What starts out as a gesture of kindness becomes much more as Michael becomes part of the Tuohy family despite the differences in their backgrounds. Living in his new environment, the teen faces a completely different set of challenges to overcome. And as the family helps Michael fulfill his potential, both on and off the football field, Michael’s presence in the Tuohys’ lives leads them to some insightful self-discoveries of their own

PAY IT FORWARD | Comedy/Drama/Romance | PG13 | Kevin Spacey, Helen Hunt | Warner   Play trailer | Link to movie
Academy Award winners Helen Hunt and Kevin Spacey star with Haley Joel Osment as a struggling single mother, a social studies teacher whose placid life is in perfect order and the student whose class assignment has profound repercussions when, instead of paying it back, the recipient of a kindness must Pay It Forward. The assignment is simple:Look at the world around you and fix what you don’t like. #1 It has to be something that really helps people #2 Something they can’t do by themselves. #3 Do it for them, and they do it for three other people. But teacher Eugene Simonet (Spacey) never expects one his students to take the assignment to heart, much less the profound, unanticipated effects that Trevor McKinney’s (Osment) actions will have on the world around him.

HUNGER GAMES | Science Fiction/Thriller |  PG 13 | Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson | Lions Gate Play trailer
Every year in the ruins of what was once North America, the evil Capitol of the nation of Panem forces each of its twelve districts to send a teenage boy and girl to compete in the Hunger Games. A twisted punishment for a past uprising and an ongoing government intimidation tactic, The Hunger Games are a nationally televised event in which “Tributes” must fight with one another until one survivor remains. Pitted against highly-trained Tributes who have prepared for these Games their entire lives, Katniss is forced to rely upon her sharp instincts as well as the mentorship of drunken former victor Haymitch Abernathy. If she’s ever to return home to District 12, Katniss must make impossible choices in the arena that weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

BAND OF BROTHERS | Drama/Mini-Series | (Cautions) | Stephen Spielberg, Tom Hanks | Play trailer
Band of Brothers is a dramatized account of “Easy Company” (part of the 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment), assigned to the United States Army’s 101st Airborne Division during World War II. Over ten episodes the series details the company’s exploits during the war. Starting with jump training at Camp Toccoa, Georgia, Band of Brothers follows the unit through the American airborne landings in Normandy, Operation Market Garden, the Siege of Bastogne, and on to the war’s end. It includes the taking of the Kehlsteinhaus (Eagle’s Nest) at Obersalzberg in Berchtesgaden and refers to the surrender of Japan. Major Richard Winters (1918–2011) is the central character, shown working to accomplish the company’s missions and keep his men together and safe. While the series features a large ensemble cast, each episode generally focuses on a single character, following his action.  As the series is based on historic events, the fates of the characters reflect those of the persons on which they are based. Many either die or sustain serious wounds which lead to their being sent home. Other soldiers recover after treatment in field hospitals and rejoin their units on the front line. Their experiences, and the moral, mental, and physical hurdles they must overcome, are central to the narrative.

THE HERO’S JOURNEY | Documentary on Joseph Campbell | JC Foundation, PBS | Play Doc
Joseph Campbell is one of the most influential authors of the 20th Century, He exposed the pattern that lies behind every story ever told. Campbell was a mythographer and student of the Swiss psychologist Carl Jung. His writing and works were based on Jung’s idea of the “Archetypes” ( which are constantly repeating characters who occur in the dreams of all people and the myths of all cultures.) Jung believed that these archetypes are reflections of the human mind — that our minds divide themselves into these characters to play out the drama of our lives.  The documentary examines the hero’s journey, as the common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed —  a metaphor for life; for every BCN mentor who was born into circumstance, faced adversity, overcame adversity, learned from the adventure, and shared his/her story with us.   Many, many lessons for educators, boys, families.

THE MATRIX | Sci-Fi Action | Keanu Reeves, Carrie-Anne Moss | Warner Bros | Play Trailer | Play Movie
Have you ever had a dream that you were so sure was real? What if you couldn’t awaken? How would you know the difference between dream and reality? When a beautiful stranger leads computer hacker Neo to a forbidding underworld, he discovers the shocking truth–the life he knows is the elaborate deception of an evil cyber-intelligence. Neo joins legendary and dangerous rebel warrior Morpheus in the battle to destroy the illusion enslaving humanity. Now, every move, every second, every thought becomes a fight to stay alive–to escape The Matrix.  The theme is that the truth lies within us, and the choices we make determine our discovery of our truth.  Highly recommended by several BCN mentors.



Author and TED speaker Simon Sinek talks with Tom Bilyeu on Inside Quest about millennials and how addiction to technology is leading to addiction and costing them relationships, jobs and personal satisfaction.
See also Innerlight Media’s production BE MINDFUL – Simon Sinek

PARENT TO PARENT – In a hyperconnected world, where mobile devices have become appendices to our body and people check their social media accounts hundreds of times a day, human interaction is sacrificed daily in favour of digital exchanges. In his talk from TEDxStockholm event “Generation WHY?”, psychotherapist Patrik Wincent takes us on a journey through his own Internet addiction, and gives us valuable tips to avoid becoming digital zombies.  Patrik is a father to a teenager and so he fully understands the challenges that parents are faced with when it comes to having children that are growing up in this digital era.

WHEN ABSTINENCE IS NOT AN OPTION, PRACTICE SAFE SOCIAL – Scrolling through our social media feeds feels like a harmless part of our daily lives. But is it actually as harmless at seems? According to social media expert Bailey Parnell, our growing and unchecked obsession with social media has unintended long term consequences on our mental health. As social media continues to become part of the fabric of modern life – the “digital layer” – abstinence is becoming less of an option. Bailey think it’s high time we learned to practice safe social before it’s too late. What are the common triggers? How are they affecting you over time? How can you create a more positive experience online? Bailey covers this and more in “Is Social Media Hurting Your Mental Health?” Bailey worked in social marketing in higher education (18-24 year olds) for most of her career.



UNDER PRESSURE | Mindfulness in Schools – for Teens | 2bpresent
Teens today need mindfulness more than ever to cope with the increasing demands they face each day. Mindfulness is something we can all use, from athletes to actors, adults, teens, and children, to be our best selves – to be calm, resilient, strong and wise!  Meditate like Lebron James, Will Smith, Ellen Degeneres, Michael Jordan, Kendrick Lamar, Steve Jobs, Kobe Bryant, Jay-Z, Paul McCartney, Rupert Murdoch, Hugh Jackman.

FIVE WAYS TO MAKE MINDFULNESS MORE MANLY | Kozo Hattori | Science-based insights for a meaningful life
Many more women than men enroll in mindfulness and compassion training courses.  How can we change that, most particularly with boys? This is something men and boys need.  Generally, men and boys tell you what is on their minds, but not what is in their heart. Perhaps not coincidentally, boys and men commit the vast majority of violent acts, from domestic violence to murder. Many struggle with expressing empathy and compassion. The irony is that men practice high levels of mindfulness in a variety of arenas in our society. At military boot camps and police academies, men learn to control their breathing and focus on a target before firing a weapon. Sports are a great training ground for mindfulness: Basketball players are taught to clear their mind by going through a routine when shooting a free throw. Being in “the zone” is active meditation in its highest form.  Article explores the perception that vulnerability equals danger.

CLASSROOM MEDITATION 1 – Grounding into Presence, Relaxation, Stress Relief, Focus, Mindfulness | 2bpresent
This is a great meditation to help middle and high school students settle into the classroom by grounding their attention inward to help them prepare their bodies and minds for learning. Techniques to use at home, or anywhere, when you want to relax and calm yourself.  Great way to relax before bed.

CLASSROOM MEDITATION 2 – Quieting Your Busy Mind, Stress Relief, Relaxation, Mindfulness | 2bpresent
This meditation will help middle school and high school students recognize the busyness of their minds. Through this meditation, they can learn to recognize thoughts as just thoughts and learn to let go of unhelpful thoughts, quiet their minds, and relax their bodies. They can also learn the important skill of placing positive thoughts in their minds to help them do their best.

RELAX – A 5 Minute Guided Meditation for Deep Relaxation and Stress Relief | 2bpresent
Reset the nervous system. This 5 minute Guided Meditation is perfect for relieving stress, letting go of tension and finding a few minutes of deep relaxation during your busy day.



Bill has worked on gender and violence issues with youth and educators for over a decade. In his role as Director of the SafeTeen Boy’s Program, he trains the new SafeTeen Agents for Change and co-leads Educator Trainings locally, nationally and internationally. With humour and skill Bill invites the boys and men he works with to step into their full humanity with dignity and courage. “I am a strong believer in the power of personal choice and heart centered action. My own personal journey and the undeniable impact on the thousands of young men I have worked with, give me an enduring passion for this work.”

Study after study has shown that social isolation is a risk factor for development of disease. It highlights the importance of social connection for mental and physical health, yet the stereotype is that men are less capable of emotional connection than women, notes McKelley. McKelley suggests otherwise. Studies show when men’s physiological responses to emotional stimuli are measured, their internal experience is similar to that of women. McKelley wants men to do away with the mask. Sometimes emotional restriction is necessary, but it doesn’t need to be the default mode, he says. He challenges men to eliminate phrases like “man up” or “stop acting like a girl.” They should understand that opening up and being vulnerable is courageous. Taking small risks to open up will give them a broader experience of all of their emotions and allow them to make deeper connections. McKelley is a licensed psychologist and UW-L associate professor of psychology.

What is causing a worldwide Boy Crisis and how do we resolve it. A sobering look at the current state of Boys in our society and what we must understand before we can help them. Dr. Warren Farrell is an American educator, activist and author of seven books on men’s and women’s issues., including the international bestsellers, Why Men Are the Way they Are, plus The Myth of Male Power. He is the only man in the U.S. to be elected three times to the Board of the National Organization for Women in NYC. and he is Chair of the Commission to Create a White House Council on Boys and Men. Warren is currently co-authoring with John Gray the forthcoming The Boy Crisis.

Bestselling author Sherman Alexie tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.  Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, which is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live. Great book to read in advance of initiating classroom discussions about Truth and Reconciliation in Canada. Written from an American perspective, but valuable nonetheless.

THE INCONVENIENT INDIAN | Thomas King (Canadian author) | BOOK
Rich with dark and light, pain and magic, The Inconvenient Indian distills the insights gleaned from Thomas King’s critical and personal meditation on what it means to be “Indian” in North America, weaving the curiously circular tale of the relationship between non-Natives and Natives in the centuries since the two first encountered each other. In the process, King refashions old stories about historical events and figures, takes a sideways look at film and pop culture, relates his own complex experiences with activism, and articulates a deep and revolutionary understanding of the cumulative effects of ever-shifting laws and treaties on Native peoples and lands.  This is a book both timeless and timely, burnished with anger but tempered by wit, and ultimately a hard-won offering of hope–a sometimes inconvenient but nonetheless indispensable account for all of us, Indian and non-Indian alike, seeking to understand how we might tell a new story for the future.  Great book to read in advance of initiating classroom discussions about Truth and Reconciliation in Canada.

BOYS ADRIFT: The Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Underachieving Young Men | Leonard Sax, M.D., Ph.D.   BOOK
Something scary is happening to boys today. From kindergarten to college, American boys are, on average, less resilient and less ambitious than they were a mere twenty years ago. The gender gap in college attendance and graduation rates has widened dramatically. Now, Dr. Leonard Sax delves into the scientific literature and draws on more than twenty years of clinical experience to explain why boys and young men are failing in school and disengaged at home. He shows how social, cultural, and biological factors have created an environment that is literally toxic to boys. He also presents practical solutions, sharing strategies which educators have found effective in re-engaging these boys at school, as well as handy tips for parents about everything from homework, to videogames, to medication.

" Students work hardest for teachers they like and respect. When I'm asked, 'How do I get them to like and respect me?' my immediate response is, 'Like and respect them first."

– Dr. Debbie Silver