With one in five boys finding school disengaging, there is a real need for support in the schoolyard as they transition from adolescence into manhood.
Thanks to your support, Chappy Lindsay at Aspley State School has developed a ‘Mini Men’s Shed’ to help Year 3 to Year 6 boys develop confidence and self-awareness, while also acquiring key life skills.
“I started the Mini Men’s Shed because I was working with a large number of boys dealing with the same issue – the lack of a significant father figure in their life,” Lindsay recalls.
“The idea was to give them a positive male influence, someone they could spend time with and do stuff they would stereotypically do with their dad, like fixing bikes or building things.”
Lindsay tasks the boys with a specific project each term. In 2017, they built recycled chairs out of tyres and rope, pulled apart and reassembled bookcases, and built padlocks from scratch.
“We try to challenge some of the preconceived ideas that you’re a man when you grow a beard or get your license. It’s actually about character, and knowing how to treat people right,” Lindsay says.
“There’s a crucial need in this space – helping boys develop key characteristics that are not typically associated with ‘manhood’.”
Aspley State School principal, Leann Griffith–Baker, said the Mini Men’s Shed was an invaluable part of the school’s culture, helping students to realise their potential and build skills, self-awareness and confidence.
Thanks for the role you play in supporting the development of the next generation of men.
To help school chaplains like Lindsay and the role they play supporting children in Queensland schools, head to suqld.org.au/donate.