This is a child sexual abuse prevention program that goes into grade 4 classrooms in Saskatoon between January and April each year. Teachers will receive a series of associated lesson plans and activities, and SSAIC trains volunteer puppeteers to present this gentle puppet show (Unit 2 of the program). The program is endorsed by both the Public and Catholic school divisions. We utilize 50 volunteers over this intensive 8-9 week program.
“I’m the Boss of Me” is a story of friendship and courage: it teaches children to understand what sexual abuse is (along with physical, emotional and on-line abuse), why it is wrong, to let them know that abuse is never their fault, how to get help and not keep secrets about abuse.
The show is approximately 30 minutes in length, followed by a “debriefing” circle with puppeteers and children; each presentation requires approximately 50 minutes in each classroom. Each puppet show requires a team of 1 narrator (usually staff or a senior volunteer) and 4 puppeteers.
Why Volunteer for the Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program?
This project is an excellent opportunity to gain skills and knowledge regarding child abuse prevention and how to response appropriately to children who have been abused.
- Puppeteers will have the opportunity to participate in a “hands-on” project with children
- Puppeteers will gain small group facilitation skills
- Puppeteers will have the opportunity to present a serious and difficult topic in a gentle, fun and effective way to young children
- Puppeteers will become more comfortable with the issue of child sexual abuse so they are prepared to address it in their careers (ideal for teachers)
- Puppeteers will have opportunity to become more familiar with Saskatoon schools and teachers (which could lead to career opportunities for you)
- Puppeteers will have opportunity to work on this interdisciplinary project with students from Education, Nursing, Social Work, and other University programs
- Puppeteers have the flexibility to “act” in as few or as many shows as they are available for
- Puppeteers will get as much out of this project as the children do!
- Puppeteers will receive a letter of recommendation acknowledging participation in this project
- You will have a very FUN, MEANINGFUL, PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE with us.
- Commit to participating during January and April (we attempt to complete the program by Spring University exams)
- Commit to a full day of training in January (Saturday or Sunday).
- Commit to attend at least one rehearsal (or more until comfortable to “perform”)
- Be prepared to respond to frequent emails / promptly confirm availability for shows
- Arrive at designated school on time
- “Perform” puppet show and debrief show with small group of students
- Have fun with the children; and
- If a disclosure of abuse occurs, be prepared to bring the information forward to the narrator, and document as directed. (You will receive training on this.)
Enthusiasm is mandatory! No experience is necessary.
Puppeteers are ideally (but not strictly) from Colleges of Education, Nursing and Social Work and other human service fields.
We are looking for people who:
- Are 18 years of age or older
- Have excellent communication and listening skills
- Display responsibility, punctuality, maturity, and ability to have fun with children
- Have the physical ability to crawl, kneel, sit on the floor of classrooms
- Have a genuine desire to build skills working with children, and addressing information about a difficult subject.
The Puppeteer Application Process
We recruit and train Puppetry Volunteers between October and December each year. Interested applicants must complete the following steps in order to become a puppeteer:
- Contact our coordinator identifying your interest in becoming a puppeteer (ssaichp[at]sasktel.net). Application forms will be emailed to you.
- Once the application has been completed and returned to the Puppetry Coordinator, successful applicants will be placed on a list and contacted about expectations.
- You will be given an option of training dates (required to attend one full day in January, usually a Saturday or Sunday).
- Once training is finished, all volunteers are expected to attend a minimum of one rehearsal, at which time the coordinator will assess whether you a good fit for this program (for both the applicant and SSAIC).
If accepted into the program, applicants must also submit a criminal record and vulnerable sector police information check. We will provide you with a letter identifying that you’ve been accepted as one of our volunteers, and the record check can be obtained at no cost to you as a volunteer.