We gratefully acknowledge the support of our 2019
“I’m the Boss of Me” sponsors in alphabetical order:
Greater Saskatoon Catholic School
Raymond James Ltd.
Saskatoon Public Schools
“I’m the Boss of Me”: Saskatoon and area’s child sexual abuse prevention program delivered by SSAIC
This engaging puppet show is available to Saskatoon and area schools, and is designed for Grade 4 classrooms. “I’m the Boss of Me” is available annually between January and April, presented by a team of trained volunteers, most of whom are university students.
SSAIC works in partnership with both Saskatoon school divisions to deliver the program, which includes lesson plans for teachers to use, preparing the students in advance of the puppet show.
“I’m the Boss of Me” tells the story of four friends, two of which have experienced sexual abuse. One child discovers through her friend that sexual abuse is not her fault, that it should never be kept a secret, and that there are people who will believe her and provide help and support.
This program is booked by teachers 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.
“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 3-4 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
- 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, and community-minded volunteers with time to dedicate to this important issue.
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 office identifying your interest in becoming a puppeteer. Application forms will be emailed to you.
- Once the application has been completed and returned to the program coordinator, successful applicants will be contacted.
- You will be given an option of training dates.
- Once training is finished the program coordinator will assess if you a good fit for this program. Not everyone who completes the training becomes a puppeteer; some people self-select out of the program after they have finished the training, and sometimes SSAIC staff determine that a volunteer is not the right fit for the program.
If accepted into the program, applicants must also submit a criminal record and vulnerable sector police information check. The record check can be obtained at no cost to you as a volunteer.