Educational Initiatives

EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVES
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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS

We offer comprehensive sexual and reproductive health programs through presentations delivered in forum settings based on healthy relationships for audiences of all ages and demographics.

  • Puberty program: For Grades 5 & 6, this introduces basic sexual and reproductive health and relationships.
  • Pre-adolescent program: For Grades 7 & 8. this is the continuation initiating discussions by addressing the curiosities of pre-teens.
  • High school presentation: Healthy Relationships_101 offers a deep-dive into the A to Z of sexual health and relationships.
  • Post-secondary presentation: Undoes misconceptions and provides links to sexual and reproductive health resources.

FEEDBACK: SCHOOL PRESENTATIONS

COMMENTS FROM EDUCATORS AND STAFF FROM AROUND THE COUNTRY

“We welcomed Teresa Norris to St. Thomas High School for the first time during February 2020, when she presented to
our secondary 4 and 5 students during grade-wide assemblies. We were very impressed with her ability to engage our
students and provide essential information in a way that the teenagers could absorb. When she returned in the spring of
2021 to work with our secondary 2 and 3 students, she continued to impress us with her flexibility and effective
presentation style during virtual assemblies. Even through the screen, Teresa managed to engage and educate our
students.”

~Nadia Laccitiello, Guidance Counsellor, St-Thomas High School

 

“The teachers and students appreciated the presentation. It was on point and the content was exact.”

~Denise Godin, Principal, Ste-Foy Elementary School

 

« “The students loved your presentation! You have a great presence and did a very good job at captivating everyone’s
attention. I found that the students could relate very easily to the way that you talked about different issues. You clearly
made them feel comfortable, since they did not hesitate to ask you questions afterward…thank you so much for coming in
to talk to us, and thank you for doing this work. What you’re doing is important and I am grateful that you are doing it
with such passion and enthusiasm. I hope we meet again.”

~Robyn Martin, ACCESS

 

“All our staff was very happy about both the age-appropriate content and Ms. Norris’ presenting skills for the Grade 7&8
preadolescent program. The school nurse recommended her and the workshop was a success. From the start, she was able
to get students’ attention and kept them engaged throughout the workshop. Students who normally keep quiet felt
comfortable asking questions. As they were younger, she started with the basics and not with the act of sex. The fact that
she spoke about hygiene, personal space & boundaries and “knowing your body” seemed to resonate with them. Overall,
we have nothing but positive comments in regards to the workshop.”

“For the Healthy Relationships_101 presentation, it is a great workshop; she started by sharing a personal story which got
everyone’s attention and set the tone for the rest of it. Very knowledgeable about her content and the topic in general.
Students had many questions to ask her, most were great questions and others were to try turning it into a joke; she treated
every question in a professional manner, answered all of them regardless of if they were serious or not and never let the
group get out of hand. No intervention from our staff was needed but it would be good to remind the students about
respect for others’ opinions throughout the workshop. The students liked it and participated so much that the workshop
lasted 45 min longer than planned. All our staff is glad she came and won’t hesitate organizing another similar workshop
next year.”

~Louis-Philippe Lagredelle, Student-Parent Support Worker (SPSW), Pathways to Education

 

“Fantastic presentation you gave my class ..they really enjoyed it and I heard nothing but how interesting it was, they
loved listening to you speak and it was a big eye opener for a lot of my students!!”

~Kelly McDonald, Riverside School Board

 

“The feedback from the students is always positive. I have had the pleasure of having Teresa present to my class on
numerous occasions. I call her back every year because her presentation is so interesting and informative.
I have many students approach me because of STI and pregnancy scares. As well, the condoms she brings are in much
demand in the school. I even have students who are not mine ask for condoms.
Teresa is engaging and fantastic with the students, I look forward to her presentation every year!”

~Sandra Topping, English Montreal School Board

 

“Teresa Norris was a very engaging and enthusiastic speaker. She kept audience attention and spoke in a very matter-of-
fact or straight forward manner. This sometimes pushed the comfort zone for some staff members, but was necessary and
helpful.

The staff was really interested in the info. at the beginning regarding HPV testing and vaccination. This is something that
is more of a general population interest, not only to schools, but I could tell they appreciated being more informed. I feel
like Teresa set a good example for the approach we can take and how to speak to students in a short, direct manner. I also
appreciated that she moves the focus away from concepts such as virginity and intercourse and toward the idea of what it
means to be sexually active. This brings the conversation to behaviours and risks from a health perspective, rather than
ethics and judgments.

I am looking forward to having Teresa back to work with students. I think it will be a necessary next step in this process.
Thanks for your willingness to travel the distance to Gaspé!”

~Carla Shaw, Principal, Gaspé Polyvalent School (received training for faculty)

“The staff and adults appreciated what you had to say….I know when I was a teenager, I would have appreciated hearing
an adult speak of sex the way you did. Also, we felt that the info wasn’t too young for grade 7’s. It was a good intro into
the facts about sex. They hear and see all sorts of things on the TV and Internet, and so I think they were a lucky group to
hear the reality and nip some of those distorted ideas in the butt.”

~Jennifer Klassen, Northwest School Division, Saskatchewan

 

“The youths are thinking, the responsibility they have to themselves that sex is not a « dirty word ,» but a
« responsibility .» We had a youth workshop, « Life in our community ,» it turned into a very good discussion and
positive thinking on do’s and don’ts that affect their lives, discussion on sex, teen pregnancy, STDs. It was a very good
discussion, I am sure that your workshop started them thinking in the right direction and open and to the heart. A big
thank you for coming to our community and for the work that you do, and instilling that responsibility they have
“proactive life.”

~Clayton Cheechoo, John R. Delaney Youth Centre, Hudson’s Bay, Ontario

 

“Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with the kids!!”

~Dawne Tomlinson, Principal, Langley Secondary School, British Columbia

 

“Your message is very worthwhile for students to hear.”

~Cameron Brown

 

“Our vice-principal was very impressed on how Teresa engaged the audience and her ability to command a room. One
student mentioned they would have liked to see one heterosexual couple in the video that portrayed other diverse
relationships. The information was very relevant to our students, it was very engaging for both students and staff. Student
participation was helpful, in addition to the use of videos and props, all worked towards keeping the students interested.
To keep teenagers listening for 90 minutes straight is impressive to say the least, especially surrounded by all of their
peers. The first session needed more time, students are rarely interested in giving up their “own time” to continue with a
presentation”

~Shannon Smith, Moncton High School Counsellor Grade 11, New Brunswick

 

“This has been the second year that Teresa Norris has presented Healthy Relationships-101 to our high school students.
Last year, one of our high schools was a pilot school for the Sexuality Pilot Project from the Ministry. We found it very
difficult to recruit teachers to handle some of the more sensitive topics and were so pleased to find someone to handle it
with a seamless presentation. Teresa has the knowledge, confidence and appropriate style of delivery that just captures the
students! The administration was concerned about student reactions and felt uncertain about what type of behaviour to
expect. Teresa had no problem dealing with behaviours, questions or attitudes. In fact, you could hear a pin drop for the
most part.
Due to the amount of material covered, it is a lengthy presentation. The students were able to give their full attention
without having to stop for recess. There is such a variety in Teresa’s presentation that all types of learners were able to
absorb the information.
Scheduling the presentation into the timetable could prove tricky so, I suggest that the presentation plan provided by Ms.
Norris be respected and not broken up into parts.
We were so pleased with the presentation last year that we asked Teresa to work with all levels of the high school this
year. She also presented to grade 7, 8 and 9 combined learning centre, which is made up of students with a variety of
challenges. That was time very well spent with those students !!
We look forward to working with Ms. Norris in the future. ”

~Diane Donnelly, Education Consultant, New Frontiers School Board, Quebec

 

“Those who were a part of your session praised the presentation you did.”

~Christina Chitty, Public Health Nurse, Nova Scotia

 

“Thank you for your thoughtful work in our school, and for getting important conversations going or continuing.”

~Sandee Blair, Principal of Princeton Secondary School, British Columbia

 

“The guest speaker was engaging, dynamic and very well informed. She kept the student’s attention which is no easy
task.”

~Anonymous Teacher, Gray Academy, Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

“I was extremely impressed with the presentation. Teresa was not only very knowledgeable concerning the subject, but delivered her presentation in a very personable and heart felt way that allowed the students to really connect with her. She also kept them laughing and entertained at the same time. Teresa’s demeanor and way of speaking to the students allowed them to open up and really feel comfortable to ask questions, which is definitely needed when presenting to a group of adults. Would definitely recommend this workshop to any and all adult education centres, and feel that it is desperately needed, as there is a lot of misinformation that can get circulated among populations especially when there is an absence of good sex education. Thank you so much Teresa, I believe your presentation made an everlasting impact on my students, and brought awareness to many important issues.”

~Kaneesha Smith, Counsellor in Reeducation

COMMENTS FROM STUDENTS

“When asked, most mentioned that it was good, that there were things that they didn’t know, they liked that she had the
dolls to demonstrate. We learned a lot, she talked in a way that made me feel comfortable; based on the stuff she said, I
looked at some of the websites she mentioned.”

~Pathways to Education students

 

“You came to present at my school and you did a fantastic job. Keep doing what you are doing because it really helps a lot
of us get more informed on the questions we are shy to ask.”

~Anonymous Student

 

“Your presentation was amazing. It not only educated me about HPV, but also made me realize many things. It was a
complete eye opening.”

~Anonymous Student

 

“I loved watching your presentation. You’re so full of life and very straightforward in the way you talk. WAY better than
other presentations I’ve had to sit through. I actually enjoyed this one! Thanks again for coming to our school.”

~Anonymous Student

 

“Thank you so much for what all of what you have taught me, even though I was scared to hear some of the things I saw
haha.”

~Quinte Mohawk school student, Ontario

 

“I just wanted to say that your presentation was really, really good, you have a lot of power in your voice, and in your
presentation. I really liked it. Everyone else’s presentation about sex was boring and I lost interest, but yours I paid
attention the whole time. I just wish we had more time for you to talk. Your presentation had a lot of emotion. I wish other
people had the time to inform us on these topics or even more important topics. I just wanted to say thank you! I hope you
go to more schools…”

~Grade 10, North Nova student, Nova Scotia

 

“The most memorable, and probably useful part, was when she talked about the healthy and unhealthy relationships, for
some reason it opened up my eyes and saw my reality. Till to this day I remember all of the examples”

~Anonymous student, Gray Academy, Winnipeg, Manitoba

“I’m going to get a Pap test now.”

~Student from the Northwest School Division, Saskatchewan

 

“She was blunt and told us how it was.”

~Student from the Northwest School Division, Saskatchewan

 

“She was the best health presenter I ever heard.”

~Student from the Northwest School Division, Saskatchewan

 

“The information was presented in a way like I never heard before…it was easy to understand and remember.”

~Student from the Northwest School Division, Saskatchewan

 

“I thought I’d let you know that your performance a tour school was marvellous! I may have already knew most of the
things you told us, but you also told me some new ones, that I’m glad I was told! Another thing I also liked was how you
said everything simple and how us kids talk these days. It made it a lot more entertaining and straight forward. We were
lucky to have you. I will be sure to ask you any questions or concerns I may have.”

~Langley Secondary School student, British Columbia

 

“Your speech was very informative, not like most presentations which basically say “DON’T DO IT, ITS WRONG”, and
the reality you added made it really sink in.”

~Anonymous student

 

“The way she explained everything was most effective, plus how she talked to us like we were not students. It’s like she
talked to us like we were friends”

~Anonymous student, Gray Academy, Winnipeg, Manitoba

 

“I wouldn’t change anything; it was well performed plus the energy was there and I think she has such a good personality
for speaking especially making uncomfortable things more comfortable.”

~Anonymous student, Gray Academy, Winnipeg, Manitoba