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, Guidance Counsellor, Québec

 

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

~Denise, Principal, Québec

 

« “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, Québec

 

“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, Student-Parent Support Worker (SPSW), Québec

 

“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, Québec

 

“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, Québec

 

“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 behavior’s 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, Principal, Québec (received training for faculty)

 

“Teresa was great. Her story was very heartfelt, all the students had a takeaway from her presentation and that was the goal.”

~Reagan, Support worker, Québec

 

“Teresa had the complete attention of the audience. This helped students understand the content and led many to participate. The visuals and music used helped to hold their attention and were engaging. Students remarked that they liked how open and directly she spoke about the topic. Many were excited that there were small prizes if they answered questions. Overall, it is hard to suggest any improvements. Both staff and students thought the presentation went well and found it both interesting and relevant.”

~Staff members, Québec

 

“Very well done. Each part of the presentation flowed nicely from one topic to the next. She kept the students engaged –
with the topic and age level, I think is very hard to do! She covered HPV disease information and the importance of the
vaccine not just for themselves but also for family and partners. But I was happily impressed to hear the education Teresa
offered to the students on a lot of other health and wellness topics. Her talk on healthy relationships reenforced a lot of the
Fourth R teachings. It was inclusive. I worked as a Public Health communicable disease nurse before joining the Healthy
Learners program, so I really appreciated this education given to students.”

~Tracey, Public Health Nurse, New Brunswick

“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, 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, Principal, Ontario

 

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

~Dawne, Principal, British Columbia

 

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

~Cameron

 

“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, 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, Quebec

 

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

~Christina, Public Health Nurse, Nova Scotia

 

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

~Sandee, Principal, British Columbia

 

“The guest speaker was engaging, dynamic and very well informed. She kept the student’s attention which is not easy task.”

~Teacher, 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. I 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, Counsellor in Re-Education, Quebec

 

“The Healthy Relationships 101 presentation was excellent. We loved the presenter’s style and use of personal anecdotes mixed with factual information. She was knowledgeable and approachable and kept the student’s attention. The preadolescent program was excellent: the presenter’s style was effective for the students and she was very informative. We loved the focus on hygiene.”

~Amanda, Teacher, Quebec

 

“We were super impressed with Teresa as a presenter and the content of the presentation. It was presented in a very real
manner that interested and engaged the students. I believe that everyone walked away from the presentation having
learned something new. Very interesting!”

~Michelle, Teacher, Prince Edward Island

 

“Very confident. Straight shooter. Engaging. Teresa was great to ask if I had questions, concerns or reservations before the
presentation began. I appreciated that and was impressed with her delivery.”

~John, Principal, Prince Edward Island

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.”

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

“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.”

~Students

 

“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.”

~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 student, Nova Scotia

 

“Teresa gave a great presentation. It was very heart felt. HPV is serious. I was very grateful to learn about it. It was my first time hearing about it. She explained very well, and she got us involved in her presentation. I was very impressed by her. She made everyone feel comfortable. I’m very happy and will pass on the information. Thank you very much.”

~Cindy, Student, Quebec

 

“We were very happy with the presentation. The subjects and the way to bring everything was neat and clear. Theresa was speaking right to the point and I found it was great. The students were interested and listening the entire time. They also participated a lot in the question period. Honestly, I have nothing negative to say about the presentation. Theresa used visuals to keep the students’ attention and she had some little rewards for those who accepted to interact with here even if it is, for some of them, an uncomfortable subject. Thank you very much for coming to our school.”

~Pascale, ERC teacher, Quebec

 

“I believe that her story was the most effective. It really showed how serious HPV is and why you should pay attention to what she is saying. The information about testing for anything wrong down there was the most useful. I will be very careful once I decide to be sexually active. I will take lots of precautions and get tested as often as I should.”

“It made me think about my relationship from the outside and evaluate them. It helped me notice what’s healthy and what’s not. Made me look back on my past experiences and made me realize that maybe they were more of a deal than I got myself to believe.”

“When she talked about the healthy and unhealthy relationships, for some reason it opened my eyes and saw my reality. This part was most memorable and is probably useful till this day. I remember all the examples.”

~Students, Manitoba

“I’m going to get a Pap test now.”

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

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

“I never heard a presenter like her before.”

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

~Students, 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.”

~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.”

~Student, Alberta

 

“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.”

“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.”

~Students, Manitoba

 

“The presentation was well received by myself. I noticed that the rep knew what she was talking about.”

“I really enjoyed the presentation, I thought that it was very informational and new things that I have learned. 10/10 would recommend them coming back to the school.”

“She was very educational. Very knowledgeable on the subject. I learned a lot and thought more people should gain knowledge on this. 10/10 would recommend.”

~Students, Quebec

 

“Went great. She did a great job, wouldn’t change a thing.”

~Dwayne, Student, Quebec

 

“Went great, she was very positive and she knew what she was talking about. She had passion when presenting and she made in interactive which was amazing and made it better.”

~Alexis, Student, Quebec

 

“I enjoyed her story she spoke about and how personal she was, she really made us all have a great understanding of HPV.”

~Rebecca, Student, Quebec

 

“I really enjoyed her presentation, I loved how she caught our attention and made it fun for us. I wouldn’t change anything in the presentation.”

~Caitlyn, Student, Quebec