February 20, 2006
Mark Your Calendar for Best Friends and Best Men
Three Dog NightYou are invited to Washington DC’s hottest rock and roll party.
The Best Friends Foundation presents
“Do You Remember When
Rock Was Young?”
6:30 p.m. Saturday, March 4, 2006
Marriott Wardman Park Hotel
2660 Woodley Road, NW, Washington, DC 20008
Three Dog Night:
Joy to the World,
Mama Told Me
with lead singer Kathy Sledge
We Are Family
Don’t miss this fun night of great music, great food
and great company which benefits the girls and boys
in the Best Friends and Best Men programs.
No speeches, no auctions. Just come dressed to dance!!
Proceeds from this annual event are the primary source
of funds for the Foundation’s elementary and middle school
Best Friends and Best Men programs and the high school
Diamond Girls Leadership and Best Men Leadership programs.
Sister Sledge with lead
singer Kathy SledgeSecretary of State Colin Powell says:
I always present the Best Friends program as one of the answers to the problems we have in our society…it is a winner, and I know that many more communities will be embracing it.
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Thank you (foot)notes:
Read more about Best Friends at the jump.
Joseph E. Robert, Jr.
Best Friends is a school based character-building program for girls that begins in the sixth grade and continues until high school graduation. Best Friends provides a developmentally sound curriculum in an educational setting which promotes fun, companionship, and caring. When Best Friends girls reach ninth grade, they enter the Diamond Girls Leadership program designed to keep girls interested, involved, and committed to abstinence through high school and until marriage. All Diamond Girls participate in the Diamond Girls Jazz Choir or Performance Dance Troupe which fosters discipline as well as the social and presentation skills important for future success. Our goal is for all Diamond Girls to graduate from high school with specific college, vocational, or career plans.
Best Friends provides a character-building curriculum with an abstinence-only philosophy, an intensive peer support structure, and long-term adult involvement. Each year, Best Friends girls receive at least 110 hours of instruction, mentoring, and group activities.
The Best Friends Curriculum includes:
Girls discuss and receive guidance on the topics of friendship, love and dating, self-respect, decision-making, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, physical fitness and nutrition, AIDS and STDs. Group discussion sessions are conducted during the school day at least once a month.
Role Model Presentation
At least twice a year distinguished women from the community meet with the girls to discuss their own lives and families and the important decisions they made when they were young.
Each Best Friends girl has a mentor, a member of her school faculty, who meets with her for 30 to 45 minutes each week. Girls select their own mentors from a list of teachers who have agreed to participate.
Fitness and Nutrition Classes
Best Friends girls participate in a weekly fitness/dance class.
Girls are required to participate in at least one community service project each year such as Race for the Cure, clothing drives to benefit the homeless, adopting a community day care center, and reading to children.
“Make Music Not Madness”
This is our new all-school outreach effort designed to deliver the messages of abstinence from drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex to the entire student body. Our goal is to utilize Best Friends and Best Men as role models for their fellow students, helping them say “no” to risk behavior and “yes” to positive music and positive choices.
Cultural Enrichment Activities
We provide opportunities for the girls to attend uplifting cultural events, including theater and dance performances, concerts, and exhibits.
Annual Family and School Recognition Ceremony
At the end of the school year, the Best Friends girls, Diamond Girls, mentors, and parents are honored. The ceremony is held to showcase the Best Friends girls and Diamond Girls and their commitment to the Best Friends messages through music, dance, and public speaking. Girls are recognized by their family, school, community, and national leaders. College scholarships, awards, and prizes for outstanding essays are presented.
Best Men is a youth development program with a character-building curriculum, designed to provide positive and healthy answers to the challenges facing boys today. Due to the overwhelming demand for a boys’ program, Best Men was created in the fall of 2000. It is modeled after the highly successful Best Friends program for girls, founded by Elayne Bennett in 1987. Since then, Best Men has grown into a national program with more than 1,000 participants.
The primary goal of Best Men is to provide boys with the tools and the environment needed to help them develop into responsible young men. This goal is accomplished with the implementation of a multi-faceted program which:
* defines manhood
* explains the consequences of their actions
* teaches boys that (1) abstaining from sexual activity until marriage is the best decision;(2) rejecting alcohol usage helps eliminate abusive or addictive behavior; (3) rejecting illegal drug use allows the brain and body to properly develop and helps eliminate criminal behavior; (4) restraining from violence is the real key to resolving conflict.
* provides boys with positive adult male role models to support and encourage them in their goal of becoming men worthy of respect
* develops positive peer support
* promotes ongoing parental support, especially from fathers.
* The curriculum includes the following units: Respect, Decision-making, Friendship, Relationships, Alcohol Abuse and Drug Abuse, Fitness and Nutrition, and AIDS and STDs
Several times a year, role model speakers discuss their own lives and the important decisions they made when they were young. The program includes many extracurricular activities which strengthen the boys’ bond with their peers and reinforce the Best Men messages. Fitness activities teach physical discipline, decision-making skills, and promote a fun, learning environment. Cultural events provide opportunities that broaden students’ horizons.
How does a boy become the best he can be?
That is the challenge our boys face at the beginning of the 21st century. How can we help them become young men worthy of respect?
Boys and girls are inherently different. The key to helping our boys through adolescence is to provide them with a better understanding of what it means to be a man.
Best Men defines the characteristics and attitudes of responsible men, and encourages men of integrity to become more involved in young boys’ lives.
An adolescent needs a positive adult male role model in his life – preferably his father – to guide him in the process of becoming a man worth respect. This generation is in great need of positive messages and personal support. Together, we can offer students the time and guidance needed to make a lasting difference.
The Best Men logo symbolizes a modern day knight of honor who believes in the values of strength, courage, foresight, truth, and justice. The shield is divided into four quadrants representing key components of the Best Men program.
The eagle. A symbol of foresight. The boys focus on daily challenges as well as their future goals. They learn the importance of organization and planning.
The lion. A symbol of strength and courage. The boys learn to have the self-confidence to stand up for their beliefs and for what is right.
The anchor. A symbol of stability. The boys develop the ability to stand up to negative peer pressure, to make positive decisions on their own and to have self control.
The gavel. A symbol of truth and justice. The boys are taught to be truthful and fair in their dealings with others and to use good decision-making skills in the pursuit of integrity.