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LETTER: Program succeeds at coaching boys into men

GRAND FORKS — As another school year nears an end, it seems like a good time to give a “thumbs up” to a program that is completing its second year in Grand Forks County.

The Community Violence Intervention Center administers the “Coaching Boys into Men” initiative in local high schools, and to date, nearly 500 male athletes and their coaches have had meaningful conversations and discussions about maintaining respectful relationships with women and girls.

Feedback and survey responses have indicated that the coaches in the North Dakota communities of Grand Forks, Thompson, Larimore and Northwood who have elected to implement the program have significantly impacted the attitudes and behaviors of their players. They see and hear things that other adults don’t and are often the most influential people in their players’ lives.

Simply stated, when they talk, players listen.

The willingness of these men to set aside 15 minutes or so per week during their seasons is changing lives, and it just might be the spark that changes a culture. I’d like to say “thank you” to not only the coaches but also the administrators who continue to support the “Coaching Boys into Men” program.

Mike Berg