A New Direction (AND), is excited to announce that the 2020 Community Partnership ANDi award recipient is Tim Baffoe. Tim was selected by the AND Board for his outstanding, continuous support of AND, along with his dedication to the education of teenage boys about teen dating violence and domestic violence.
Tim is an English Teacher and the English Department Chairperson at St. Rita High School. He is The Natir Moderator and the Social Justice Club Moderator. Tim has been a faculty member at St. Rita High School for the last fourteen years. This year he teaches two Honors English classes, AP Language and Composition, Politics of Sport, and Media Literacy.
Since 2011, Tim has required freshmen to read and discuss a novel called Breathing Underwater. This story shines light on the cycle of domestic violence, including threats, intimidation, isolation, power and control, and other key contributing factors.
“Exposing young men in the classroom to issues that impact women is important because, unfortunately, there are few if any other consistent outlets in their lives that do so, and adolescence seems to be where hypermasculinity and toxic attitudes begin to calcify. At the same time, teens are also more willing to consider new and differing perspectives on important societal issues–it’s adults who tend to have more stubborn worldviews. Many young men have never been asked to examine the complexities of this issue beyond the seemingly-simple platitude of ‘Violence against a partner or family member is bad’ or not being pressed to think about what ‘Respect women’ actually means.”, says Tim.
St. Rita’s teachers constantly reevaluate and modify their curriculum to best incorporate lessons in empathy-building amongst the young men, and the study of this novel is just one of the multiple examples of this.
This year, the agency will not be able to hold its annual benefit and reception out of an abundance of caution for the safety of the sponsors, donors, clients and staff. This year the ANDi award has been presented to Tim in a socially distant manner in late November.
Currently, AND is looking for businesses and individuals to sponsor a client during our 2020 Sponsorship Drive. To become a sponsor, visit https://anewdirectionbmp.networkforgood.com/projects/107243-domestic-violence-month-sponsorship-campaign-2020.