The Wise Guys Program in Grant County, Risk Reduction Involving Sexuality of Kids (RRISK) Project, funded by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, Ulysses, KS


Contact Name: Anita Mason
Phone Number: (620) 356-3824
E-mail: rrisk@ulysses.org
Key Words: (1) Male only; (2) ages 11 to 17; (3) racially diverse; (4) community-based setting; (5) multiple-session, curriculum-based program
Population served
This community-based program targets boys aged 11 to 17. Approximately 20 to 25 boys participate in an average month. Overall, the participants are ethnically diverse, with about 50 percent Hispanic and 50 percent white. They are identified/recruited through referrals from various agencies, including a mental health center, school counselors, and the court system.
Medium used to convey message
Volunteers have an evening session offering food and games, followed by a lesson from the Wise Guys curriculum. Along with the Wise Guys program, the agency also offers school-based programs called “Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies” (PATHS) and other sexuality topics such as STDs and teen pregnancy prevention.
Goals, objectives, and desired outcomes
This program’s goals are to demonstrate male responsibility; reinforce an environment of positive behaviors; increase awareness and education about the dangerous mix of drugs, alcohol, and sexual violence; provide alternatives to early initiation of antisocial behavior; and reinforce healthy relationships.
Theoretical/ scientific basis for the approach
The program uses the Wise Guys curriculum, which is designed to empower young men with the knowledge they need to make effective decisions; encourage young men to respect themselves as well as others; help young men understand the importance of male responsibility, particularly sexuality; and help young men improve communication with parents, educators, peers, and others.
Level of evaluation
The program uses the evaluation instruments from the Wise Guys curriculum (pre- and post-tests) and has documentation from the various administrations of these instruments. Volunteers who implement the program also distribute and collect the evaluation instruments. The program director identified a few contextual factors that have had an impact on the program: (1) the program must deal with the politics surrounding discussions about sex with young children but has received a lot of support from the school system; (2) the large transient Hispanic population results in such issues as varying academic levels and the need to find Spanish-speaking implementers.
Staff capacity
This agency has a Male Involvement Committee that provides volunteers. The committee has several members who completed the Wise Guys training, and they are responsible for implementation of the curriculum. This program has 3 years of funding from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.