AG Healey, Robert Kraft Announce Expansion of Game Change Anti-violence Program Into Middle Schools and Additional High Schools
To Date, Game Change Has Trained More Than 1,000 Students, Teachers, Coaches, and Service Providers; Schools Across Massachusetts Encouraged to Apply
BOSTON – Attorney General Maura Healey and Chairman and CEO of the New England Patriots Robert Kraft today announced that they will be sponsoring a third year of the groundbreaking anti-violence education program they launched in 2015. Beginning this fall, Game Change: The Patriots Anti-Violence Partnership will expand to middle schools and additional high schools across Massachusetts, training students and staff in strategies to prevent sexual assault and domestic violence.
“We know from the young people we’ve met and the leadership they’ve shown across this state that there’s no better way to break cycles of violence than to educate students about healthy relationships,” said AG Healey. “I’m thrilled to work with the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation to expand to additional high schools and middle schools and empower students to create positive change in their communities.”
“Building a strong team begins with a strong development program, and that’s what we’re doing with Game Change,” said Mr. Kraft. “We need to provide young people with the tools to end sexual assault and domestic violence. The Patriots and the Kraft family are proud to work with the Attorney General to continue supporting this critical program to do just that.”
The goal of Game Change is to implement long-term anti-violence and healthy relationship education in Massachusetts schools, with a focus on developing peer leaders at the high school level who can provide trainings to their middle school counterparts.
Proposals for this new round of Game Change will be open to public high schools, with a preference given to those who submit with a middle school partner. Schools can apply for one of two awards: a training for teachers and coaches, or a training for students. Awardees will also receive a grant to support long-term implementation of the curriculum.
Awards will fund healthy relationship and violence prevention education from Aug. 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018. Interested schools and school districts in Massachusetts are encouraged to learn more about the program and to submit a proposal at www.mass.gov/ago/gamechange. Proposals must be received by 4 p.m. on Friday, June 16, 2017.
During the first phase of Game Change, which ran from January through May 2016, nearly 200 staff from 90 high schools and nine domestic violence organizations across the state were trained in the MVP curriculum. For the program’s second phase, which ran throughout the 2016-2017 school year, staff from Mentors in Violence Prevention (MVP) provided direct trainings on preventing relationship violence to students at each of the 34 participating high schools across the state.
To date, Game Change has trained more than 1,000 students, teachers, coaches, and service providers in the MVP curriculum. Student leaders representing nearly 100 communities across Massachusetts are now equipped to intervene when they witness signs of violence and to help other young people do the same.
Run by the Center for the Study of Sport in Society at Northeastern University, the MVP trainings give participants the skills to recognize the dynamics of power and control that can lead to relationship and gender-based violence. Trained students, teachers, and coaches learn how to recognize the signs of an unhealthy relationship and when to intervene, or reach out for help.
For more information about Game Change, please visit www.mass.gov/ago/gamechange or contact the Policy and Government Division at 617-963-2700.