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SCHOOL PROGRAMMING

Our strategy for long term violence prevention offers programming focusing on positive behavior education and social-emotional learning.

Programs align with education and professional development training mandates of the Massachusetts bullying prevention and substance abuse prevention laws and serve to enhance existing health and wellness education currently available in most schools.

LifeSkills, Grades 3 – 10

Botvin LifeSkills Training is an evidence-based curriculum proven to target the fundamental reasons students engage in behaviors that put them at risk.  Rather than merely teaching information about tobacco, alcohol and drugs, Botvin LifeSkills Training promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to help youth:

  • Increase knowledge of the immediate and long-term consequences of substance abuse
  • Resist social (peer) pressures to smoke, drink and use drugs
  • Develop greater self-esteem, self-mastery and self-confidence
  • Effectively cope with social anxiety
  • Enhance cognitive and behavioral competency to reduce and prevent a variety of health risk behaviors

Aligns to all 4 ELA Common Core Standards and to the Universal Learning Standards for the common curriculum areas of language arts, math, science, technology, family and consumer sciences, and health and physical education.  LifeSkills supports the recommendation of substance abuse prevention curricula from the Governor's Opioid Working Group report.

There is no cost to schools.  Training and student workbooks are funded by the District Attorney’s Office.

Elementary

Bullying Prevention:  Using Children’s Literature to Foster Empathy, Friendship and Respect

Presentations engage students in age-appropriate stories encouraging positive behavior and strategies for inclusion and acceptance.  Lessons are grade-specific for Grades K – 3.  

Student Mentor Internet Safety Program 

Workshop for early learners uses age-appropriate, 3-D activities to teach children how to be safer when using the internet.  Student mentors co-present with Clicky, the spokesrobot, to teach children about the importance of internet safety using interactive video and creative arts activities.  Grades K – 2.

Promoting Positive Behavior & Strategies to Support Students

The presentation explores the forms of bullying behavior and gives students the tools they need to confidently take action if they experience or witness the behavior online or offline.   Group activities and interactive discussions will raise students’ awareness of safe and healthy use of communication technology.  Lessons are grade-specific for Grades 4 and 5.   

Middle School

Peer Leadership Program

The District Attorney’s 8th Grade Peer Leadership Training Program fosters leadership in young people through education and service to others.

The program foundation applies best practices in peer leadership fundamentals from Partners Against Hate, a collaborative of the Anti-Defamation League; the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Education Fund; and the Center for the Prevention of Hate Violence and is certified by the National Association of Peer Program Professionals. 

A general principal of the program is the belief in the value and ability of young people to bring about positive change in themselves and their peers.

The 8-week or semester-long training employs interactive training techniques, discussion, media, role play, activities and teamwork to engage and educate students.  All Berkshire County schools with an 8th grade are eligible to participate.

Safe & Appropriate Use of Communication Technology

The presentation challenges students to think about their digital footprint and online choices, examines the consequences and misuse of technology and teaches students what steps to take if they are victimized or witness bullying or cyberbullying.  Lessons are grade-specific.

Safe & Healthy Relationships 

The age-appropriate presentation explores healthy and unhealthy peer-to-peer, family and dating relationships and equips students to recognize and understand the differences among flirting, sexual harassment and abusive behavior and teaches students to identify and evaluate specific behaviors that pose risks for themselves and others.  The presentation will be tailored to address particular needs and issues of your school population and is offered for same sex groups.  Grades 6 – 8.

High School

Digital Generation 2.0:  Live Smarter

The presentation promotes dialogue with students about the safe and responsible use of all communication technology and explores potential online vulnerabilities.  The program examines the far-reaching, powerful consequences of cyberbullying, sexting and other misuses of technology and the impact online actions may have on future goals. 

Safe & Healthy Relationships 

The age-appropriate presentation explores healthy and unhealthy peer-to-peer, family and dating relationships and equips students to recognize and understand the differences among flirting, sexual harassment and abusive behavior and teaches students to identify and evaluate specific behaviors that pose risks for themselves and others.  The presentation will be tailored to address particular needs and issues of your school population and is offered for same sex groups.  Grades 9 – 10.

Teacher and Staff Programming

Bullying, Cyberbullying, and Your Responsibilities Under the Law

Training addresses the impact of bullying and the collective role of all stakeholders in a school-wide prevention effort.  The presentation provides information on recognizing and responding to bullying and offers strategies to address these behaviors, including reporting procedures and intervention techniques.  Training also discusses current information on social media and examines potential social and emotional consequences, legal ramifications, civil liabilities and criminal penalties associated with misuse of technology.

Botvin LifeSkills Training Program

The LifeSkills Program is proven to target the fundamental reasons students engage in behaviors that put them at risk.  LifeSkills aligns to all four ELA Common Core Standards and to the Universal Learning Standards for the common curriculum areas of language arts, math, science, technology, family and consumer sciences, and health and physical education.  Rather than merely teaching information about tobacco, alcohol and drugs, LifeSkills promotes healthy alternatives to risky behavior through activities designed to help youth understand the consequences of substance abuse, resist pressures to use, increase self-esteem and self-confidence and more effectively cope with anxiety.

LifeSkills Provider Training workshops are designed to:

  1. Review the background theory, research and rationale behind the LST program
  2. Familiarize participants with the LifeSkills curriculum
  3. Teach the skills needed to successfully conduct the LST program
  4. Discuss practical implementation issues
  5. Provide an opportunity to practice teaching selected portions of the LifeSkills curriculum

Parent Programming

Our Kids Online and Offline:  What Every Parent Needs to Know

The presentation reviews the significant role of parents in supporting school prevention and intervention plans.  The training provides information on the dynamics of bullying, recognizing the signs and symptoms that a child may be engaging in bullying behavior or the target of a bully, and how to respond appropriately.  The powerful role of the bystander and the importance of changing our culture around the acceptance of bullying will be discussed.  The presentation also addresses current communication technologies and how to protect your child’s personal information, use of monitoring programs, cyberbullying, social networking sites and online predators. 

For more information please contact Carol A. Mulcahy, Director of Community Outreach & Education, at 413-443-5951.

 

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