New Online Toolkit Helps Students Lead Bullying Prevention Campaigns
Harrisburg, Pa. (October 29, 2019) — Advocates for bullying prevention gathered today at the state capitol to take a stand for the commonwealth’s 1.7 million students as Governor Wolf proclaimed October as Bullying Prevention Month. Students, parents, teachers, law enforcement, legislators and community partners rallied in support of bullying prevention efforts.
More than one in four children in the U.S. report experiences with bullying, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Bullying is an important public health issue known to have negative effects on children’s physical and emotional well-being, social development and learning. With this proclamation, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania acknowledged the vital importance of bullying prevention efforts to each child’s learning, health and success later in life.
“We all know that bullying is an issue that extends beyond the doors of the school, said Center for Safe Schools Director Randall Fox. “If bullying prevention efforts are to be sustained, support from community stakeholders and all levels of government is needed. Thank you Governor Wolf for recognizing bullying prevention as an important issue; and the Highmark Foundation for your 11-year investment in strategies to stop bullying.”
The event also recognized the launch of “CARE. CONNECT. CHAMPION: A Middle School Bullying Prevention Toolkit” developed specifically to help youth ages 11 through 14 share their voice and engage in bullying prevention. Focused on creating student-led movements, the online toolkit provides easy-to-follow steps for activity planning, templates, videos, contest ideas and more for building support within their schools.
The new toolkit was developed by the Center for Safe Schools and the Highmark Foundation, working together to put more students in a position to improve school climate and help their classmates in bullying situations.
“For the past 10 years we have partnered with the Center for Safe Schools on bullying prevention, said Highmark Foundation President Yvonne Cook. “Today we are proud to join Governor Wolf in recognizing Bullying Prevention Month and launching the online Middle School Bullying Prevention Toolkit, a culmination of our efforts to provide a lasting, valued and open resource for everyone to better address incidents of bullying.”
“As leaders in bullying prevention, social and emotional learning and positive school climate, we know how powerful student voices can be,” Fox said. “Through the middle school toolkit, students will know how to engage in the prevention of bullying and support their peers affected by it.”
A special section for adult advisors helps them support the student and afterschool groups using the toolkit; and provides school climate assessment tools, best practices and resources on bullying prevention and interventions.
“Together, the partners in this work are changing attitudes, behavior and practice through cultivating safe schools and communities for Pennsylvania’s children,” Fox said.
Find “CARE. CONNECT. CHAMPION: A Middle School Bullying Prevention Toolkit” at msbptoolkit.safeschools.info
The Highmark Foundation
The Highmark Foundation is a 501(c)(3) private, charitable organization dedicated to improving the health, well-being, and quality of life for individuals and communities throughout the areas served by Highmark Inc. and its subsidiaries and affiliates. We fulfill our mission by awarding high-impact grants to charitable organizations that implement evidence-based programs aimed at improving community health. Central to the Foundation’s mission is identifying and continuously re-evaluating our region’s prevailing health care needs. By doing so, the Foundation remains at the forefront of those needs, well equipped to pinpoint issues that most urgently need support.
Center for Safe Schools
For more than two decades, Center for Safe Schools has been committed to providing training and consulting to help schools identify and implement effective programs and practices and maintain safe, productive learning environments. It serves as a statewide clearinghouse for educators, parents, law enforcement and others on school safety and youth violence prevention. Center for Safe Schools is an initiative of the Center for Schools and Communities. For more information, go to: www.safeschools.info and www.center-school.org.