“Every day 150,000 students in the U.S. stay home because they are sick of violence and afraid they might be stabbed, shot or beaten.” (Dept. of Education, Justice, Health & Human Resources)
A study founded by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found that Second Step curriculum leads to long-term decrease in aggressive behaviors and an increase in helpful, friendly interactions among youth.
Violence Is Preventable (VIP)
What is VIP?
Since 1992, VIP has been taught in numerous schools throughout Southeastern CT. This science-based, classroom level curriculum, based on Second Step (Committee for Children, Seattle, WA) provides students with pro-social skills to address conflict in positive ways and with skills that lead to healthier social and intimate relationships.
Are teachers and parents involved?
The VIP program encourages teachers and parents concerned about violence to attend an introductory workshop. Parent workshops are available upon request. Teachers participate in weekly lessons (up to 15 weeks) and this creates a common language and skill set that is reinforced in the classroom and school.
How are the program goals accomplished?
The VIP program offers 15 dynamic lessons that utilize role-plays, songs, videos, arts and crafts projects and discussions to appeal to the various age levels and learning styles to help students practice the following skills:
- Emotion management
- Impulse control
- Problem solving
- Communication and acceptance of differences
Lessons are developed to meet the needs of students K-8th grade. The program is reinforced in subsequent years with age-appropriate lessons.
How do you deal with mean and hurtful behaviors?
Through exercises and discussions, teachers and students learn how to recognize bullying behaviors, what effects they have on an individual, how to deal with them, and how to be an ally to those targeted.
Middle School Programs
Violence Is Preventable
What is different about VIP in Middle School?
Building on the skills developed in elementary school, students are given more sophisticated tools as they learn to deal with the unique and more complicated issues and relationships associated with adolescence.
What is the Healthy Relationships Program?
This program is offered to students from grade 7 through 12. At the Middle School level, this program introduces students to appropriate behaviors in a dating relationship and to the importance of learning to set boundaries. Depending upon the schools needs and resources, the more extensive Health Relationships program (see High School below) may be offered.
This is a continuation and reinforcement of the elementary program.
High School Programs
Why do we teach Healthy Relationships?
In our area of Connecticut, 12% of high school students have experienced physical violence in a dating relationship. One in four report verbal, physical, emotional or sexual abuse. By the time a young woman leaves college she will have a 25% chance of being a victim of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault. It is imperative that we arm our students with the tools necessary to prevent these acts and that we intervene early to establish a non-violent and healthy paradigm for dating.
What do we teach?
The program helps students answer the following questions: What is a healthy relationship? What are the signs of an unhealthy relationship? What are the gifts I bring to a relationship? How do I set boundaries in a relationship? How do I stay safe in a relationship? How do I help a friend that may be in an unhealthy relationship?
Why do we cover sexual assault in high school?
The statistics as noted above are alarming and we know that underage drinking, and drug use play a large role. (On college campuses, 85% of sexual assaults involve alcohol use.)
What is covered?
We educate students about the law, how to stay safe, respecting and setting boundaries, and how to protect each other.
What is covered?
Students are taught about the laws covering sexual harassment, identify the behaviors associated with sexual harassment, the difference between flirting and sexual harassment, and what to do if you are sexually harassed.
For more information:
Anne Wernau, Supervisor
(860) 447-0366 X247
Kris Wraight, Coordinator
(860) 447-0366 X230