Richton Park Youth Anti-Violence Program

Richton Park Youth Anti-Violence Program

The Richton Park Police Department, in collaboration with Rich Township local school districts 159, 162 and 227 will address the issue of bullying and dating violence in the school setting by adopting the multi-level Intervention Model.

School-wide Interventions
The Youth Prevention Officer will provide anti-bullying in-service training for all Richton Park elementary school teachers. The training classes will involve the use of curriculum developed by HRSA. An assembly of all students will take place in each school. During the assembly, presentation(s) will be conducted on bullying and its consequences. Seven hundred and forty-eight (748) students will be provided resources on how to cope with and report being bullied. Teachers will be give a pre-survey and post-survey as a measure of the interventions’ effectiveness in the three areas.

A three (3) hour parent and guardian bullying education class will be provided at the two elementary schools. Dinner and childcare service will be included to increase the likelihood of parental involvement in the program. One hundred (100) parents/guardians from each of the elementary schools, for a total of two hundred (200), will receive training.

Classroom-level Interventions
The U. S. Department of Health and Human Services-Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) supported “Take a Stand, Lend a Hand, Stop Bullying Now!” program will be implemented at the elementary school level to approximately 400 students attending Richton Park schools. The eight class program will be provided to all 4th, 5th and 6th graders utilizing the text “Bullyproof: A Teacher’s Guide on Teasing and Bullying.” This equates to approximately 140 classroom hours for the instructor. The goal of the program is to reduce incidents of bullying and youth violence in the schools. The goal will be accomplished by educating youth on the various aspects of bullying and its impact on society. A pre and post test will be given to measure the effectiveness of the training. If possible, incidents of bullying and fighting at the participant schools will be recorded and compared for two years.

The Committee for Children, a nonprofit working globally to prevent bullying, violence and child abuse, has to programs that we will use with K-3 graders. The Steps to Respect-A Bullying Prevention Program and Second Step are educational tools to teach youth how to effectively interact with others, control anger and adopt other behavior modification techniques to deter instances of bullying. Three hundred students or twelve (12) classes, consisting of approximately twenty-five (25) students, K-3 will receive four (4) thirty (30) minute sessions. These programs have research indicating that schools reported a thirty-one (31) to seventy-two (72) percent reduction in bullying behavior after participating in the program. A pre and post survey will be given to classroom teachers to determine the effectiveness of the intervention. Surveys will also be sent home to parents.

Individual-level Interventions
The Youth Prevention Officer will attend two (2) to four (4) all teacher/school staff meetings at the schools and provide a thirty (30) minute training class on bullying. Sixty (60) staff will receive training. During the teacher instruction portion of the program will encourage teachers to refer students having difficulty with bullying for individual intervention and provide them with information on how to recognize and confront bullying effectively. The intervention may involve the bullied child or the person conducting the bullying. In addition, schools will identify students who could benefit from being involved in a school symposium on bullying. Forty-eight (48) bullied students and students identified as bullies will participate in a six hour Anti-Bullying Symposium held at Southland Charter School. Twelve (12) high school students will be trained as facilitators. The Youth Prevention Officer, along with six (6) police officers will work in groups with the participants to address how it feels to be the bully and the bullied. The morning will start out with a motivational speaker. The students will then split up into groups of eight, with two high school facilitators and an adult. Scenario based activities will take place and the groups will report out on their progress. Transportation, meals and supplies will be provided for the participants. The symposium will take place during a regular school day and the students will return to their home school before the end of the day.

Regular parks and recreation staff will schedule and manage eight middle-school age student, lock-ins. The lock-in provides a safe environment for middle-school students to participate in healthy activities. The activities will consist of anti-bullying training, teen dating violence education, team building activities, games and activities. Police employees will participate in these activities. Seventy-five youth will participate in each lock-in.

The Richton Park police department and Parks and Recreation will hold a 5 week, youth summer camp. This camp is designed to provide curriculum that will enforce positive character traits, positive behaviors, team building, empathy for others and leadership skills. The goal is to offer opportunities for youth to change negative behavior and become more productive and positive about life. Forty children will participate in the program, so three college-age summer workers will be hired to assist. Classroom instruction, team building exercises, and field trips will take place

The objective of the activities is to build positive relationships between the students; help them develop empathy for others; and decrease the level of bullying and violence and the schools. Over one thousand (1000) individuals will be serviced by this program. The average program participant will receive eight hours of training.