Public attention and legislative action on the issue of bullying is an important step toward creating safer, healthier, more productive learning environments for young people. The next step requires proven educational programming that will equip students and adults with the skills to deter bullying in their schools and communities. Sport in Society (SIS) and the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) are inviting interested schools to apply for participation in an innovative Bullying Prevention Institute.
Three schools will be selected to participate in the first-year pilot of this initiative. Through this program, key stakeholders, including student athletes, adult advocates, parents and other community members will be trained to create a bully-free culture in their schools and communities by inspiring and empowering young people to work for change. A program overview and application information are provided below. Applications are due by June 1, 2012 and selected schools will be notified by June 8.
A key feature of this initiative is Sport in Society’s nationally recognized violence prevention curriculum. Rooted in the bystander approach to education, these trainings raise awareness about the severity of bullying in schools, open dialogue among student athletes, challenge their thinking, and inspire leadership in preventing the devastating effects bullying has on young lives.
Student athletes and an adult coordinator from each selected school will participate in a 2-day training (August 9-10). Participants will develop competencies to promote respect in their schools and communities. Seminars will also be held for school administrators, athletic directors, coaches and teachers, who would like to become certified facilitators of the Project Teamwork Curriculum while serving as advisors to their student athletes. Upon completion of the training, student athletes will apply their learned skills through community service activities with middle school students who look up to the student-athletes as role models.
Recognizing the pivotal role that parents and other concerned adults play in reinforcing these messages and efforts, SIS and MIAA will provide an educational awareness component for parents and community members. These sessions will be designed to inform parents and community members about the program their student athletes will complete, and also provide them with the skills to support these young people as leaders in the community.
Through a competitive application process, three high schools will be selected to participate in this initiative.