In light of the ever-changing nature of Covid-19, HAVEN’s
Educators are committed to being able to meet students where they are in the
upcoming school year. We are keeping a close watch on current safety and
hygiene recommendations, as well as developing a variety of plans to
bring our prevention education to students whether they are learning at home, in
classrooms, or a mix of both in the 2020-21 school year. If you have any
questions, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
HAVEN’s Violence Prevention Educators travel to schools all over Rockingham and Strafford counties to provide classroom by classroom, age-appropriate, interactive curricula to grades K-12. Our educators lay the foundation of violence prevention with elementary school age children by teaching them our Personal Body Safety Rules, which focus on bodily autonomy, listening to instincts, and seeking help from trusted adults if they ever feel hurt, confused, or scared. In grades K-4 the educators reinforce these messages with a fun and engaging puppet shows that allows the students to help the puppets make the important decision to get help from a grown up.
In middle school, HAVEN’s programming addresses the needs of older students. The presentations focus on boundaries, sexual harassment and bullying, consent, healthy relationships, and more. The educators use media, interactive surveys, and group activities to keep the material engaging and accessible to a wide variety of learning needs and styles.
Sexual violence, domestic violence, and teen dating violence can have significant negative effects on individuals and families. We know that exposure to trauma in childhood and adolescence can put kids at higher risk of re-victimization, substance abuse, and mental health challenges in adulthood. At HAVEN, our goal is to prevent violence from happening in the first place, and to get comprehensive care for kids who have experienced trauma. Check HAVEN’s honor roll for your child’s school—if you don’t see it, get in touch with an administrator or guidance counselor to schedule a visit from the HAVEN Violence Prevention Educators.
HAVEN Prevention Education Programs
Students in grades K-5 participate in HAVEN’s Personal Body Safety (PBS) program. The guiding principle of PBS is that everybody deserves to be safe. Each grade has a presentation that was designed to be engaging, informative, and age-appropriate. Although the level of complexity changes as the kids get older, the foundation of all of the presentations is the same: teaching and reinforcing our Personal Body Safety Rules. With the help of their puppet friends, the educators teach that:
- My Body Belongs to Me
- Touches in Private Areas Are Only to Keep Me Clean and Healthy
- Touches in Private Areas Are Never a Secret
- If I Ever Feel Hurt, Confused, or Scared, I Can Talk to a Grown-Up I Trust
- It’s Never Too Late to Tell
In kindergarten the presentation focuses primarily on My Body Belongs to Me and talking to trusted adults. The presentation is done with two animal puppets who help the kindergarteners think of adults at home, school, and in the community that they can talk to if they ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe.
In first and second grade, the educators teach the safety rules and then the puppets join the class. The puppets are fun and silly to get the kids engaged, and then present a problem where someone has made one of them feel hurt or uncomfortable. The educators guide the class towards helping the puppet make the important decision to talk to a trusted grown-up.
The third and fourth grade presentation continues to reinforce the safety rules and the puppet show follows a similar format. Third and fourth graders have an additional conversation with educators about listening to their instincts and “safe secrets” (examples given include secret handshakes with friends and surprise parties) versus “unsafe secrets” (a secret that makes them feel hurt, confused or scared, i.e. secrets they can always tell a trusted adult.)
Fifth grade is the last year of our Personal Body Safety programming. The presentation focuses on the importance of setting healthy boundaries and respecting other people’s boundaries. The students reflect on their own boundaries both in person and online. The educators then tell a story about a girl named “Carla” who is having uncomfortable interactions with an adults in her life. The educators process the story and help the students brainstorm a plan for Carla, ultimately resulting in her talking to adults that she trusts.
In 6th grade, students have a straightforward, age-appropriate discussion of sexual harassment and gender-based bullying informed by New Hampshire’s Pupil Safety and Violence Prevention laws, as well as Title IX. The students begin by discussing the differences between playing, flirting, bullying (including cyberbullying,) and sexual harassment. Students then go on to have a guided discussion about sexual harassment and how it can affect their peers socially and emotionally. The presentation concludes with a wrap-up discussion about why sexual harassment is against the law at work and at school, and how students can be good bystanders by sticking up for others and getting help from trusted adults.
HAVEN’s 7th grade presentation is a two-day interactive workshop that focuses on media literacy. Using current ads, and clips from TV shows, video games, and movies the educators lead a discussion about how the media uses and overuses sexual and violent images in order to grab the attention of consumers. This workshop dives into how stereotypes about gender are perpetuated by the media, as well as how social media has the potential to negatively impact self-image and create unrealistic and harmful expectations about appearance. The workshop ends with a collection of action items, including ways kids in their age group have made positive changes.
The CARE series (Consent, Awareness, Respect, and Empathy) is a three day series that builds a foundation for all kinds of healthy relationships. Day 1 focuses on victim blaming with an engaging story and group processing that helps students to understand that sexual assault is never the victim’s fault. Day 2 is about consent, with interactive activities designed to help students understand that they need consent for all kinds of interactions, and that asking for consent is crucial. Day 3 focuses on the differences between healthy, unhealthy, and abusive relationships. The students discuss different dating and relationship behaviors, learn about patterns of power and control, and are given tools and resources to get help for themselves or a friend if they ever find themselves in an unsafe situation.