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Say It With Heart

Bullying and Violence Prevention Program

The devastating results of endless teasing, shaming and bullying can't be ignored. The media reports on it daily and it can have destructive consequences for young people—from poor grades to suicide. Increased violence and criminal activity in our schools is responsible for high levels of anxiety and uncertainty in our children.

School-based bullying prevention programs, like Say It With Heart, decrease bullying by up to 25%. Nationwide, 71% of children report bullying as a problem at their school.  New research shows that children who were frequently bullied at age 13 have double the risk of developing clinical depression at age 18.  Harassment and bullying have been linked to 75% of school shooting and every 30 minutes a teenager attempts suicide due to bullying. Recently the Center for Disease Control reported that, "Bullying can result in physical injuries, social and emotional difficulties and academic problems. It can hurt the overall health and safety of schools, neighborhoods and society." Due to increased use of technology (cyber-bullying), experiences with emotional bullying FAR outnumber physical bullying.


Say It With Heart


Challenge Discovery Projects developed its Say It With Heart Bullying and Violence Prevention Program in 2000. After working in the school system since 1980, Challenge Discovery Projects saw the need to improve the emotional, social and academic outlook of the whole student body as opposed to just the students identified as "problems". Say It With Heart addresses the serious issue of bullying, violence and other anti-social behaviors in Richmond City schools and communities. It encourages healthy relationships with positive, open lines of communication between students, parents and teachers. The Say It With Heart program promotes an environment that nourishes the achievements of all children.

Say It With Heart is a school-based bullying and violence prevention program designed for grades K-12 that encourages healthy self-image, effective communication and positive relationships within the school community. The goal of Challenge Discovery Projects' Say It With Heart Program is to enrich the community by teaching life skills such as effective communication, impulse control, empathy and personal boundaries at an early age and continuing to reinforce them through adolescence. By raising the emotional intelligence in children at critical stages in their elementary, middle and high school years, we have a better chance of reducing risky behaviors such as bullying, shaming, gang violence, drug use and teen-age pregnancy.

The Say It With Heart curriculum is based on the Best Practices in Bullying Prevention and Intervention as provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. It was designed to give children the skills to learn and grow personally in a challenging environment where bullying and shaming are often commonplace. The curriculum is age appropriate with subject matter, language and activities evolving as students develop. The program is integrated into the school day. Say It With Heart counselors teach a 45-minute lesson weekly. The curriculum is structured to teach and reinforce critical skills such as tolerance, empathy, effective communication and understanding personal boundaries. Through role-playing, classroom instruction and mentoring, students develop character, self-discipline and impulse control. Say It With Heart also includes four family/community outreach seminars and four teacher training workshops throughout the year at each participating school. These workshops address topics such creating positive environments, promoting accountability and engaging in respectful interactions with children.

Currently, Say It With Heart serves over 1,315 students and their families every year. It is offered in 8 Richmond schools including George Mason Elementary, Fairfield Court Elementary, Woodville Elementary, Chimborazo Elementary, Bellevue Elementary, Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School, St Andrew's School, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Middle.

The children served by Challenge Discovery Projects are immersed in a culture of poverty and violence that threatens to influence them as a victim or eventual perpetrator. They live in some of the most crime affected and impoverished public-housing sections in Richmond. Their families have a median household income ranging from $11,791 to $27,431, which is significantly below the state and national average. 76% of these children live below the poverty level. 98% of them qualify for free or reduced-cost lunches. Many have an unstable, dysfunctional family system and are experiencing academic difficulties. Some have already dropped out of school or been expelled. Most have witnessed violence and abuse in the home or neighborhood. The risk of gang involvement, teen-age pregnancy and criminal activity is clear and present. Challenge Discovery Projects is committed to working with these very deserving children to help them develop socially, emotionally and academically.

To learn more about our Say It With Heart program, please contact us at (804) 643-0002.


   
 
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