SAVE empowers youth with knowledge and skills necessary to provide service to their community and school.
Reach for the Stars! SAVE was started by students in 1989 with the vision that all students would one day embrace the idea that the power of positive change was in their hands. SAVE has stayed true to its roots and today the overall goals of the program are still guided with the assistance of the National Youth Advisory Board (YAB). Youth who are EMPOWERED to make a difference in their schools and communities are a key component of the SAVE program. No matter what your age or school level, you can make a difference. Your ideas, views on safety and violence prevention, as well as your talents are important and vital since you are the future. Never set limits on what you want to accomplish! Feel the power within to take a step forward and Reach for the Stars!
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Get Your Students Talking About The Issue (Special thanks to Dr. Jody Roy, Ripon College, for providing these materials.)
To help students understand the power they have – individually and as a group – to make a difference, ask them to participate in an Empowerment Chain activity. Pick a problem in your community (such as elderly people who need assistance with household chores or a homeless shelter in need of supplies). Ask one student to state one single action they could take to make a difference. Then ask the next student to build on that action, etc. (For example, student one might call the shelter to find out what kind of supplies are needed, student two might make some posters listing the supplies and announcing a donation drive, student three might hang the posters, student four might prepare a collection barrel, etc.)
Ask your students to talk about the things other people do that make them feel disrespected. Generate discussion with prompts like “what kinds of things do friends sometimes say that make you feel like they don’t respect your opinion?” or “how do adults sometimes act when you talk that make you feel like they don’t take you seriously?” Once the students are on a roll listing examples (watch for them to start expressing frustration with others’ actions), turn the question in the opposite direction: challenge them to consider situations in which they behave in the same kinds of ways. Ask them who may feel disrespected by their behaviors (i.e. younger siblings, classmates). This exercise helps students feel empathy for those they treat with disrespect by first drawing on their own feelings as “victims” then using those feelings to help them see the effect their own behaviors sometimes may have on others.
Ask your students to identify the patterns of student seating in your lunch room. In most schools, student social groups sit in the same clearly defined places each day at lunch. Once the students have described the seating patterns of various social sets, ask them what would happen if, for an entire month, students sat with different people? How would your students rearrange their classmates to promote greater understanding and respect at your school? Discussion of this common lunchroom phenomenon can help students better understand the social dynamics that sometimes give rise to negative clique behaviors and might just inspire a few students to reach out to meet new people!
For more ideas and activities, visit the SAVE Chapter Access section of web site.
Not a chapter? Click here to register.