National Youth Violence Prevention Week
Mark your Calendar for upcoming National Youth Violence Prevention Week Campaigns:
- April 7-11, 2014
Each day of the week will highlight a specific challenge to prevent youth Violence and will be sponsored by a national premier youth-serving organization. The challenges highlighted for 2014 were proposed by the campaign’s Youth Advisory Board and will include:
Day 1: Promote Respect and Tolerance Sponsored by Teaching Tolerance
Day 1: Promote Respect & Tolerance Activities
- Conduct an essay contest on respect and tolerance. Have the winning essay read at an event or over morning announcements.
- Reach out to the unreached. Challenge all students to get to know at least one student they do not know.
- Have a class discussion/role play on the importance of showing respect.
- Use teambuilding activities that utilize sharing and group participation.
- Identify examples of respect and lack of respect for others in social studies textbooks and other materials.
- Do research papers on different cultures and how they show respect to one another.
- Hold a cultural day where dress, activities and decorations reflect different cultures from around the world.
- Have students pair up with a student from a different culture and allow them to “shadow” each other for a day so they will each see what it is like to walk in someone else’s shoes.
- Resource article: Possession Obsession
Day 2: Manage Your Anger, Don’t Let It Manage You! Sponsored by the American School Counselor Association
Day 2: Manage Your Anger Activities
- Provide students free hot chocolate with the theme “Don’t Let Anger Heat You Up” before school.
- After studying anger management skills, conduct a contest between grade levels to see how many students will sign nonviolence pledges and remain fight-free.
- Sponsor a decorate-a-door contest on ways to handle stress or manage anger for homeroom classes.
- Participate in role play activities to learn positive ways to deal with anger.
- Have students in each class or at a designated area give suggestions on safe ways to “cool down” when angered.
- Create drawings, posters or other signs showing that anger is natural and a normal part of life… but Violence is not.
- Have each student give accounts of how anger hurt them so students will understand what can happen if they don’t manage their anger.
- Have students come up with signs or codes to be able to communicate when they are angry so their anger will not get out of control (i.e. putting up your hand to let people know you are angry).
Day 3: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully: Sponsored by GLSEN
Day 3: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully Activities
- Challenge all students and faculty to be fight free. Set up a reward system to acknowledge success.
- Establish a peer mediation program at your school. Kick off with an assembly with role plays.
- Create a public service announcement on the importance of managing conflicts peacefully.
- Have students observe conflicts in all aspects of life over a 24 hour period. Ask them to record their observations and have a discussion on ways to safely resolve or manage the conflicts observed.
- Have students brainstorm ways to be a good listener. Have students illustrate examples of being a good listener.
- Have students role play conflicting situations and how to positively resolve the situations.
Day 4: Support Safety: Sponsored by the Center to Prevent Youth Violence
Day 4: Support Safety Activities
- Sponsor a SPEAK UP themed poster contest in which students design a poster promoting the anonymous and free 1-866-SPEAK-UP hotline for students to report weapon threats at school.
- Ask students to sign a pledge to “SPEAK UP” against violence and display the pledges within the school.
- Schedule a safety fair with exhibits and activities involving local safety officials and organizations to increase students’ awareness of potentials hazards and provide them with tools to keep everyone safe.
- Conduct a survey to assess students’ perceptions of safety and security during the school day and ask for suggestions to improve the school climate.
- Ask students to design and create a safety brochure or fact sheet. Assign different topics (bicycle safety, fire safety, etc.) and compile to create a Student Safety Guide.
- Develop a School Safety Committee, including both students and faculty, which meets regularly throughout the year.
- Set up a mechanism for students to safely and anonymously report weapon threats and threats of violence, such as 1-866-SPEAK-UP.
Day 5: Unite in Action Sponsored by Youth Service America
Organize a service project where all students and members of the community can come together and make a large impact in the school or community:
Day 5: Unite in Action Activities
- Community/school beautification campaign – graffiti and vandalized areas should be priorities.
- Create a skit or lesson plan to be presented to your school or other schools/community agencies to spread the Violence prevention message.
- Sponsor a “First Aid” event where students learn first aid techniques and participate in simulation activities that would prepare students to help others in situations of need.
- Institute an “Adopt-A-Student” program where new students are paired with older students.
- Start a school crime watch program. Consider including a student patrol that helps keep an eye on corridors, parking lots and a way for students to report anonymously.
- Coordinate a fingerprinting afternoon at the local elementary school. Work with local law enforcement and parents to fingerprint young children.
- Paint a peaceful mural on a building or sidewalk.
- Hold a Violence prevention community event with information booths and safe activities for children.
Now available: The YOUth changing the World Toolkit to help plan “United in Action” service projects. You can link to the toolkit by clicking toolkit or you can download the file directly by clicking here. Remember to continue your service activities through Global Youth Service Day (April 11-13, 2014).
Many activities can be conducted before National Youth Violence Prevention Week to bring awareness to your upcoming week long emphasis:
- Conduct a teacher workshop and share tips, lesson plans, and ideas for teachers to use during the week.
- Create awareness posters that list the daily activities that will occur during week.
- Provide listings to the school paper, school announcements, and in-house television programming announcing when and what activities will occur.
- Before school opens on Monday morning, place purple and orange ribbons on lockers. Place purple ribbons on all lockers except the fourth locker where you place an orange ribbon. This represents the statistic that one in every four students will be affected by Violence this year. You can also place orange and purple ribbons on light poles and trees.
Your in-school conference provides a wonderful opportunity to establish your own local community roundtable. These community coalitions are designed bring communities together to develop action plans to reduce youth violence throughout the year. When establishing your roundtable, try to have at least one representative from each sector identified in the community wheel (above). This will offer you a variety of perspectives and resources as you develop specific plans to prevent and reduce youth violence throughout the year.
During the conference, explain the concept behind the roundtables and offer an opportunity for interested individuals to sign up. Be sure to get all of their contact information so you can let them know when and where your roundtable will meet. On the sign-up forms, also ask for suggestions on new community-wide initiatives to reduce violence.
For additional tips on setting up a community coalition, check out a guide developed by Study Circles called Organizing Community-wide Dialogue For Action and Change.
What You Can Do to Support the Campaign!
Support the Campaign Ideas
- Connect with others to collaborate on the campaign. You can refer them to the campaign website, as well as all of our sponsors sites for additional resources.
- Reach out to members in our sponsors’ organizations (school counselors, teachers, school social workers, etc.).
- Check out our sponsors websites to learn about who they are and how they support youth Violence prevention efforts. Take advantage of all of the resources they have to offer!
- Encourage all others to get involved in the campaign and suggest ways that they can help out (letter campaign, planning events in their schools, reaching out to the media, etc.)
- Send ecards to everyone you know to encourage them to participate in the campaign.
- Send letters to your local, state, and national representatives to ask them to support the campaign.
- Email us your ideas for the campaign!