Grant empowers local students to stop abuse, bullying
The Child Assault Prevention Program (CAP) has been informing and empowering students throughout Medina County for more than 15 years. Since its inception, CAP has been offered to more than 9 million children, parents, school staff and community members in more than 26 states and six foreign countries. Primary abuse prevention enables students to recognize potentially threatening situations and to take appropriate steps to prevent abuse from happening.
Each CAP workshop includes a very important discussion about rights. The three rights emphasized are the right to be SAFE (to feel that everything is okay and nothing will hurt you), the right to be STRONG (both "inside strong" and "outside strong"), and the right to be FREE (being able to make choices).
Presented are three scenarios in which children could find that their rights are being taken away – first, with a bully, next with a stranger, and lastly with a trusted adult. Role play is used as a tool to share concepts. In each category, an unsuccessful role play is demonstrated whereby the child's rights are taken away, followed by much class discussion of strategies. Subsequently, a successful version of the role play is shared, demonstrating that the child was able to keep his or her rights by putting into action the strategies discussed.
The students very much enjoy and are impacted by the role playing and even take part in some themselves. Much fun is had in the process! Following the one-hour classroom presentation, facilitators are available for individual conversations with students in a quiet space.
The Medina County Women's Endowment Fund has allowed for CAP to be presented in all seven elementary schools in the Medina City School District over three consecutive years. The focus has been in the second-grade classroom.
CAP continues to leave a strong impression with not only the children, but also with teachers whose classes receive the workshop. Below, you'll find just a small sampling of some of the comments shared by teachers this school year:
- "The manner in which the information was presented was a strength of the workshop. It was very age appropriate. The sincerity of the speakers, the usefulness of the skits, along with student participation were also strengths."
- "All of the scenarios and skits were real problems students could have in elementary school."
- "During the presentation, children are made to feel comfortable and to feel that their answers are important and true."
- "This was valuable information for our students – presented at their level."
The CAP staff has been very grateful for the opportunity to offer this empowering program to children in the community. The concept of Safe, Strong and Free is in the minds and hearts of many of our students!