A survey of 150 School Principals* highlighted what they believe to be their biggest challenges. I’d like to share how the Dare to Care virtual Bullying Prevention and Life Skills program supports success in these three critical areas.
Fostering a Positive School Culture
A summary of the survey results concluded, “…no matter what the topic, all principals pointed to a universal message that school culture can either be a catalyst for student success or a roadblock to positive change.”
I could not agree more. Because so much of bullying behavior occurs out of the sight of adults – in hallways, locker rooms, sports practices and online – the only way to meaningfully address it is by making an intentional change to the culture of your school. Dare to Care is designed to help you make this shift, advancing a culture of respect, kindness and inclusion.
How do we do it?
We help every member of your school community (educators, support staff, parents and students) recognize what is bullying (and what is not); we teach evidence-based skills to de-escalate and address incidents of bullying; and we motivate and mobilize the 98%, the caring majority, to take back power from the 2% who engage in bullying behavior.
Helping Students Feel Safe
The principals surveyed indicated physical safety is only one part of the equation. Prioritizing mental health and a sense of emotional safety are also essential. As the survey summary so rightly concluded, “…focusing on the mental wellbeing of students provides a supportive environment that has seen higher graduation rates, increased engagement, and less mental health issues for students.”
The Dare to Care program teaches children a toolbox of six “non-reactive” skills they can call on if they experience or witness bullying. These skills will make them feel less powerless and, in turn, will boost their confidence and competence in speaking up and stepping in. One of the skills we teach students (beginning with Grades K-2) is how to ask for help more effectively from an adult when they can’t solve a problem on their own. The others (like positive self-talk and owning what makes them different) are skills they will be able to draw on throughout their lives.
By offering distinct sets of modules for K-2, Grades 3-4, Grades 5-6 and Grades 7-9, we can offer age-appropriate content that continues to evolve and build upon earlier lessons. Beginning with Grades K-2, our program begins to build greater empathy and compassion, helping children better understand the impact of their words and actions on others. By Grades 7-9, we devote an entire module to mental health, and we help students understand many of their classmates may be dealing with challenges they aren’t aware of.
Helping educators feel valued, supported and safe
Our three professional development modules give educators evidence-based strategies for addressing bullying behavior. Not only do educators appreciate this investment in their skills, they also benefit from calmer classrooms.
“The Pro-D virtual Dare to Care program connected with our Education Assistants in a way that we hadn’t been able to. Lisa’s direct and accurate messaging was passionately presented and provided steps and skills, that when aggression and bullying arise, can be used to de-escalate and manage the situation. Our staff feel they have more confidence in effectively recognizing and working through these instances, managing their own emotions, and having a professionally rewarding day by restoring calm.” - Nechako Lake School District
Our learning modules for parents also emphasize the proper path for parents to report incidents of bullying, which begins with documenting details of the incident(s) and reporting them to their student’s classroom teacher.
We recognize that accomplishing all these goals on a limited budget, and with limited bandwidth, adds additional layers of challenge for today’s Principals. Our program’s virtual format makes it affordable (about 1/3 the cost of an in-person program) and offers unlimited access for one full year. It’s also incredibly easy to implement because our modules require no advance preparation for educators. They simply log in to our platform, select the next module, and press play.
Check out our information sheets for complete lists of our program modules and pricing: