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STARS Bullying Prevention Month

October is Bullying Prevention month, focusing on groups across the country committed to putting an end to bullying, relaying information aimed to bring awareness as well as to provide prevention resources.
October serves as a reminder that bullying is an issue entire communities must address. One valuable way to do that is to educate ourselves and our communities, and be aware of the resources available. STARS has been solution-focused on this issue for over 20 years. Here are some valuable program resources we would like to share with you.

KOTBKids on the Block (KOB): Our program educates children and the broader community about challenges and important issues that affect their lives, reaching nearly 40,000 children and adults in schools and community agencies across Tennessee counties.
“Kids on the Block tailors its bullying prevention programs to fit the needs of the age group. KOB starts talking to Kindergarteners about teasing and name calling and how words can hurt. With 1st graders, we talk about self-control and problem solving, helping them to see that there’s more than one way to solve a problem. With 2nd graders, we talk about differences and how we are all different and that should be celebrated and not used to hurt. With older elementary students, we try to help them distinguish between bullying and conflicts. We also work to empower bystanders encouraging them to be “standbyers” – someone who will go and stand to support kids who are getting bullied or harmed in anyway.” – Melanie Scott, Program Director of Kids on the Block

SAPStudent Assistance Program (SAP): Our nationally recognized, evidence-based program provides counselors in Middle and High Schools to help students address issues such as bullying. SAP has been recognized by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) as one of three evidence-based practices to address intervention services for youth ages 6 to 18.
“Each of the schools we serve has different needs; our Student Assistance Program works closely with the individual school administrators and faculty on how to help spread awareness of bullying and to advocate for bullying prevention within the school. Our Student Assistance Program also works closely with other STARS programs like MOVE2STAND and Kids on the Block to meet the needs of the individual students. Our counselors work individually with students who have been bullied by providing them a supportive place where they can address their feelings and process their hurt. The SAP counselors will also help the young person to set boundaries for themselves and work on assertive communication. For the persons’ that bully, the SAP counselor works to show them how their behavior affects others and works to focus on the personal experiences that have lead them to bullying behavior.” – Kay Higgs, Student Assistance Program Team Leader/Trainer
To see a list of the schools we are currently in, click here.

YODAYouth Overcoming Drug Abuse (YODA): We believe people can recover and we do not give up. YODA provides an intensive outpatient program for adolescents with drug and substance use disorders and co-occurring disorders. While the program does not focus on bullying prevention, we try to meet our kids where they are.
“The reasons why people use drugs are pretty simple: It feels good. Another reason people use drugs is to feel better. Kids get high to deal with poverty, abuse, co-occurring disorders, bullying… all of that. If we can teach them other ways to cope, we’ve done our job and hopefully interrupted the progression towards addiction.” – Lisa Bell, Director of Clinical Services

M2SMOVE2STAND (M2S): M2S is an interactive training program to challenge students to examine their attitudes toward bullying. This one-day youth summit creates empathy and helps young leaders understand how bullying impacts school climate and communities. Additionally, it motivates the students to be the change in their school and to create a positive and inclusive school climate.
“M2S challenges every person in the room to get outside their comfort zone by physically moving and standing beside a person who needs that additional support. It allows bystanders to recognize the harmful effects of bullying and harassment while also teaching them low risk strategies to effectively support students who are getting bullied…M2S gives hope to those who have none.” – Eric Johnson, VP of Youth Development, Program Director of MOVE2STAND
To find out how to bring a training to your school, please contact us.

SSWDHHServices for Students who are Deaf and Hard of Hearing(DHH): Students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing have increased difficulties with communication, isolation, depression, learning and family connections. Our award-winning services have received national and local attention because of the support it provides. From after-school services to in-home services, the program helps Deaf and Hard of Hearing students who may be at a higher risk of being targeted or bullied in their schools.
“We address bullying in a variety of different ways; one of our projects consists of the students creating a video where they address bullying as one of the topics; when they see it done to others, when it is done to them, how it makes them feel, etc. We also address bullying in the daily activities and teachings that we do with our students.” – Laura Lekowicz-Ballard, Program Director of Services for Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
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STARS is deeply committed to creating a culture and work space that centers on the power of relationships, that values diversity of perspective and experience, and that honors the dignity, worth, and contributions of all.