United Against Violence, formerly the Violence Prevention Coalition, is launching a county-wide Second Step curriculum in area schools this year as part of a multi-faceted approach to influence youth culture and prevent youth violence in Buffalo County.
In order to promote emotional intelligence and healthy social development, Buffalo County Community partners is partnering with a selection of area schools and community-based pre-K child care centers to implement the Second Step curriculum. The Second Step curriculum helps give children the tools they need to succeed, both socially and academically, in school and in life.
Below are the schools and organizations that will be receiving Second Step programming this semester, with more slated to receive it later this year:
- Amherst Public School
- Bright Futures Pre-School
- Elm Creek Public School
- Horizon Middle School
- Pleasanton Public School
- Ravenna Public School
- Kearney Family YMCA
Second Step was selected by the United Against Violence coalition as the best fit for the community because of its low cost, ease of implementation, positive feedback from schools currently using the curriculum, low staffing requirements, and sustainability. When compared to children in a control group, those who participated in the Second Step program showed a 78 percent improvement in teachers’ ratings of their social competence, required 41 percent less adult intervention in minor conflicts, were 42 percent less aggressive, and were 37 percent more likely to choose positive social goals.
By introducing the Second Step curriculum in communities across the county, the coalition hopes to send a consistent message through school administrators, teachers, and staff members that enhances the protective factors that help build strong communities and minimizes the risk factors that contribute to youth violence.
On August 12, Lien Przybylski, M. Ed., of the Committee For Children will give a training on presenting the Second Step program to pre-kindergarteners, elementary students, and middle school students. The all-day training will take place at the Community Partners office and is open to anyone who wants to learn more about presenting the Second Step curriculum. The coalition’s goal is to train counselors, teachers, and other school employees on the curriculum before it hits schools later this year.