Programs

Stand Strong • Stay Safe

StandStrongStaySafe
Curriculum Access: Lower Elementary
Curriculum Access: Upper Elementary
  • Overview
  • Early Childhood
  • Elementary
  • Outcomes
The message of Stand Strong • Stay Safe is simple:
  1. Everyone deserves to be treated with respect.
  2. Know what is safe.
  3. Be assertive: you have the power to choose how to act.
  4. Tell a trusted adult, and keep telling until you get the help you need.
  5. Abuse is never a child’s fault.
It is up to adults to keep children safe from. Sadly, children must often handle unsafe situations on their own. Like a vaccine against disease, Stand Strong • Stay Safe prepares children to act as their own first line of defense against unsafe situations. Stand Strong • Stay Safe teaches children about physical abuse, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, neglect, and bullying. They learn strategies to stand up for themselves and to contribute to the safety of others in their communities by avoiding secrets, standing up for victims of bullying, and treating others with kindness. The program prepares them to recognize abuse, set healthy boundaries, act assertively on behalf of themselves and others, and get help when they need it.
Why is personal safety education important? In order to prevent trauma inside and out, we must equip our children with knowledge and skills to keep themselves and each other safe.
  • 135,300 children in the United States were sexually abused in 2005-2006 (Sedlak et al, 2010); only 30% of these cases were reported to authorities (Finkelhor, Hammer & Sedlak, 2008).
  • In Texas, Child Protective Services substantiated 5,928 cases of child sexual abuse in 2012 (USDHHS, 2013); based on the evidence that only 30% of cases are even reported, this suggests that at least 18,000 Texas children were sexually abused during that time.
  • Over 1.25 million children in the United States were victims of child abuse and neglect in 2005-2006. Of these, over 700,000 were neglected, 323,000 were physically abused, and 148,500 children suffered emotional abuse (Sedlak et al, 2010).
  • In 2016, there were over 55,000 reported victims and 9,070 confirmed victims of child abuse or neglect in Houston.

Child abuse and neglect, as well as other forms of victimization, have significant health and mental health consequences for children and families. It has been well established in the research literature (Fang, Brown, Florence & Mercy, 2012) that lifelong consequences of childhood victimization include post-traumatic stress disorder, behavior problems in childhood and often persisting into adulthood, adult criminality, substance abuse problems, and reduced overall health throughout the lifespan. Researchers have found that adverse experiences such as emotional trauma associated with childhood victimization can affect physical health later in life, and increase risks for obesity, heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, alcohol and drug abuse, intimate partner violence, unintended pregnancies, and depression (Felitti et al, 1998).

In addition to the significant health and mental health costs, child abuse and neglect carries a significant economic burden that affects us all. Researchers estimate that the lifetime economic impact of child abuse and neglect cases occurring in 2008 will be, conservatively, $124 billion. In 2012 alone, the direct and indirect costs of responding to child abuse and neglect are estimated to be over $80 billion in taxpayer dollars (Gelles & Perlman, 2012). In other words, the United States pays $220 million per day to deal with the consequences of child abuse and neglect. The cycle of abuse will continue from generation to generation until children and adolescents are taught how to stay safe, how to handle threatening situations, and how to get help. Stand Strong • Stay Safe is a primary prevention program; it seeks to reduce the likelihood of child maltreatment and victimization and improve the overall wellbeing of children.
Stand Strong • Stay Safe Early Childhood is designed to engage children in Pre-K through First Grade. Trained educators present engaging, non-threatening content in English or Spanish to students in a variety of educational settings. The program uses active learning techniques such as group discussion and situational problem solving along with age-appropriate curricula, materials, and follow-up activities.
  • Assertiveness
  • The Power of Kind Words (Emotional Abuse)
  • Inappropriate Touch (Sexual Abuse)
  • Neglect and Physical Abuse
Monkey, Panda, and Puppy help presenters tell stories about staying safe from abuse through short puppet shows.Stand Strong Stay Safe Characters

Stand Strong • Stay Safe Elementary builds on the content covered in the Early Childhood curriculum, providing age-appropriate activities and discussion for older students and offering many opportunities for real-world problem-solving and discussion. Five engaging 30-minute lessons are delivered by trained educators covering a range of topics:

  • assertiveness
  • emotional control
  • setting, communicating, and respecting boundaries
  • requesting, giving, and withdrawing consent
  • recognizing physical, sexual, and emotional abuse
  • distinguishing between safe and unsafe situations
  • getting help and avoiding secrets
  • preventing bullying
  • digital media safety

Two sequential age-appropriate curricula are available for Elementary students. Stand Strong • Stay Safe Lower Elementary is designed for 2nd and 3rd Grades and is appropriate for 4th and 5th graders who have not received Stand Strong • Stay Safe in the earlier grades. Stand Strong • Stay Safe Upper Elementary is designed for 4th and 5th graders who have already received the Lower Elementary curriculum.

Lessons include a comic, a script to guide discussion, and activities for interactive skills practice. The curriculum is packaged with a set of full-color posters, a PowerPoint presentation for each lesson, and a series of follow-up activities that may be photocopied and left with classroom teachers.

The superheroes depicted above and their kid-sized alter-egos help presenters present realistic scenarios to engage students in discussion. Comic pages and animated videos are available as teaching resources.

Direct links to access the curriculum:

Please check back soon.

Build to Nurture

BuildtoNurture
  • Overview
  • Content
  • Outcomes
At some point in their lives, most children will experience adversity; often, these experiences are traumatic.  Many children experience the stress of a move, divorce, or the death of a family member.  Some suffer physical or emotional abuse, neglect, bullying, or violence by their parents, caregivers, or others. Research shows that students experience higher academic achievement in classrooms where social and emotional skills are taught.  Social and Emotional Learning programs are linked to fewer behavior problems, better mental health, improved attitudes in school, and increased prosocial skills.
Build to Nurture prepares children with the social and emotional skills they need to become caring, nurturing, and contributing members of their families and communities.

Build to Nurture is a classroom-based curriculum designed for Prekindergarten through First Grade. Many of the lessons and practices can be adapted for classrooms of older children as well.

  • Lesson 1. Welcome to Your Classroom Community
  • Lesson 2. Knowing Your Emotions
  • Lesson 3. Emotional Control
  • Lesson 4. Assertiveness
  • Lesson 5. Empathy
  • Lesson 6. Consequences
  • Lesson 7. Solving Problems
  • Lesson 8. Kind Words

Coming Soon

Parents Under Construction

ParentsUnderConstruction
  • Overview
  • Content
  • Outcomes
Our award-winning parenting education curriculum teaches children and adolescents empathy and pro-social skills today, leading to nurturing child rearing skills and beliefs.
Why do kids need to learn parenting skills? To become empathetic individuals today and nurturing parents tomorrow.
Most students leave high-school with no training or education in this area. In 2011, there were over 32,000 reports of child abuse/neglect in Harris County alone. Ineffective and/or abusive parenting is a significant contributing factor to many social and health problems, including:
  • Substance abuse
  • Delinquency and crime
  • Poor academic performance
  • Teen pregnancy
  • Violence
  • Emotional disturbance (depression, irritability, aggression)
The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study is one of the largest investigations ever conducted to assess associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being. The ACE Study findings suggest that certain experiences are major risk factors for the leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States. Childhood abuse, neglect, and exposure to other traumatic stressors which we term adverse childhood experiences (ACE) are common. The study shows that stress during childhood increases the risk for the following many health problems including alcoholism and alcohol abuse, depression, fetal death, illicit drug use, liver disease, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), smoking, suicide attempts, and unintended pregnancies. Without education, the cycle of dysfunctional parenting and abuse will only continue to plague our communities. Parents Under Construction can prevent this.

Curriculum Description

This 10-lesson curriculum is designed to teach middle and high school students skills that will positively
influence their future parenting. Parents Under Construction enhances children’s awareness of how parenting
influences children’s mental health. The program helps children today learn the parenting skills they will need
in the future. This program increases the social and emotional competence of children and prevents physical
abuse, emotional abuse, and mental health challenges now and in future generations.

The lessons objectives cover the following critical content areas. Students who participate in Parents Under Construction will:

  • Increase knowledge of parenting
    responsibilities, demands, and costs.
  • Learn accurate information about child development.
  • Develop empathy for children and parents.
  • Enhance their knowledge about mental health, and understand the relationship between parenting practices and the child’s mental health.
  • Apply a wide range of positive discipline techniques.
  • Learn how to create a nurturing environment for the well-being of children.

Additional benefits of the program include the following.

  • Students learn about child development, but also critical thinking, communication, and decision-making skills that will enable them to build healthy relationships today and strong families tomorrow.
  • Parents learn positive communication and discipline techniques.
  • Can increase academic achievement by promoting your students’ social/emotional skills
  • Teachers learn valuable behavior management options
  • Promotes a more peaceful classroom and school environment
  • Provides parent engagement
  • Program fulfills 27 out of the Search Institute’s 40 developmental assets

Parents Under Construction has been extensively evaluated in sixteen separate, independently conducted research studies and has been found effective in:

  • teaching children parenting skills
  • positively impacting children’s attitudes regarding the use of nurturing discipline techniques
  • knowledge gains and attitudes remain at five-year follow-up
  • students report greater empathetic capacity after participating in the program
  • teachers implementing the program note improved student behavior
  • parents participating in parent/child program activities overwhelmingly approve of the program
  • In K-3 and high school classes, statistically significant knowledge increases of +41% and +10%, respectively were found. Positive attitude gains for these two samples were also strong (+79% and +17%) and also statistically significant.
  • There was a 9% increase in the expectation of good parenting behaviors by high school students

Benefits to Teachers

ChildBuilders’ Parenting Education program has benefits for students, but also for classrooms, teachers, and parents!

  • Implementation of the curriculum results in more cooperative student behavior and a more peaceable classroom environment.
  • Students not only learn about child development, but also critical thinking, communication, and decision-making skills that will enable them to build healthy relationships today and strong families tomorrow.
  • Parents learn positive communication and discipline techniques that can improve the student/parent/teacher bond.

ChildBuilders’ Parenting Education training program is a professional development opportunity for your faculty that:

  • Is fun and highly engaging
  • Awards 6 CEU’s
  • Provides teachers stipends when they participate in our evaluation process

ChildBuilders’ Parenting Education program is a school-based program that:

  • Meets TEKS requirements
  • Fulfills 27 of the 40 developmental assets
  • Meets character education guidelines
  • Is easily integrated into academic instruction time

ChildBuilders’ Parenting Education program:

  • Can increase academic achievement by promoting your students’ social/emotional skills
  • Helps teachers learn valuable behavior management techniques
  • Promotes a more peaceful classroom and school environment
  • Provides parent education and engagement

Relationship Smarts PLUS

  • Overview
  • Content
  • Outcomes

Why do youth need to learn relationship skills? To form healthy relationships that build healthy families.

The goal of our relationship education program, Relationships Smarts Plus, is to equip students with knowledge and skills that will empower them to form healthy relationships now and strong marriages and partnerships in the future.

Domestic violence and/or aggression in parental relationships can increase aggression and disruptive behavior in the children who witness it. Research show that teens are more likely than adults to be confused about appropriate behaviors in intimate relationships, due to their lack of experience. They may confuse jealousy and possessiveness with expressions of love. Our program teaches students healthy relationship skills to help them avoid situations like these. Basic relationship skills include:

  • knowing who you are
  • how to get to know someone
  • how to assess a relationship
  • how to avoid attachment to problem partners

The goal of our relationship education program is to arm students with knowledge and skills that will empower them to form healthy relationships now and strong marriages and partnerships in the future.

Domestic violence and/or aggression in parental relationships can increase aggression and disruptive behavior in the children who witness it.

Research shows that teens are more likely than adults to be confused about appropriate behaviors in intimate relationships, due to their lack of experience. They may confuse jealousy and possessiveness with expressions of love. Our program teaches students healthy relationship skills to help them avoid situations like these. Basic relationship skills include:

  • what to say and do in the early stages
  • how to get to know someone
  • how to assess a relationship
  • how to avoid attachment to problem partners

There are thirteen activity-based lessons focused on navigating the world of teen relationships.

In addition topics previously mentioned, students also learn about:

  • Building relationships that are not based on sex
  • Domestic violence prevention
  • Dating skills
  • Healthy and unhealthy romantic relationships
  • Effective communication and non-violent conflict resolution
  • The importance of a strong commitment and marriage
Through a 12-lesson evidence-based curriculum, Relationship Smarts Plus teaches middle and high school students skills and knowledge necessary for building healthy relationships. Each lesson is packed with engaging hands-on, fun, informative and upbeat activities used to build skills and knowledge necessary for making wise choices and promoting healthy relationships now and in the future.

Lesson Topics

  • Lesson 1. Who Am I & Where Am I Going
  • Lesson 2. Maturity Issues and What I Value
  • Lesson 3. Attractions and Infatuations
  • Lesson 4. Principles of Smart Relationships
  • Lesson 5. Is It A Healthy Relationship
  • Lesson 6. Decide, Don’t Slide!
  • Lesson 7. Dating Violence and Breaking Up
  • Lesson 8. Communication and Healthy Relationships
  • Lesson 9. Communication Challenges and More Skills
  • Lesson 10. Sexual Decision-Making
  • Lesson 11. Unplanned Pregnancy Through the Eyes of a Child
  • Lesson 12. Teens, Technology and Social Media

Benefits

  • Participants learn how to identify healthy and unhealthy relationships, and gain knowledge about signs of abusive behaviors
  • Students are taught decision making, problem solving, communication and conflict management skills useful for all types of relationships
  • The program builds a foundation for understanding why healthy and stable parental relationships matter for a child
  • Students impact others with the knowledge learned in the program

Evaluation

Two separate evaluations revealed positive responses from teen participants about the program.
Pre/post tests showed strong changes in knowledge and attitudes about relationships, suggesting that participants are much better prepared to manage future relationships successfully after completing the program. When participants were asked if this program would have a positive effect on their current or future relations, 86 percent answered, “Yes.”

Relationship Smarts Plus, formerly called Love U2, was created by Marline Pearson, a nationally recognized expert on teen relationship education. The U.S. Government approved the curriculum for Administration for Children and Families Healthy Demonstration Grant Activity 4: Education in high schools on the value of marriage and relationships skills.

Love Notes

  • Overview
  • Content
  • Outcomes

Making Relationships Work For Young Adults and Young Parents 

For a growing number of teens and young adults, personal goals are derailed by unplanned pregnancy, single parenting and troubled relationships. 

Love Notes was created for this “at risk” audience, some already pregnant or parenting. In 15 lessons, they discover – often for the first time – how to make wise choices about relationships, sexuality, pregnancy prevention, partnering and more. 

Rather than focusing on what to avoid, Love Notes builds assets and appeals to aspirations. It offers young people new conceptual frameworks for decision making, along with untapped sources of motivation.  

Love Notes features language, activities and a workbook that engage young males as well as females. Topics include: 

  • Self-knowledge and personal aspirations.  
  • Developing, assessing, and maintaining healthy relationships.  
  • Recognizing unhealthy relationships and responding to dangerous relationships.  
  • Effective communication and conflict management.  
  • Intimacy, sexual values, pacing and planning. 
  • How parental relationships affect children and the compelling reasons to avoid unplanned pregnancy.  

Love Notes is research based and adapted from the acclaimed Relationship Smarts PLUS and Within My Reach programs. 

Love Notes includes the following lessons:

1. Relationships Today

  • Relationships Today…
  • Vision-building
  • Choosing Reds or Greens?  

2. Knowing Yourself 

  • Colors Personality Style
  • Examining the past—Good &Bad Baggage
  • Legacy of Past Hurts  

3. My Future & My Expectations 

  • My Past, Present, & Future
  • Possible Selves Tree
  • Identifying Expectations – What’s Important?  

4. Attractions & Starting Relationships  

  • Relationship Pyramid
  • The Chemistry of Attraction
  • Is it Love or Infatuation?  

5. What is Love? 

  • Eros and Agape
  • Three Sides of Mature Love  

6. Principles of Smart Love 

  • Smart or not-so-smart?
  • Seven Principles of Smart Love
  • Compatibility Check
  • Seven Questions to Ask
  • What Partners Need to Know about Each Other  

7. How Healthy is this Relationship? 

  • How Can You Tell?
  • Sculpting activity
  • Assessing MY Relationship
  • The Importance of Fun  

8. Dangerous Love 

  • Recognizing Red Flags
  • Drawing the Line of Respect
  • Danger Signs, Leaving Safely,
  • Helping Friends  

9. Decide, Don’t Slide! 

  • High-Costs of Sliding
  • The Low-Risk Deciding Approach
  • How to “Really Know” Someone
  • Making Decisions—What Do I Need?  

10. Let’s Talk About Sex 

  • Intimacy—It’s More than Physical
  • Are We on the Same Page?
  • Redefining “Safe Sex”
  • Straight Talk
  • The Success Sequence
  • Planning  

11. Foundation for Good Communication 

  • The Four Danger Signs
  • Relationship Check Up
  • Angry Brains
  • The Power of Time Outs
  • The Speaker/Listener
  • Technique  

12. Communication Challenges & More Skills 

  • Effective Complaining
  • Unmet Needs/Hidden Issues
  • Problem Solving
  • Daily Appreciations  

13. Through the Eyes of a Child I 

  • Child Looking for a Family
  • Where Do You Stand?
  • What about Fathers?
  • What the Music Says  

14. Through the Eyes of a Child II 

  • Brighter Futures for Children
  • Child Speak Activity
  • Early Child Development
  • Post-birth Relationship Realities
  • Success Planning  

15. Relationship Issues & Smart Moves for the Future 

  • Break Up Tips; Taking Breaks;
  • Moving On
  • Next Time—Choosing Partners Wisely
  • Considerations on Living Together
  • Prepare for Success  

Please check back soon.