Way to P.E.A.C.E.
Real Damage to Kids
Jacob is afraid to go to school and leaves before lunch so he doesn't get beaten up in a back hallway. Beta hangs out with a group of girls who are her BFFs one minute and her worst enemies the next, spreading rumors about her throughout the school. Juan doesn't want to join a school gang but he is followed home, threatened and harassed all the time, with constant pressure to do so.
All of these incidents are examples of bullying and/or youth violence. They can damage a child's self-esteem, ability to interact with others, and most important frighten them so deeply they cannot function in school.
More than 700,000 young people are treated for injuries from violence every year, according to the Center for Disease Control. And the National Youth Violence Network reports that about 30% of students—more than 5.7 million young people—are involved in bullying incidents either as the perpetrator or victim of bullying.
A Community-Based Solution
Recognizing this growing problem in our community, United Way NCA developed Way to P.E.A.C.E. — to take on the underlying causes of youth violence. Working with faith-based and community-based organizations — collectively known as “the collaborative” — we offer hope and possibilities to our youth, and the people and organizations that care for them. Through a combination of community awareness activities, workshops and youth development programs, plus financial support to give children and teens a more secure home environment, we provide tools and resources to make our kids more secure in themselves and in their environment.
Community Resource Toolkit For Organizations and Schools
Working with the Way to P.E.A.C.E. Collaborative, United Way of the National Capital Area developed P.E.A.C.E. It Together, a free, comprehensive toolkit designed for organizations and schools with an interest in finding solutions to youth violence.
The toolkit is divided into three sections:
- Educate Me: Includes facts and statistics around bullying, gang involvement, and other topics related to youth violence, tips for parents, and more,
- Empower Me: Comprehensive descriptions of four empowerment workshops offered by the Way to P.E.A.C.E. collaborative,
- Connect Me: Contact information for collaborative members who provide social services support and mentoring programs geared toward youth violence prevention.
The Way to P.E.A.C.E. Collaborative offers a series of workshops to empower youth and the people and organizations that care about them. Three of the workshops address the specific areas of youth violence: gangs, bullying and teen dating. The fourth workshop is designed to help families overcome the stresses that arise from financial hardship — a life-factor closely linked to incidence of youth violence — by offering financial literacy training to both youth and adults.
The four workshops are:
- Bullying Prevention and Intervention
- Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention
- Financial Stability
Workshop 1 and 2: Bullying Prevention and Intervention and Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention Workshops
The Bullying Prevention and Intervention and the Gang Violence Prevention and Intervention workshops integrate the short film String's Dream, about an urban youth's dream to become a classical musician — and the obstacles he faces being bullied by gang members. The film also examines the issue of bullying from the perspective of those engaged in the bullying behavior.
Workshop 3: Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention
The Teen Dating Violence Prevention and Intervention workshop targets attitudes and behaviors associated with dating abuse and violence. Uncomfortable Conversations, one of three programs associated with this workshop, incorporates a live theatrical presentation to build awareness and spark a dialogue around teen dating. Bruised, a short film, and also another component of the workshop, explores domestic violence from a perspective of teenage youth who have been perpetrators or victims of domestic violence. Through these programs, participants learn the difference between healthy and abusive relationships and are equipped with the skills they need to develop healthy dating habits including: positive communication, anger management and conflict resolution.
Workshop 4: Financial Stability
Households that have a high financial stress are statically more likely to have children affected by youth violence. A key component in moving families toward a successful future is to educate households on being fiscally sound. Our financial literacy workshops will guide teens and adults on the path to financial health, and provide youth with a stable home-line from which to grown in security and self-worth.
Way to P.E.A.C.E. Collaborative Members