Personal Body Safety Workshops
We offer prevention programs for students in grades K through 5. These are school-based workshops conducted in the classroom with teachers and guidance counselors present.
Animal puppets present a story that utilizes personal body safety through safety rules about touching. Children learn about good, hurtful and confusing touches, that touches in the private areas are only to keep them clean and healthy, and that keeping clean and healthy is never a secret. Emphasis is on touches in the private areas never being secret and getting help from a trusted grown-up if they are ever hurt or scared.
Grades 1 & 2
After an introduction to personal body safety that covers the safety rules about touching, child puppets present a fun show designed to help children relate to the characters. When one of the puppets begins to display some distress and eventually discloses inappropriate touching or behaviors by another person, the children are asked to help solve the problem. The solution is always to tell a trusted grown-up such as a parent. An adult puppet enters and the children help the distressed character tell his/her story. The adult remains calm and reassures the child they did the right thing by telling. Emphasis is on touches in the private areas never being secret, and getting help from a trusted grown-up if they are ever hurt or scared.
Grade 3 (and sometimes 4)
After an introduction to personal body safety that covers touching safety rules, child puppets present a fun show designed to help children relate to the characters. When one of the puppets begins to display some distress and eventually discloses inappropriate behavior of another child or older person, the children are asked to help problem solve about what can be done. At this age we also include a discussion of instincts, examining the signals that our bodies give us that we are nervous, upset or anxious. We explain that they are like an alarm system, telling us something isn't right. As with earlier grades, emphasis is on touches in the private areas never being secret, and getting help from a trusted grown-up if they are ever hurt or scared.
After an introduction to personal body safety that covers the touching safety rules, a story is told about a 4th grade girl named Carla. In the story, Carla and her younger sister live with her mom. Her dad is remarried and they visit his home on the weekends. Her mother has a serious boy friend, Frank, who offers to babysit with Carla and her sister one evening a week while mom takes a class for her new job. Frank is lots of fun, but he barges into Carla's room when she is changing, and enters the bathroom while she is in the shower to get cough medicine for her sister. These situations make Carla feel very uncomfortable. Students are asked to brainstorm what Carla can do. The best solution is always that she will tell a grown up she trusts. Discussion covers privacy and how different families have different rules or comfort levels. Emphasis is on the fact that Carla is uncomfortable and should seek help. We want children to know that they needn't wait until "something" has happened to get help from a trusted grown-up, to trust their instincts.
After an introduction on personal body safety that touches briefly on the touching safety rules and new rules they might have for using the internet, students are told a story about Linda. She is a 5th grader who loves soccer and would like a friend who is just as crazy about soccer as she is. Online, she joins a group called "Girls Soccer Rules" and eventually finds another member who seems like just the buddy she wants. They begin to IM regularly, and after a few weeks, Linda figures out that her buddy is a boy, not a girl. By then, it doesn't matter because her new friend seems to understand her so well. Every afternoon she races home to check in with her buddy, telling him about practice, school, and her birthday party planned at a local skating rink. At the rink, she notices a man who seems to be watching her. It makes her feel uncomfortable, but she forgets about him when she goes into another room for cake and presents. The next weekend, this same man shows up at one of her games and approaches her at the snack bar. He claims to be a personal trainer and offers to coach her, praising her footwork, suggesting she meet him at the field the next afternoon. Students are then sorted into groups and asked to describe what they think is going on and what Linda can do about it. Discussion focuses on the question of whether or not this is her buddy, how did he find her since she didn't use her real name or the name of her school, and if he is really a coach interested in her playing? As always, telling a trusted grown-up is the best solution for keeping Linda safe.