Leaders in innovative learning and social-emotional development agree that educating the whole child is key to current and future student success. Prepare Inc.’s comprehensive, evidence-based violence prevention programs cultivate the personal safety, communication skills, and allied behaviors that contribute directly to the health and wellness of students and their school communities.
School communities provide a unique environment to create youth leaders who will influence peer culture and violence prevention measures in and out of the classroom.
Our school programs are designed to empower students and to improve their safety by lowering risk factors and raising protective factors. Prepare is recognized for its ability to communicate with young people and to tailor its programs to always be age appropriate. Since 1992, Prepare Inc. has served over 30,000 young people through programs at K-12 schools and public classes.
Prepare sessions include multiple teaching modalities in order to best serve a variety of student learning styles. These include: role-plays, interactive exercises, learning through discovery, critical and moral thinking based on current events, focused discussion groups, community-building exercises, and questions brought into the classroom by the students. We teach real life solutions to personal safety and social problems in a respectful and culturally sensitive environment. Our approach allows students to build the essential social skills education needed to think critically and to make better choices regarding safety, health, and wellness.
We define personal safety in a broad context: it is external awareness of our environment, choices about how we behave, how we speak to others, and how we let others speak to us. It is having the skills needed to set limits in situations that make us uncomfortable or are potentially dangerous. Prepare programs follow the recommendations and guidelines of Center for Disease Control, SEICUS, Blueprints for Violence Prevention, Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and Gavin de Becker.
We offer an array of school-based programs for lower, middle, and upper school students. Each program is customized to meet school needs. Programming schedules can vary from an intensive one-day workshop to a full semester of curriculum-based programming. Our programs are frequently offered through physical education, life skills, or health education departments.
Please contact us for scope, sequence, pricing, and scheduling.
Our school partners report a lower incidence in volume and intensity of bullying, teasing, social cruelty, and exclusion. Likewise, parents and educators note an increase in pro-social bystander behavior, significant boosts in self-esteem and confidence, and enhanced resiliency to challenge and change. Students say that they feel less influenced by social pressures and that they are better able to assert themselves and manage conflict. Students also note that they feel less intimidated to try new things and that they are more likely to enact allied behavior on behalf of others, including speaking up against bias and stereotypes.
Improving the safety of young people includes involving the entire community. Schools maximize the benefit of Prepare school-based programs if all of the students in a grade can be educated, along with parents, caregivers, and faculty. This community-wide approach ensures that there is a shared common language to discuss challenging situations. Moreover, it multiplies a collective of adult role models who can model positive, effective behavior. These adults can reinforce lessons learned, and listen to and support the young people in their lives.
Our School Programs
Lower School Program Highlights:
Cultivating pro-social skills including allyship, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, how to access help from adults, and body autonomy. An introduction to physical resistance and self-defense skills is encouraged, but may be reserved for Middle School.
Middle School Program Highlights:
Navigating increasing freedom and independence: traveling and social life without adult supervision, examining how decision-making intersects with other risk factors such as alcohol, peer pressure, social constructs around gender, class and race, communication skills and strategies, and physical resistance skills. Scenarios are set in a wide variety of public and private settings.
The Anti-bias, Anti-bullying Program – helps students better understand how bias and stereotypes impact their world and empowers them with the skills to speak up for themselves and others. The program builds allyship by teaching students how to build authentic relationships and honor and value difference.
Street Smarts and Body Boundaries – provides students with the fundamental tools to protect themselves verbally and physically when strangers and familiars threaten their physical safety and/or emotional integrity.
Positive Peer Relationships – teaches students how to enhance relationships and navigate changing friendships, hurt feelings, misunderstandings, and group dynamics in a low drama way.
Upper School (Grades 9 – 12)
Upper School Program Highlights:
Exploring the social context for violence and the influence of peers, social norms and media: how does gender, drug and alcohol use, and the root causes of violence intersect with vulnerabilities and protective factors? Prepare provides a spectrum of verbal and physical skills to manage challenging or dangerous experiences, including gendered violence.
The Personal Safety Program – provides students with the fundamental tools to protect themselves verbally and physically when strangers and familiars threaten their physical safety and/or emotional integrity.
The Healthy Relationships Program – teaches students how to think critically and identify problematic or dangerous behaviors within relationships (friendship and romantic). Students rehearse verbal and non-verbal strategies for setting boundaries in an authentic voice.
The Health Education Program – equips students with the decision-making skills to make healthy choices around alcohol, tobacco, and sex. Students have an opportunity to analyze personal and social pressures to engage in risky behaviors, learn how to take care of themselves, and practice asking for adult help when needed.
Prepare Programs for Adults in the School Community
Prepare Introduction (1 – 2 hours)
Provided complimentary to all schools that engage Prepare for school-based programming. This introductory presentation explores the research behind Prepare’s teaching philosophy, our pedagogy, and strategies for adults in the community to reinforce messages from class. We overview the role-plays covered for each grade and review opportunities to integrate Prepare with other academic curriculum.
Introduction to Personal Safety (3 hours)
Faculty, administrators, and/or parents and caregivers rehearse the same role-plays and learn the same skills as the students, in scenarios set in an adult context. Participants explore a range of personal safety and self-defense strategies. Participants will: examine the social and cultural context of violence; replace bias and stereotype with instincts; increase awareness of the environment; assess risk and detect threats to physical and emotional safety; rehearse a wide range of responses to threats, including non-verbal strategies, verbal strategies, accessing bystander help, and physical resistance; and gain an understanding of the physiology of adrenaline in order to manage emotional overwhelm. This training helps parents, caregivers, and school faculty appreciate the challenges and accomplishments of the students and expands the community of adults who are able to support young people through the Prepare class experience and beyond.
The Parent, Educator & Caregiver Workshop (3 – 4 hours)
Created in collaboration with a child psychotherapist and a social worker, the Parent, Caregiver, and Educator workshop is designed for all adults who engage with children (and especially young children). The workshop replaces safety myths with facts, demonstrates ways to improve risk assessment and intuition skills, and multiplies a community of positive adult role models who are able to reinforce the lessons learned and who can listen to and support young people when they need help or have questions.
Participants practice interactive verbal exercises and problem solving scenarios, including how to have challenging conversations with young people and with other adults. This short but impactful program teaches skills that adults can immediately put to use to improve their interactions with children and to help advocate from them with other adults.
Prepare Comprehensive IMPACT Basics Class (12 – 16 hours)
This comprehensive program offers training in a range of personal safety skills for situations with strangers and familiars, including:
- psychological, physiological, and mental readiness – adrenaline management, problem solving under stress;
- threat assessment and threat management – predicting violence and aggression, avoidance options, verbal strategies, and physical resistance techniques; and
- verbal and non-verbal communication skills to handle conflict, boundary violations, inappropriate behaviors, and unwelcome touch.
All skills are practiced in interactive scenarios with certified instructors and everyone receives one-on-one coaching. Physical skills are practiced full contact, full force against padded instructors trained in recreating common harassment and assault scenarios. Participants learn how to shorten the “freeze” response to fear and danger, assess and respond quickly to a confrontation, manage the effects of adrenaline, and act with intention to protect their lives and safety.