MILWAUKEE (9/25/2013) - Children's Hospital of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced today the expansion of anti bullying programs for Wisconsin students. Act Now! Children's Hospital's e-learning, game-based curriculum helps schools battle bullying by empowering bystanders and improving school climate. Act Now!, previously offered to students in grades 4 through 8 at no cost to schools in Wisconsin, will now be available to children in kindergarten through grade 8.
In addition to the ongoing work of Children's Hospital of Wisconsin Community Health, the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction is preparing to release a new resource. The RE-THINK curriculum is a set of classroom activities designed for use at the high school level. Distribution to all high schools in the state will provide evidence-based lessons on how to prevent and resolve conflict, develop empathy, and identify effective responses to bullying for victims and would-be bystanders. Together with the on-line materials, schools throughout Wisconsin will have access to effective, no-cost materials that will help them to prevent, reduce or, hopefully, eliminate bullying.
Since Children's Hospital and Department of Public Instruction launched Act Now! in 2010, more than 70,000 students have participated statewide in bullying prevention education, and more than 100 school districts are using Act Now!. With staff training, there was a 49 percent increase in students saying they have NOT been bullied, compared to a 9.1 percent increase without staff training. Additionally, when staff trained alongside students, there was a 57 percent reduction in the number of girls and boys who have bullied another student.
At Maplewood Middle School in Menasha, in its third year offering the Act Now! to students and teachers, they're seeing a significant improvement in its school climate. "We have experienced noticable reductions in the students taking part in bullying, measurable reductions in students being afraid of being bullied and an increase in students who told a teacher or other adult at school about bullying." said Chris VanderHeyden, superintendent, Menasha Joint School District. "It's working right here in our community."
Through the generosity of many funding partners, especially Zink the Zebra Foundation, Act Now! is available free to Wisconsin schools. For more information about Children's Hospital of Wisconsin's e-learning programs, call toll-free (866) 228-5670 or visit healthykidslearnmore.com.