Since 2012, Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center and The Allstate Foundation have worked together to offer youth empowerment programming that fosters personal development and peer leadership opportunities. Recently, Connecticut Children’s received a $40,000 Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young® grant, enabling the Injury Prevention Center to continue to engage high school students in building an understanding about the importance of maintaining healthy, non-violent relationships through the Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships program.
“Teens and young adults have been bombarded by negative relationship models in music, movies, and for some in their homes,” said Kevin Borrup, DrPH, JD, MPA, associate director of Connecticut Children’s Injury Prevention Center. “Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships is designed to help teens to take a step back and really examine how their actions and attitudes impact relationships and to take a leading role in making change among their peers.”
Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships, is a high school-based program that teaches and promotes healthy pro-social interactions between peers. The curriculum is currently being implemented in four Connecticut high schools. The five-session curriculum addresses topics that include violence against women, co-occurring forms of abuse, healthy vs. unhealthy relationships and how to be an ally against violence. Through group discussions, media, interactive activities and reflective journaling, the program aims to provide students with a foundation that fosters mutual respect and understanding with peers.
“The Allstate Foundation has partnered with Connecticut Children’s for nearly a decade to help youth develop a culture of healthy behaviors and relationships in their schools and communities at-large,” said Tracey King, Allstate corporate relations manager. “We believe that good starts young and that young people can make a positive difference in our world – they just need support and encouragement. Programs like Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships are bringing attention to the critical community issue of physical, sexual and emotional abuse and we are proud to support it.”
Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young® helps youth build socio-emotional skills crucial to learning and leading so they can make a tangible impact on our world. Through partnerships with impactful nonprofit organizations like Connecticut Children’s, Allstate agency owners, financial specialists and employees come together to help youth unlock their future potential and lead the way to a better tomorrow.
In 2017, Connecticut passed a law requiring that sexual abuse and assault education be implemented in each local and regional school district. In Connecticut, 7.8 percent of high school students reported on the Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) that they have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse. This is a surprising statistic that only reinforces the need for this kind of education. Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships is a program designed to meet this mandate.
Thanks to the financial support from The Allstate Foundation, Connecticut Children’s Medical Center is able to deliver this program in a number of schools in Hartford, and in other school districts around the State.
Interested schools can contact Jessica Escobar at JEscobar@connecticutchildrens.org.