As part of its services to the community, Blackburn Center offers free educational programs to schools in Westmoreland County. These programs cover a range of topics, from child sexual abuse to bullying to teen dating violence to internet safety and sexting. All of our program materials for our awareness and prevention programs are available on our School Programs page.
If you are reading this, there is a good chance that your child attended one of Blackburn Center’s programs at his or her school, and that you want to learn more about what your child heard during this program. You may also be looking for guidance on how to talk to your children about these issues.
At Blackburn Center, we believe that education of both children and parents are important strategies in ending these types of abuse. That is why we are offering some of our school educational brochures and handouts on our website, so that parents can be an active part of the learning process with their children. As always, we remind parents that you can call our hotline for help and information at any time at 1-888-832-2272. Our hotline is open 24/7, and is free of charge and can be anonymous.
To review the documents seen by your children during our program, please click on the following links:
Everyone Has the Right to Be Safe
20 Things to Do Instead of Hurting Someone Back
Dating Rights & Responsbilities
Sexual Assault: What's the Law If You Are Assaulted
The following documents may also be helpful as you talk to your children about child sexual abuse, bullying and harassment, and may give you ideas on how to approach these topics.
Tips for Talking to Children about Child Sexual Abuse
Tips for Talking to Children about Bullying & Harassment
You can learn more about the specific topics discussed at your child’s school, including signs and symptoms of abuse, by clicking below:
Our educational programs have seen success as shown by student surveys which indicate an increase in knowledge on the topics that we present. At the elementary level, our main goals for the students include being able to define and recognize bullying, bullying behaviors, and child abuse so that they are aware of these issues and know that there are agencies like ours that can help. At the upper elementary level, these topics are expanded from the students’ physical world to the digital world, with a goal of making students aware of both cyberbullying and the basics of internet safety. At the middle school level, our goals include the students being able to define and recognize sexual harassment, as well as being able to define and recognize healthy versus unhealthy relationships. At the high school level, our goals include having the students further their understanding of sexual harassment and dating violence, and expanding that to include an awareness of consent and sexual assault. In the middle school and high school years we also begin to emphasize primary prevention with specific programs on media literacy which take a look at gender stereotypes in media and what effects they might have on people’s behaviors and actions. This idea is woven through all discussions at the middle and high school level. Each year, we reach about 15,000 students in 15 or more of the public school districts of Westmoreland County, in addition to several of the schools in the Diocese of Greensburg.
During these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever for Blackburn Center to secure the funding needed to continue our efforts to keep children safe. With approximately 65,000 school-aged children in Westmoreland County, Blackburn Center needs the entire community to join with us as we strive to end sexual and domestic violence and protect our most vulnerable citizens — our children. Please consider a donation to Blackburn Center today.