Since 1980, Blackburn Center has provided awareness and prevention education programs to schools throughout Westmoreland County on topics such as sexual assault, domestic violence, and issues related to family and interpersonal violence. 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, through these programs.
We know that parents, teachers, administrators, community members and others may be curious about the content of these programs. Parents may want to review the programs before their children attend, or perhaps use our materials as a starting point for their own conversations with their kids about child sexual abuse, teen dating violence, bullying, sexting, or another sensitive topic. We strongly believe in the value of education, and in access to information. That is why we have made our educational booklet available via our website. This booklet contains detailed information about our educational programs, our mission and goals and classroom procedures
You can now download the entire booklet, complete with the programs for grade levels ranging from preschool through senior high school, on our School Programs page. Alternatively, you can click on links to find information on programs for specific grades, or to download materials for larger grade group (such as Preschool/Kindergarten, Elementary, Middle School or High School).
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.
If you would like to learn more about our training and education programs, you can click here or contact us to schedule one for your school or organization. To support our mission and help us continue to provide these programs free of charge to students throughout Westmoreland County, we ask you to consider a donation to our organization. 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.