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Building Awareness....and Giving Parents the Tools to Do the Same

For nearly 40 years, Blackburn Center has offered awareness and prevention education programs to schools

throughout Westmoreland County on a range of topics, including sexual assault, domestic violence, bullying, teen dating violence, and more. Every 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.

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 even 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. Because we believe in education and access to information, we have made our educational booklet available via our website. This booklet contains detailed information about our educational programs, our mission and goals, as well as 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. You can also 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).

Student surveys indicate an increase in knowledge on the topics that we present, demonstrating the success of our educational programs. At the elementary level, our main goals for the students include being able to define and recognize bullying, bullying behaviors, and child abuse. This helps them be aware of these issues and know that there are places that can help. At the upper elementary level, these topics are expanded from the students’ physical world to the digital world, to make students aware of cyberbullying and the basics of internet safety. At the middle school level, our goals include students being able to define and recognize sexual harassment, and 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, 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.

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