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Monica Buchanan, Director of Communications
HARTFORD, CONN. – According to the most recent statistic, 7.8 percent of high school students self-reported on the Connecticut School Health Survey (CSHS) that they have been physically forced to have sexual intercourse. With the help of The Allstate Foundation, Connecticut Children’s developed a high school-level sexual violence prevention curriculum called “Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships.” This curriculum serves to meet the requirements of a law that went into effect in 2017 that requires sexual abuse and assault education be implemented in each local and regional school district.
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. In continuing this partnership, Connecticut Children’s received a $40,000 Allstate Foundation Good Starts Young® grant for the 2019-2020 school year, 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 take a step back and really examine how their actions and attitudes impact relationships and 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.”
The Allstate Foundation’s Good Starts Young® program 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.
Thanks to the financial support from The Allstate Foundation, Connecticut Children’s can deliver the Building a Culture of Healthy Relationships curriculum in a number of schools in Hartford and in other school districts around the State.
Interested schools can contact Jessica Escobar.
About Connecticut Children’s
Connecticut Children’s is the only hospital in Connecticut dedicated exclusively to the care of children and ranked one of the best children’s hospitals in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and a Magnet® designated hospital. Connecticut Children’s provides more than 30 pediatric specialties along with community-based programs to uniquely care for the physical, social, and emotional needs of children. Our team of pediatric experts and care coordinators bring access to breakthrough research, advanced treatments for both rare and common diseases, and innovative health and safety programs to every child. Connecticut Children’s is a not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve access to healthcare for all children through convenient locations, care alliances and partnerships.