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  News Release - For Immediate Release September 24, 1997

Los Angeles County Juvenile Court Schools Adopt Nova Scotia Violence-Prevention Program


Halifax-The Los Angeles County Office of Education's Juvenile Court and Community Schools (LACOE JCCS) Division begins implementation of a Canadian violence-prevention program this week. During the initial three-month pilot, Healthy Relationships: A Violence-Prevention Curriculum will be taught to youth at two juvenile halls, eight community education centers, and one shelter for abused children.

The program was developed by the anti-violence community group Men For Change of Halifax in cooperation with the Halifax County-Bedford District School Board, and first released in 1994.

Asked why this program was selected, Dr. Dolores Richie, LACOE JCCS Coordinator for Curriculum and Instruction, said: "This curriculum on anger and violence is a natural extension of our program to teach responsibility and conflict resolution to youth at risk." Dr. Richie emphasized as particularly beneficial the curriculum's emphases on understanding aggression, exploring emotions and dealing with gender issues related to violent behavior.

"It's critical that young people in our programs address these issues to prevent future violence," Dr. Richie said. "It's also beneficial for our teachers. By going through the training, they are better able to model the kinds of behaviors that will promote peaceful conflict resolution and anger management. A future goal would be to offer the Healthy Relationships training to all JCCS teachers."

Developed by men to address issues of male violence in society, Healthy Relationships is a good fit for this population because the vast majority of juvenile offenders are male. Says Curriculum Co-Developer and Trainer Peter Davison: "We understand their concerns. What our program aims to do is to help them explore healthy lifestyle choices so that, in the future, they will be able to avoid conflict with the law." Regarding LACOE's adoption of the Canadian program, Davison adds: "Our international partnership is exciting. It reveals that we have a common purpose which transcends national boundaries."

A series of 53 classroom activities, the curriculum teaches emotional awareness, problem-solving, anger management, conflict resolution, assertiveness, empathy, media literacy, critical thinking, and resiliency.

In mid-August, Healthy Relationships co-developers Peter Davison and Andrew Safer traveled to Los Angeles from Halifax to train 50 JCCS administrators and teachers, some of whom are participating in the pilot.

During the same week, Men For Change representatives also made curriculum presentations at a school district in Bethel, Alaska and at a conference in Dublin, Ireland.

Copies of Healthy Relationships which have been sold in every Canadian province and territory and 26 US states are being used in public schools, young offender institutions, child welfare agencies, youth centers, battered women's centers, sexual assault service centers, and university-level teacher education classes.

In 1996, the Manitoba Research Centre on Family Violence and Violence Against Women selected Healthy Relationships from 12 North American violence-prevention programs, to conduct a three-year evaluation of its effectiveness as a teen dating violence program.

A LACOE evaluator is working with Dr. Richie to assess the program through pre-tests and post-tests during JCCS's pilot phase, which ends in December.

For more information please contact:
Mr. Peter Davison: Phone (902) 424-3831
Mr. Andrew Safer: Phone (902) 422-8476

Dr. Dolores Richie, Coordinator, Curriculum and Instruction,
Los Angeles County Office of Education, Juvenile Court and Community Schools: (818) 362-8833

Ms. Margo Minecki, Communications Dept., Los Angeles County Office of Education: Phone: (562) 922-6313

More News:

Healthy Relationships In Action (Fall 1997)

Healthy Relationships Newsletter, No. 1 Update (Spring 1997)

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How to purchase Healthy Relationships Curriculum

You can reach the developers and publishers of Healthy Relationships Curriculum through any of the following means:
Phone: (902) 457-4351
Fax: (902) 457-4597
E-mail: hrc@m4c.ns.ca

We look forward to hearing from you.



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