Northbrook, IL (PRWEB) July 16, 2009
The Allstate Foundation is inviting the public to cast its vote for the recipient of a $ 100,000 grant through the ClickToEmpower campaign on http://www.ClicktoEmpower.org. The organizations competing to receive the grant share The Allstate Foundation’s mission of working to end domestic violence and finding new ways to economically empower survivors. Participating organizations are Charity Cars, Family Justice Center Alliance, Safe Horizon and the YWCA.
“The Allstate Foundation selected these non-profit organizations as contenders for the grants because of their strong leadership and programming in the area of domestic violence and economic empowerment,” said Jennifer Kuhn, program manager, The Allstate Foundation Economics Against Abuse program. “To help generate awareness of the great work of these organizations, we are asking the public to weigh in on who will receive the $ 100,000 grant.”
Visitors can vote as well as learn more about each of the highlighted organizations and their domestic violence programs on the http://www.ClicktoEmpower.org Web site. Visitors can vote once a day during the campaign (July 15, 2009 – September 13, 2009). The organization that receives the most votes will receive a $ 100,000 grant and the remaining three will each receive a $ 10,000 grant.
Charity Cars: The original 1-800-Charity Cars provides free vehicles and vehicle support services to domestic violence survivors all across America. Reliable transportation empowers victims to leave their abusers and is a major factor in the success or failure of survivors transitioning to self-sufficiency.
National Family Justice Center Alliance: The Alliance is working to provide training and technical assistance to existing and developing Family Justice Centers in the United States and around the world. These organizations serve facilities where survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and sexual assault can come to one location to receive all necessary services.
Safe Horizon: Safe Horizon touches the lives of over 350,000 victims of violence and moves them from crisis to confidence. As the largest provider of domestic violence programs in the country, Safe Horizon helps hundreds of thousands of domestic violence survivors each year by providing them with 24-hour crisis hotlines, safe shelter, clothing, food, transportation, mental health counseling, guidance through the court system, security through changing door locks, counseling on financial literacy, and resume building. Safe Horizon also trains thousands of executives across the country about how to protect their employees from the impact of domestic violence in the workplace with its SafeWork initiative.
YWCA: Among its many programs, YWCA is the largest provider of comprehensive services to victims of domestic violence and their children nationwide, including education and prevention programs, counseling services, emergency shelters, transitional housing, court accompaniment and child care for victims, as well as court-ordered anger management classes for offenders. YWCAs also offer economic empowerment programs for women, from financial literacy seminars to job training and GED classes. YWCA was the first women’s organization founded in the United States, now celebrating 150 years of service on behalf of women and girls.
About The Allstate Foundation
Established in 1952, The Allstate Foundation is an independent, charitable organization made possible by subsidiaries of The Allstate Corporation (NYSE: ALL). Allstate and The Allstate Foundation sponsor community initiatives to promote “safe and vital communities;” “tolerance, inclusion, and diversity;” and “economic empowerment.” The Allstate Foundation believes in the financial potential of every individual and in helping America’s families achieve their American dream. For additional information, visit http://www.ClickToEmpower.org.
About the Economics Against Abuse Program
The Allstate Foundation Economics Against Abuse program helps domestic violence survivors build their financial independence to get free and stay free from abuse. Seeing a significant gap in resources for programs designed to assist survivors with the economic challenges that they face, The Allstate Foundation took action and partnered with the National Network to End Domestic Violence to create a comprehensive program. Economics Against Abuse provides resources, funds direct services and spreads the word on how to empower those touched by domestic and economic abuse. For more information and to find out how to help, visit http://www.ClickToEmpower.org.
Bonita Springs, Fla. (Vocus) December 8, 2009
It happens every day, in every classroom, in every city, in every country in the entire world. Bullying. Although its not a new concept, bullying has taken on an alarming level of seriousness that can lead to devastating outcomes. In todays world, bully targets are just as apt to take their own life as someone elses as a result of bullying. Few understand this better than the mother of teen Jeffrey Johnston who successfully lobbied for the Jeffrey Johnston Stand Up For All Students Act, which mandates schools enact anti-bullying policies and programs to help protect students from bullying. Johnston took his own life after being cyber-bullied. A program at Bonita Springs Charter School is taking the challenge to eliminate bullying just as seriously one student at a time.
Jeffs Law, which it is commonly called, goes hand-in-hand with a curriculum-based character education program adopted last year by Charter Schools USA (CSUSA) called STRIVE. STRIVE is a program created by the Clarion Council that is being implemented as a pilot program with all CSUSA schools. STRIVE 65 is a list of traits that help build moral and performance character as well as encourage active citizenship. STRIVE 65s #18 reminds students to Help the person others are bullying or being mean to.
This STRIVE trait is the foundation of a program developed by Robert Barnes, the guidance counselor at Bonita Springs Charter School. His program called What if uses trait #18 as its basis. The concept asks, What if you could change the world and be the one person who saves a student from making a life altering decision.
Each year we survey the students in our middle school to find out what they believe should be the focus of our bullying program, says Barnes. This year, the overwhelming response was to address cyber-bullying and sexting. Were now focusing on those two bullying behaviors and have been working on the elimination of these demeaning practices from the lives of middle-schoolers.
Cyber-bullying occurs when a child is targeted, harassed, humiliated or embarrassed by someone using interactive or digital technologies or cell phones. Sexting is the act of sending sexually explicit messages or photos electronically, primarily through cell phones. Both forms of bullying can have very damaging effects on children.
The What if? program empowers students to use the time they have in school to help build the self esteem of others. It suggests that students identify those students who are the target of bullies and make an effort to be kind to them even if it means just using their name when addressing them in the hall, making eye contact with them and smiling or sitting with them at lunch. According to Barnes, since it takes two people to engage in a bullying situation the target and the bully its easier to take the target out of the equation.
Bullies want power, says Barnes. Their efforts are only effective if the victim is offended or hurt by their words. Bullies target those with low self esteem who will believe their taunts. So if the rest of the students help build their peers self esteem, the bullies have fewer and fewer targets.
The program seems to be working well. Last year, prior to the advent of this program, Barnes received four to five bully reports per week. So far this year, there has been only one complaint that needed to be resolved by disciplinary action and one other that was resolved by the students in a peaceful manner. He is greatly encouraged by the dramatic decline in referrals.
I think there is a combination of the students helping each other and a better understanding of the definition of bullying that is helping to decrease those numbers, adds Barnes. Its so gratifying to see students looking out for each other. No one wants to be bullied and everyone can relate to being a target. Giving these students the tools they need to help stop this trend empowers them to truly believe they can change the world.
Bonita Springs Charter School is part of the Charter Schools USA Inc. (CSUSA) family of schools. CSUSA is one of the nations leading charter school management companies, serving kindergarten through 12th grade. CSUSA provides comprehensive management services to corporations, government entities and non-profit organizations. CSUSA schools are individually developed to meet the unique needs and requirements of the community. CSUSA educational advantages include integrated technology, parental involvement contracts, student uniforms, enforced discipline policies, highly qualified and motivated staff, community focus and high academic performance.
Enrollment for Bonita Springs Charter School is underway; interested parents can register their child online at http://www.bonitaspringscharter.org. For additional information, contact Charter Schools USA at 1-866-KIDSUSA or visit the corporate Web site at http://www.charterschoolsusa.com .
Deborah Tracy Bonita Springs Charter School Principal or
Robert Barnes Bonita Spring Charter School Guidance Counselor
Ofc: 239- 992-6932
Colleen Reynolds, APR, president and owner of Edge Communications
Ofc: 239-437-0040; Cell: 239-849-6400; Fax: 239-437-0170
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