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Building on an award-winning program they developed for high school students in 2001, the Zonta Club of Porterville parterned with the Porterville Unified School District and the Central Family Crisis Center of Porterville to create a program to promote healthy, violence-free relationships between middle school students of the opposite sex.
More than 500 students (262 boys and 250 girls) participated in a three-day awareness program at the Sequoia Middle School. The students watched "Remember Jenn," a video about an unhealthy relationship between a girl and her boyfriend that was created by the high school students from the 2001 program. The video incorporated messages about the cycle of violence, the definitions of healthy relationships and ways to get out of unhealthy and risky situations. After watching the video, the students participated in group discussions about types of abuse, signs of healthy and unhealthy relationships and stages of the abuse cycle. On the third day, students created short skits on topics like possessiveness, control, humiliation, jealousy and infringement of space and played them out in front of their friends.
Nine members of the Zonta Club of Porterville volunteered with at least one member present at each session, and professional counselors from the Central Family Crisis Center were on hand to provide professional guidance.
The program was a success, and the Zonta Club of Porterville hopes to expand the program to all middle schools in the area.
|Date:||7 December 2009|
|Action Type:||Awareness Raising|