C.R.E.A.T.E. Change

 

C.R.E.A.T.E. Change is a junior high and high school peer leadership program that was designed with local students to prepare them to support one another and advocate for inclusive schools and communities. An initial training series engages participants with skills and tools applicable to a range of issues including mental health, bullying, dating violence, and unconscious bias. Through ongoing support and access to nationally recognized advocacy materials, students plan and lead initiatives to create change that is important to them.

What? Ozark Guidance professionals facilitate an interactive training that engages (usually 20-25) students in learning C.R.E.A.T.E. Change skills, tools, and interventions with real life scenarios. Participants may then engage in leadership activities to teach their classmates and advocate for positive student-led initiatives. As a reminder of their ongoing role to support others and lead, participants receive a t-shirt (see T-Shirt Design Contest details.)

Some examples of student-led initaives to create change include:

  • Students may co-facilitate activities in classes or small groups to spread C.R.E.A.T.E Change skills
  • Students might organize a panel discussion to share stories with C.R.E.A.T.E. Change messages
  • Students may create an awareness campaign using nationally recognized advocacy materials, e.g. Booster Buddy, a free app to help young people improve their mental health, or Pacer Center’s Teens Against Bullying resources, or That’sNotCool.com materials to decrease digital dating violence, or MTV’s Look Different website to open people’s eyes to hidden (unconscious) bias
  • Students develop a nomination process and manage ‘Change Creator’ awards to routinely recognize and honor peers who are supporting others and creating change for a positive school environment
  • If time is limited, then this option can be omitted and students who participate in the core presentation are encouraged to spread C.R.E.A.T.E. Change skills through role modeling

Who? Our program is flexible. Student participants may be an established leadership club or group, e.g. student council. Or this program may be best for students who might benefit from additional supports, e.g. student in an alternative learning environment. Or the student body and/or school personnel may strategically nominate and select 20-25 students from various junior high or high school classes to build bridges across differences. When? Student participation varies depending on what is best for a school. A core presentation is at minimum two hours or may be broken into briefer meetings, for example, five meetings to cover each of the C.R.E.A.T.E. Change concepts, one at a time. On-going guidance is available to support subsequent student-led initiatives.

Why? By offering skills, tools and interventions, Ozark Guidance is empowering students across Northwest Arkansas to creatively prevent or diminish negative outcomes including low academic performance, poor mental health, even suicide. As students gain skills, tools and interventions they make themselves, one another, our schools and our communities safer and stronger.

How? Schools simply sign up, at no cost. Students receive their t-shirts for free. We are currently seeking funding from community donors to sustain the program over time.

Contact: Jennifer Coldiron, L.C.S.W., School Based Liaison Manager, 479-695-1240, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)