This week marked the beginning of another school year, and Chicago’s half-million students are back in their desks. CAASE’s educators hope to build upon the success of last year and expand the total number of school partners from 20 to 25. The team has already begun scheduling workshops with existing partners, and has had promising meetings with potential partners. Adding five more schools to the list seems like a very attainable goal for the 2015-16 school year.
One of the greatest contributing factors to the ability to increase capacity has been the team’s increase in size. This year the CAASE prevention team will have an additional educator, bringing the total to three. The team is ready to get back in the classroom and attended some training over the summer to help prepare. The Communities in Schools Chicago Summer Institute offered seminars on teaching in a trauma-informed manner. Given the sensitive nature of topics covered in the Empowering Youth programs, this was incredibly helpful to the whole team.
In addition to reaching out to high schools, CAASE is excited to announce that it will also be launching a prevention education program on college campuses. It’s going to be SWEET. The program, Students Working to End Exploitation and Trafficking, will be unveiled later this fall, and CAASE’s educators hope to bring the SWEET program to at least three colleges in Chicago.
As always, thank you for your continued support of our prevention education efforts. It is only through your generosity that we are able to reach thousands of students each year and equip and empower them to stand as allies against sexual violence and exploitation. As one young man said last year, “It’s really important to think about these things, and spread awareness about it.” You helped him do that. Thank you.