How Do You “Bullyproof” a School?

That’s the question United Way of the National Capital Area, Everfi and The Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation have teamed up to solve. Bullying today has the same shape as ever before, except now it has a new landscape: online. Instead of treating the aftermath of bullying, why not create more spaces where bullies don’t exist?

The idea that the bully is the “bad guy” actually gets in the way of preventing bullying in the first place. Recent case studies on bullying reveal that there’s one component consistently missing throughout: solid communication skills. Unresolved anger, pent up frustration, and no developed means to manage emotional distress all contribute to the development of bullying. When you bridge the gap by empowering students at an early age with a stable foundation to process difficult feelings, then you stand a greater chance of bullying going away.

For student’s living in poverty, there are a slew of risk factors when it comes to developing character. Fractured families or limited parental influence can hinder a child’s ability to develop a foundation of trust that they can use to build strong relationships with their peers. Lack of stable housing, food, and resources may impact a child’s self-esteem. And without stability, children might grow up without the proper communication or relationship building skills that can empower them to succeed.

When we think about today’s innovators and thought leaders, we often value them for their character. Modern day heroes are inspiring not just for their strength, but for their integrity. And yet for all the importance that character plays in how we judge the world, there isn’t a large enough focus on teaching it to our students. Tools like the Character Playbook and a partnership like the Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation and United Way NCA are cultivating character driven education across local schools in the National Capital Area.

The Character Playbook’s method empowers students with the tools to manage difficult emotional situations and resolve conflict effectively. Beyond assisting students in developing deeper relationships with their peers and family, The Character Playbook empowers students to feel comfortable growing, learning and creating.

We invite you to learn more about The Character Playbook and United Way NCA’s commitment to helping 12,000 Title I students succeed beyond middle school.