Breaking it down, beyond gangs, groups & cliques. Working & learning together to prevent school drop out March 3 & 4, 2009 Toronto - Ontario Spanish Speaking Education Network
Who we are • SSEN is a grass roots organization that pursues the success of the Hispanic Community, and especially the youth, in the education system and its healthiest integration in the Canadian Society
Our purpose • SSEN represents the Spanish Speaking Community’s interests within the education system. Our purpose is to focus on the promotion of equity, safe schools and academic and social upgrading; as well as to work towards a healthier social integration and success of the Spanish Community in our country.
Achievements • 1st Congress of Education in Spanish School Desertion • Family Tutorial Program – 2007 / 2008 • Beautification of Bloor Collegiate’s garden • Ontario Corporation • TDSB Community Liaison Group • Training for SSEN Members • 2nd Congress of Education in Spanish: Bullying • 3rd Congress of Education: School Culture • Family Tutorial Program – 2008 / 2009 • TOWARDS THE 4th CONGRESS OF EDUCATION
Ways to achieve our Objectives • Information • Training • Counseling • Mentoring • Continuous monitoring of the needs of our attendees
1st Congress of Education 2006 • Dr. Robert Brown’s research report presented to the TDSB in 2004 reveled a 35% rate of school dropout among the Hispanic students • In light of those results, a group of parents, teachers, community leaders and social workers gathered to address the problem • The organization of the First Congress of education, themes School Desertion, was the immediate response to that critical situation • After that, bullying and violence at schools were brought in as one of the major causes of dropping out
SSEN’s approach to violence through Education • We conceive Education as a tool to prevent violence and exclusion.
Our work in Violence Prevention • SSEN, has initiated a decisive work to prevent violence increase amongst Hispanic youth. Our first step was the Second Congress of Education, whose theme was Bullying. There, Mr. Stephen Wessler, from Main University, and Detective Victor Castro, from Hillsboro Police Department, played a crucial role in raising awareness of the potentially dangerous situations Hispanics students –likewise students from other ethnical, low-income communities- are exposed to inside schools and on the street. Participants attending the Second Congress of Education, carried out by SSEN, were shocked by listening to the very descriptions students made about situations they live on daily basis at schools.
3rd Congress of Education 2008 • The main subjects of the third of Congress education was Inclusion Safety, Equity and gang awareness.
We Dare to Learn Together • Building network with the Canadian Society. • Promoting active participation of the families and students success.
School of Parents • School of parents addresses the needs of the families through workshops to empower parental participation.
Working together we ensure family success • Education systemic perspective
The Power of Listening • When we listen to our youth they become part of the decision making.
Our work in violence Prevention • The Second Congress of Education’s findings led us to continue to work towards violence prevention. • Violence is a pervasive phenomenon, which may be very common among Hispanic families, and can dangerously be a pattern to follow and recreate by next generations. The delivery of this comprehensive program will provide Hispanic families with important, useful information to smoothly settle down and fully, safely integrate to the Canadian society. This program will offer, for instance, viable alternatives to be involved in activities after school; will offer parents the necessary tips to detect whether or not their teenagers are engaged in some delinquent activities.
Our work in violence Prevention • SSEN strongly believes it is important to defeat some paradigms, to break some stereotypes and to change some beliefs that reign within our community regarding the Police. Police is a part of the community, and therefore we all have to work together in order to achieve the goal of preventing violence. • The Spanish Speaking Education Network (SSEN) is proposing a comprehensive violence prevention education program that includes not only youth but also their families.
Our beliefs • Violence is primarily considered to be a learned behaviour • The basic premises of violence prevention programming is that if violence is learned, it can be unlearned and individuals can choose non-violent alternatives • Violence prevention must be part of the school culture as a component of the curricula and address all forms of violence
Building Peace Together for Healthier Communities Educational Preventive Program oriented to Spanish youth between 11 to 24 years old (at risk of joining gangs) Toronto. On. Pilot Project
Objectives • Provide Spanish youth with the knowledge, skills and support needed to resist joining gangs. • Identify the individual, family, school and community risks and conducive factors associated with youth violence • Develop prevention strategies such as individual/family counseling, mentoring, problem solving and conflict resolutions building skills, socialization/peer mediation, communication, labour and recreational opportunities to promote changes in beliefs and behaviors associate to violence. • Maintain inter-institutional coordination with the purpose of referring youth according to their needs and situation.
Justification • Violence rates have increased significantly among youth (AI estimates that 65% of violent deaths in the world occur among persons between 11 and 24 years old) • A timely response to avoid violence spreading in schools demands an urgent and immediate action • Youth are involved in violence as perpetrators, as victims or witnesses. Violence is a generalized issue • SSEN shares the notion that while providing young people with appropriate skills, healthy lifestyle models and mentorship it is possible to keep them from joining gangs or activities associated to violence or crime.
Long Term Goals • By delivering this comprehensive program SSEN will provide Hispanic families with important, useful information to smoothly settle down and fully, safely integrate to the Canadian society. • This program will offer, for instance, viable alternatives to be involved in activities after school; will offer parents the necessary tips to detect whether or not their teenagers are engaged in some delinquent activities
Long Term Goals • To carry out a pilot project with and for youth between 11 to 24 years old in risk of joining gangs • To facilitate a multi-disciplinary approach to intervention on evidence-based good practices for addressing violence and gang-related issues from a Canadian perspective.
Prevention strategies against Violence Family (Workshops for Parents) Community &Schools Socio cognitive (8 workshops for students) Mentorship Program (Role Models)
Assessment & Trainnig • PRIOR ASSESSMENT • Leadership & Community Services. • Policies and Codes of Behavior / Infractions & Contraventions • Healthier Life Style: Drugs, Sexuality, Personal Care. • Domestic Violence: Perpetrators, Victims & Witnesses • Gangs and Operational Ways • Problem Solving & Conflict Resolution • Peer pressure & Decision making • Citizenship, Rights & Responsibilities • FINAL ASSESSMENT, EVALUATION AND RESULTS
Characteristic Pilot Project (estimated) • Population: 240 (80 p/year) youth between 11 to 24 years old. • Duration:3 years • Methodology: Prevention & Intervention Technical: • Information • Training • Counseling • Mentoring • Researching • Active Participation between counsellors, advocates and beneficiaries