Primary Prevention in Schools

Nearly all students in Grand Forks County receive prevention education through public and parochial schools in the City of Grand Forks and rural public schools. The curricula address bullying and cyber-bullying, internet safety, healthy relationships, and dating violence. The curricula also raise youth awareness of violence and available services. This initiative is spearheaded by Lutheran Social Services of North Dakota with close advisement from Grand Forks Public Schools.

Two prevention coordinators provide training to teachers and staff to implement the curricula school-wide. Curricula include the following programs:

Olweus Bullying Prevention Program (OBPP)

OBPP intervenes within the child’s environment on many levels: children that bully or are being bullied, other students, teachers, families, the school as a whole, and the community. Committees at each school provide leadership to all teachers and adults in the school communities. Classroom meetings occur weekly.

The Fourth R

This program is a comprehensive, school-based program designed to reduce violence and associated risk behaviors by focusing on relationship goals and challenges that influence decision making. It is offered in 10th grade health classes in schools throughout Grand Forks County.

Friendships that Work: A Positive Friendship Curriculum

This program, developed by Dr. Kara Wettersten of the University of North Dakota, seeks to increase healthy relationship skills among early adolescents and to decrease characteristics commonly thought of as precursors to intimate partner violence. Five, 45-minute lessons held during one week focus on building group norms, engagement, positive noticing, accepting influence, positive self-honesty, and recognizing positive friendship. This curriculum is offered to middle school students in schools throughout Grand Forks County.

Project Northland (Grand Forks Public Schools only)

This curriculum is proven to delay the age at which young people begin drinking, reduce alcohol use among young people that have already tried drinking, and limit the number of alcohol-related problems. It is part of a nine-week life-skills curriculum for all middle school students and is addressed in a one semester health class for tenth-grade students.

Lessons From Literature (Larimore High School only)

This curriculum is designed to integrate easily into an existing literature curriculum and uses books and stories to increases awareness about the damaging effects of physical, sexual and verbal abuse. It teaches students in grades 9-12 how to recognize abusive uses of power and control and alternatives to violence.

NetSmartz (rural and parochial schools only)

This curriculum provides age-appropriate resources to teach children to make safe decisions both online and offline. NetSmartz addresses issues such as cyber-bullying, inappropriate content, predators, revealing too much information, sexting and scams.

Digital Citizenship (GFPS only)

This curriculum teaches students responsible behavior in regard to technology use, including personal safety.

Al’s Pals/Al’s Caring Pals (Head Start and daycare providers)

Al’s Pals is initiated in Head Start classrooms and Al’s Caring Pals is provided to preschool children receiving childcare throughout the Grand Forks County. Al’s Pals promotes social and emotional development of young children. The curricula are culturally sensitive, with characters of many colors promoting respect and understanding of differences. Childcare providers use the Al’s Caring Pals kit that contains tools designed specifically for the home-based child care setting. These tools help children practice and generalize their newly acquired pro-social skills. Letters to parents are sent home to inform them about what their children are learning and to offer at-home activities to reinforce skills.