A metropolitan university assignment secured federal funding and is now making its way into Oklahoma classrooms.
The educational program, designed by a group of students from the University of Central Oklahoma, was designed to help combat violence in schools.
“We have one of the highest levels of violence in children and the factors that contribute to violence,” said Sandra Martin, speaker at UCO.
Martin said Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate, pockets of hate groups and domestic violence are just a few of the factors leading to a cycle of violence.
“Students need to learn to tolerate each other, to embrace each other, to learn about different cultures,” said Tyler Weldon, associate professor in the education department at UCO.
A group of UCO students drew their research from the United Health Foundation’s National Health Rankings, creating an educational program for students.
“It is designed for the lower elementary grades because our research has shown us that our children start to form prejudices, strong perceptions and prejudices as early as 2nd or 3rd grade,” Martin said.
“Our goal is really to train for tolerance and deal with the development of bullying,” said Weldon.
The homeland security grant of $ 657,000 allows them to fully fund 200 classrooms. Teachers can receive $ 100 per module and an additional $ 100 for providing feedback on the OCU after training.
“Each module comes with activities and lessons that required supplies and we will provide all of these to teachers. It includes food samples from around the world so students can experience different tastes and bites, ”Weldon said.
Teachers can tailor the modules to their liking, and they don’t need to complete all five to get supplies or incentives.
Modules will be available to teachers this fall, but they will need to register for the program.
Teachers in grades 1 through 4 interested in the program can register here.
Anyone interested and wanting more information can email UCO at firstname.lastname@example.org.