UCO students create educational program to address school violence for elementary students in Oklahoma

A metropolitan college assignment won 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 address school violence.

“We have one of the highest levels of child abuse and the factors that contribute to abuse,” said UCO lecturer Sandra Martin.

Martin said Oklahoma’s high incarceration rate, pockets of hate groups and domestic violence are just some 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 UCO’s Department of Education.

A group of UCO students drew their research from the United Health Foundation’s National Health Rankings, creating an educational program for students.

“It’s designed for lower elementary grades because our research tells us that our children start to have biases and strong perceptions and biases in grades 2 or 3,” Martin said.

“Our goal is really to train for tolerance and deal with the development of bullying,” Weldon said.

The $657,000 Homeland Security grant allows them to fully fund 200 classrooms. Teachers can get $100 per module and can receive an additional $100 for providing UCO feedback after the training.

“Each module comes with activities and lessons that need supplies and we are going to provide them all 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.

The modules will be available to teachers this fall, but they will need to register for the program.

Grades 1-4 teachers interested in the program can register here.

Anyone interested and wanting more information can email UCO at preducation@uco.edu.

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