Blog posts tagged with "Waking Up Courage"


What to Do About Hate Crimes in Our Schools

February 8 2017

It’s clear that our children have not gone unscathed in the current political climate. Bullying and cyber-bullying, already a major problem in America’s schools, have now been exacerbated by an elevated awareness in student’s minds of homophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, racism, misogyny and xenophobia. Just like the rest of us, young people are trying to make sense of what they’ve heard and seen in the “adult world”, and they’re acting out from a place of confusion, frustration, fear and heightened stress.


5 Keys for Gaining Parent and Family Buy-In for Restorative Practices

January 9 2017

Since restorative practices is not a program or a curriculum, but rather a philosophy and a way of thinking and acting, introducing restorative practices to the students’ families in an inclusive, collaborative and culturally sensitive manner is critical for success.


The Most Effective Way to Change School Climate: Student Engagement

October 11 2016

When school norms change from meanness and indifference to kindness and compassion, that’s when disciplinary incidents and suspensions begin to decrease and students can get back to focusing on learning.


Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Inspired Us to be Courageous Upstanders

February 1 2016

Dr. King said that “we must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” Although he spoke those words a long time ago, the need for courage in the face of fear is no less prophetic today than it was in the midst of the American civil rights movement of the 60’s.


School-Based Approaches to Decreasing Student Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drug Use (ATOD)

November 24 2015

Based on California Healthy Kids Survey data, Sonoma County youth continue to report alcohol use rates, binge drinking and marijuana use that ranks in the highest 10% in our state. For educators, one of the most alarming and significant consequences of this behavior is the impact of substance and alcohol use on the developing adolescent brain, as well as the increased risk of addiction.


Youth Voices - Empowering Students As Peacemakers

October 27 2015

As a Programs & Services Coordinator at Community Matters, I have the unique opportunity of working with hundreds of schools across the country to help them launch Safe School Ambassadors® (SSA)- our flagship bystander education and youth empowerment program. One of the best parts of my job is hearing student feedback on the two-day training.


Make Your LCAP Successful and Sustainable by Focusing on School Climate

September 15 2015

The good news is that within the new Local Control Funding Formula requirements, school climate is one of eight areas of primary focus for improvement, signaling an increased recognition of the value, benefits and effectiveness of improving school climate for better academic and social outcomes.


5 Ways to Create a Positive Climate For the New School Year

August 10 2015

Back-to-school is obviously an exciting time, yet for many children, starting the new year can seem like a minefield filled with risk, vulnerability and concern for their safety. Here are some concrete and effective actions you can take to help your students start the school year with the best chance for success:


A Grateful Mother Speaks About the Impact of Being an Upstander

May 11 2015

This week's guest blog is written by the mother of a Safe School Ambassador in northern California.


Community Matters partners with Twitter to reduce and prevent cyberbullying

April 28 2015

Twitter and Community Matters are teaming together via a combination of shared resources to help reduce cyberbullying, by both identifying and preventing online abuse.


Community Does Matter – The Longing for Belonging

March 17 2015

The evidence-based Safe School Ambassadors Program (SSA) empowers elementary, middle and high school students to recognize mistreatment when it’s happening, to have the courage and skills to intervene, and to transform it into self-awareness, kindness and compassion.


10 Ways You Can Help Stop Bullying – A Guide for Parents & Teachers

March 2 2015

As bullying, cyberbullying and intolerance affect more and more children, it’s increasingly crucial that adults, both parents and teachers, increase their awareness and understanding of how their children interact with each other, both in person and online. Here are some practical steps you can take to better protect the young people in your care.


Students Creating School Climate Improvement

September 18 2014

We know we can’t legislate civility nor can we punish children into being more tolerant. The only viable solution to the spread of the bullying virus on school campuses today is to change the social norms that allow it to occur.


School Climate and Student Empowerment

April 29 2014

Students are 90% of a school population, yet they are often underutilized.  Adults often see students as consumers rather than contributors.  If students are part of the problem, we also know that they must be a part of the solution.  At Community Matters we believe that if we can harness their power and potential, we can begin to shift the climate from the inside out.


15 Years After Columbine: How Safe Are our Schools from Bullying and Violence Today?

April 15 2014

Columbine shattered our long held belief that our schools are safe havens for our children. To re-establish our schools as places where all children can feel safe, welcome and included requires courage, leadership and the commitment of each one of us.


Giving Thanks

November 19 2013

I’m a person who really appreciates the Thanksgiving holiday. Not only for the turkey and fixings, but because my greater focus is on gratitude and taking time to reflect on all that I have to be grateful for. It’s easy to lose sight of gratitude in the fast paced, 24-hour news cycle we live with every day.  Click here to read the rest of the article...


Waking Up Courage in Students – It Works!

September 25 2013

Adults make the rules, but the students set the norms on a school campus.  So how can we, as adults, empower students to positively impact the school climate?  For the past 12 years, Community Matters has begun this change process through our flagship program Safe School Ambassadors. Read the rest of this article...


The Epidemic of Silence: How We Can End It

May 21 2012

In more than 85% of bullying situations there are witnesses, and more often than not, these bystanders do not say or do anything. The effect of their silence is “deafening”, because silence is a form of consent. It emboldens the bully who perceives the silence of others as permission and tacit approval of their actions.


Bully movie opens Friday, March 30th - Waking Up Courage is the Solution to Stopping Bullying

March 27 2012

The new movie “Bully” opens March 30th in major cities nationwide. The film documents bullying between real kids and outlines the extent of the bullying epidemic. But solutions do exist – in the form of programs like Safe School Ambassadors that awaken the courage of bystanders to speak up when they see bullying occur.