Violence Prevention Working Group – Session I

vp 1

After months of research, CISC created a list of Elements of Effective Violence Prevention Programming. The Violence Prevention Working Group is a cohort of violence prevention community partners gathered to discuss the Elements and what makes an effective violence prevention program. During the 2013-14 school year, the cohort will meet three times. The first session focused on Instruction.

Goals of the Working Group:

1) Introduce CISC’s Elements of Effective Programming, 2) Provide agencies an opportunity to reflect on their programming through the lens of the Elements, 3) Encourage agency collaboration to share strategies and tools for effective programming, and 4) Identify ways CISC can continue to provide appropriate support and training opportunities to partner agencies.

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  • Introduction to Element 1: Instruction and its three Indicators (Structured Lesson, Engaging Lesson, Amplified Learning)
  • Barriers to Implementation
  • Opportunities for implementing the indicator(s) into your programming
  • Real-world applications

“…implementing change takes time.  It just takes time to process new ideas and integrate them into your practice, whether you’re an artist or a manager. Coming to a 2-3 hour workshop can be really inspiring, and spark ideas. But you have to live with those ideas for a while, hold them up against the picture you already have in front of you, try things, throw them out, look again, step back, step forward...”
                                                                                                 – Melissa Malison from Old Town School of Folk

On the afternoon of October 18, 16 agencies gathered in Greektown at CISC’s office building for the first Violence Prevention Working Group session.

At the beginning of the session, everyone split up into groups of four or five to dive into the three Indicators of Instruction. Participants then regrouped around the CISC conference room table to share strategies and tools, and raised questions about how best to strengthen their programming or implement the Indicators of Instruction, such as how to incorporate activities that address multiple learning styles or ways for engaging teachers in the lesson.

Community partners walked away from the working group session with plenty of questions to mull over, ideas to try out, and concepts to discuss with their “Working Group Buddy.” Here are some of those ideas:

How can violence prevention programming help schools utilize the Element in real-world applications?

  • Incorporating role playing to practice skills
  • Include problem-solving scenarios
  • Provide parent/teacher information packets about the topic

What are opportunities for implementing Structured Lesson, Engaging Lesson and Amplified Learning into your programming?

  • Incorporate more activities that address multiple learning styles.
  • Boil the lesson down to a one-pager that explains the very basic thing community partners want students to know before the program.
  • Find out what classes have already learned this year before going into the classroom.

Follow-Up Reading Materials:
Embry, D. (2004). Community-based prevention using simple, low-cost evidence-based kernels and behavior vaccines. Journal of Community Psychology, 32, 575-591.

Rutherford Learning Group (n.d.).  The artisan teacher – An overview.  Retrieved from

Participating Organizations
Between Friends
Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation
Chicago Children’s Advocacy Center
Cook County Sheriff’s Youth Services Dept.
For Youth Inquiry
Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Imagination Theater
National Runaway Safeline
Neopolitan Lighthouse
Rainbow House
Rape Victim Advocates
Safe Humane
Sarah’s Inn
The Anti-Cruelty Society
The Insight Project for Kids
YWCA Metropolitan Chicago


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