The summer session of SHORE (Sharing Healthy Options for Respect and Esteem) consists of eleven sessions with seventeen teens through the Youth Net summer school program. The sessions are a balance of curriculum time (Save the Date) and art expression time using an altered book method. Healthy relationships and violence prevention is the main focus. Other topics such as self-esteem, bullying, uniqueness, positive choices, and family violence have been discussed.
During the past 6 sessions, 6 teens have pulled me aside after class and disclosed that they are currently being abused by a dating partner, their parents are in an abusive relationship, or they are being bullied. I was surprised to see how many teens came forward and asked for my help. I feel there are more teens in the group that are experiencing a similar situation as well, but are not ready to talk about it.
Because of the youth programing PDC provides these individuals are now able to get help to break the cycle of abuse and live free from harm. The summer SHORE sessions have been very successful and the dialog regarding abuse has led to honest and open conversations between staff and the teens.
Personal Development Center's SHORE (Sharing Healthy Options for Respect and Esteem) program helps youth learn: skills to gain more control over their response to unsafe situations, safety planning and protective behaviors, identifying healthy relationships and to cope with bullying, and the importance of making positive choices.