March 6, 2015

Foundation of Canton supports, helps expand successful anti-bullying program

In August 2011, the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton committed $89,460 over three years to help the Stark County Educational Service Center and Stark County parochial schools implement the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program across the county.

The program is now being implemented in 29 Stark County public and parochial schools that serve more than 11,000 students. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton provided start-up support for the program and has provided ongoing support.

To gauge the effect of the program's implementation, focus groups were conducted with administrators, teachers, students and parents. Seventy-six pages of transcripts were processed from those focus group discussions. In addition, more than 6,000 students were surveyed, as were the teachers in all Olweus schools.

The results indicated a decrease in the number of bullying incidents, a decrease in the percentage of students "telling no one" about bullying they’d witnessed, and an increase in the percentage of students telling someone (a teacher, parent, sibling or friend) about an incident of bullying they'd experienced or witnessed.

The Olweus Program (pronounced Ol-VEY-us) is a comprehensive, school-wide program designed and evaluated for use in elementary, middle, junior high and high schools. The program reduces bullying among children, improves the social climate of classrooms, and decreases related anti-social behaviors such as vandalism and truancy.

The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Canton is a ministry of the Sisters of Charity Health System.

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From its Cleveland headquarters, the Sisters of Charity Health System provides oversight, leadership and strategic direction to more than 20 organizations responding to community needs in Canton and Cleveland, Ohio, and South Carolina.

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