Any School. Anywhere. Everyone deserves to SpeakUp! and be heard.
As schools, you are deeply invested in educating your students as a whole, and in doing so, supporting their social and emotional well-being. You are investing to varying degrees in guidance counselors, support teams, comprehensive health education curriculum, social and emotional learning (SEL) programs, relevant informational and inspirational speakers, advisories and peer leadership programs.
However, we are losing too many young people and too many more are struggling in silence. Social and emotional struggles continue to detour and derail students—often without warning. Often, the students that seem the best, are struggling the most. You can’t always see who needs help and by the time you do, the problem has grown. We need students to speak up early and often about their worries, concerns and challenges. SpeakUp! meets that need.
SpeakUp! and its partner school communities work together to create a culture of communication in our homes and schools where it’s OK to talk about hard topics and where adults will listen and help.
The research is clear – the most protective factor for youth is a positive relationship with caring adults where open, honest conversations about tough topics lead to understanding, guidance and support. SpeakUp! makes it possible for teenagers to talk to parents and educators about topics like stress, drugs, alcohol, depression, anxiety, sex, relationships, social media and more.
Rather than focusing on the individual problems, SpeakUp! focuses on the simple fact that there is a universal solution. Regardless of the problems our youth is facing, the solution always begins with realizing you are not alone and being willing to speak up and ask for help.
SpeakUp! helps over 4,000 youth, educators, and parents each year develop the SpeakUp! mindset and skill set. Our unique program is proven to work. Our 2016-2017 participant survey results show that, as a result of SpeakUp!: 96% of participants feel less alone, 93% are more willing to ask for help and 91% have new strategies to manage challenges in their lives.
There are no guarantees in life, but realizing you are not alone and being willing to ask a trusted adult for help is the best insurance policy we can think of!
How SpeakUp! Works
Are You Ready to Be a SpeakUp! School?
Any middle or high school can be a SpeakUp! school. All it takes is a genuine desire to listen to what’s on students minds and a willingness to support open, honest dialogue between the students, educators and parents.
Following are the basic criteria necessary to conduct a SpeakUp! and should be in place at the start:
- Program buy-in and commitment from the school principal/head master
- Dedicated teacher(s) to serve as program moderator(s)
- A small group of teachers/counselors to serve as facilitators in discussion groups
- Willingness to commit a limited number of school hours -approximately 1 to 2 months prior to the event- for program planning and implementation.
- Approximately 40-90 students (depending on the size of the school) interested in serving on a Students Leadership Team (Grades 6th – 8th for middle school and 9th-12th for high school)
- Facility to handle a one-time event approximately 2 ½ hours long that provides:
- Large assembly space for a brief opening session with all participants (AV equipment strongly recommended)
- Classrooms capable of seating 25-30 people for breakout discussions
- Parking for participants