October 16, 2007
For immediate release
Professor Jimerson and the Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara contribute to the innovative educational program Promoting Positive Peer Relationships: Stories of Us to address bullying at school
The Gevirtz School at UC Santa Barbara will host the website for Promoting Positive Peer Relationships (P3R): Stories of Us – Bullying program, a unique series of proven film-based education resources for supporting students, educators, and the broader community as they address the problem of bullying in schools. Building upon the unprecedented success of the Australian Stories of Us, the significantly expanded American program has commenced production and the middle school series will be available early 2008, with the elementary and high school versions to follow. The project includes the involvement of Dr. Shane Jimerson, Professor of Counseling, Clinical, and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara, and includes collaboration with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a broad base of leading educators from across the country.
The innovative program centers on uncommonly realistic films generated with groups of American students who collaborate in brainstorming the subject and developing the scripts. They perform all the young roles in the dramatized films, and work in supporting positions on the film crew. Every word of dialogue is their own, and every detail approved by the students. As a result these resources have proven effective in the classroom – a fact supported by evaluation – and have been eagerly embraced by the education community.
Dr. Jimerson emphasizes that these resources are “specifically developed to promote positive peer relationships and to decrease bullying behaviors. These resources are particularly compelling as they draw upon the collective experience of the students, as the films accurately and vividly portray the realities youth face, enhancing both awareness and communication among students, teachers, and other school-based professionals. The materials also provide specific strategies to enhance positive peer relationships.”
The project website hosted by the Gevirtz School will grow to become a hub for educators, students, parents, and the broader community wishing to address the problem off bullying. Researchers will also have access to a growing body of data provided by students sharing their experiences of bullying. The Make-Your-Own-Film Resource allows schools to upload their own bullying projects produced using the Stories of Us method – along with bullying surveys conducted at their schools as an intrinsic part of their project.
Based upon the overwhelming positive response to the Australian resources in America and the combined expertise of the project team, the Promoting Positive Peer Relationships: Stories of Us – Bullying program seems destined to have a significant positive influence in helping to reduce bullying in American schools.
For more information visit the project website on-line
For information about the Australian resources (including online video previews) visit: www.storiesofus.com.au
[Shane Jimerson is available for interviews; contact George Yatchisin at 805 893 5789]
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