Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) and The National School Climate Center (NSCC) at Ramapo for Children together have launched the Athletes with Courage (AC) program – a new student-led, data-driven bullying prevention initiative being piloted in four high schools across the nation.
Midview High School joins Berkley High School (Michigan), Murrieta Mesa High School (California), and Lindblom Math & Science Academy (Illinois) as participants in the initial pilot program, which influences student-athletes to become agents for positive change in their schools and community.
“For as honored as Midview High School is to participate in this program, we are equally as fortunate to work alongside the exemplary student-athletes and organizations dedicated to championing this effort,” said Midview High School Principal Brian Siftar. “Together, we believe we can create compelling shared conversations to advance understanding of the devastating effects of bullying and to, hopefully, empower student-athletes to become agents for positive change in their schools, community, and beyond.”
After being selected as founding members of The Choose Kindness Project and receiving collaborative grant support from ABC Network, ESPN, and the Walton Family Foundation, PCA and NSCC came together to develop a unique transformative program that centers around student-athlete voices and leadership. Each school has selected a student-athlete leadership team of 15-30 diverse student-athlete groups.
On Friday, December 16, 2022, the Athletes with Courage program kicked off with a virtual summit. The student-athlete leadership teams at each of the schools came together to develop the knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary to understand and respond to bullying, as well as connect with other student-athletes in team-based problem-solving and leadership development.
The AC program will include leadership training for coaches and student-athletes, a bias-based bullying survey that will be administered to the entire school population at all four schools by the end of February, and another virtual summit in the spring where the student-athletes will prepare to develop, lead and execute anti-bullying campaigns.
"We are glad to partner with PCA to pilot Athletes with Courage. This program is truly driven by the student-athletes, centering their ideas and leadership in bullying prevention in their own schools,” said Sabrina Evans-Ellis, Executive Director of National School Climate Center at Ramapo. “Our work in school climate and bullying prevention is based on decades of research and student-led offerings in schools around the U.S., and we are excited to see it applied in the context of sports. We are grateful to ESPN, ABC, and The Walton Family Foundation for their support of The Choose Kindness Project, and look forward to this program growing and flourishing for years to come."