• June 2021
  • Vol. 22, No. 6

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Curriculum Helps to Prevent Bullying and Other Forms of Conflict

El Camino: The Road to Healthy Relationships is an in-person curriculum intended for middle-school students (grades 6 through 8) to help prevent bullying and other forms of interpersonal conflict both at school and online. The course encourages students to identify their own personal values and teaches them how to develop healthy relationships. The course is implemented through youth-serving agencies, such as schools and out-of-school-time programs.

The curriculum was developed by Child Trends, in partnership with the District of Columbia Office of Human Rights and the District of Columbia Department of Health, with direct input from students and educators. The following are the three components of the course:

  • The curriculum is youth driven.
  • Teachers use a positive, strengths-based orientation that focuses on what youth should do rather than what they should not do.
  • Youth are encouraged to identify their personal values and how they influence their decisions.

The course consists of two units, each containing five lessons. Unit 1 focuses on values, identity, and decision-making. In this unit, students identify their personal values and consider how these values shape their personal identity and influence how they interact with others. Unit 2 focuses on practicing healthy relationship skills and how to apply these skills to navigating interpersonal conflicts and relationship challenges.

Teachers and staff are not required to have mental health training to deliver the lessons, which can be presented in person or virtually. This training can be applied to children involved with child welfare, as developing communication skills and relationship building are important for ensuring well-being and better outcomes for these children.

For more information, read the article in Child Trends, "Building Healthy Relationships Among DC Youth: A Universal Bullying Prevention Program."


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