HANDS ARE NOT FOR HITTING
1. Briefly describe the structure of your program.
The Hands Are Not For Hitting program is a preschool program that is self explanatory. It is geared to youth ages 3 through 5 years of age. The program is given during the Head Start program. This program is put on by the Toledo Police Department's Domestic Violence Resource Unit. A Toledo Police Officer explains that hands are in fact not for hitting. That there are good and bad ways to use your hands. The group then will take a pledge to use their hands appropriately. After the youth take the pledge they get to place their painted hand prints on a banner that was set up for the program. At the end of the program the youth get a small gift for participating.
2. When was the program created and why?
The program was started in 1996. It was created as an early intervention to youth that possibly do not get the opportunity to learn about "good and bad" use of their hands. Being put on by the department's Domestic Violence Resource Unit, there is the natural tie in to curb violence in the home. Additionally it is hoped that these youth will carry this message with them throughout their daily lives, both at home, at and away from school.
3. How do you measure the program's effectiveness?
The program is very young and presently the best method of measurement is the number of children that are exposed to the message. It is hoped as this program develops more youth will understand that in fact "hands are not for hitting".
4. How is the program financed?
The Toledo Police Officer and her staff are funded through a grant. The paints, banner and gifts are supplied through private contributions. This program receives assistance from the Toledo Fire Department, Lucas County Sheriff's Department and several private companies from the city.
5. How is the community involved with the program?
Several private companies supply resources and funding for the program. The Lucas County Sheriff's Department assists with personnel. Obviously the Head Start instructors are there and assist with the youth during the program.
6. What are the major lessons learned from the program?
It would be best to start off smaller then develop the program in progressive steps. As your program gets backing you can take it to more children and get the message out to more youth. Also, it is easier dealing with smaller groups when it comes to the banner and the children placing their hand prints on it.
7. Contact person:
The United States Conference of Mayors
J. Thomas Cochran, Executive Director
Copyright © 1999, US Conference of Mayors, All rights reserved.