National Youth Violence Prevention Week Activities & Challenges

Discovery Education is proud to co-sponsor National Youth Violence Prevention Week, from March 19 – 23. We value the importance of creating classrooms and communities where students and teachers both feel safe and happy, and we are pleased to stand beside our partner, the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation, and a number of well-regarded leaders in this space. The organizers have designated each day of the week with a specific call-to-action or challenge for students and communities. For our educators who wish to take part in this national week of awareness, we recommend exploring the following resources:

Lead Up Awareness Activities:

  • Register a Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club and have the club plan your #NYVPW activities! Clubs will be entered into a #NYVPW drawing for special prizes.
  • Conduct Workshops and share tips, lesson plans, and ideas for preventing youth violence. Utilize free Know the Signs Programs from Sandy Hook Promise
  • Raise Awareness through PSAs, posters, and social media sharing for NYVPW. Use #NYVPW on social media. Help change Tomorrow’s News.
  • Visualize Six out of Ten. Place six large orange ribbons and four green ribbons in a highly visual place.  This represents the statistic that 60% of American children are exposed to violence, crime, or abuse in their homes, schools, and communities. Share the meaning of the ribbons on your morning announcements or post stat with ribbons.

Day 1 (3/19): Know the Signs! Sponsored by the National Association of School Psychologists

  • Be Aware! Share #TomorrowsNews with youth and adults to facilitate conversations on how to Know The Signs and prevent violence BEFORE it happens.
  • Learn about Warning Signs, Signals, and Threats. Learn how to Say Something when you see Warning Signs, Signals, and Threats.  Share Helpful Tips with families and school staff.
  • Identify Trusted Adults in Your School. Ask the trusted adults in your school to hang a sign on their classroom door so youth know they can go to them with concerns.
  • Know the Rules. Ask your school resource office or local law enforcement to discuss with youth what is considered a weapon on campus and what the punishment is for the different types of weapons – legally and school policy-wise. Create a bulletin board to create greater awareness.
  • Act-On It! Develop a suggestion box, locker, or tip line so students can anonymously report threats or provide suggestions to improve safety.
  • Understand Next Steps. Establish effective Threat Assessment teams to determine levels of risk and threat when someone reports a concern.
  • Sponsor Spotlight: Preventing School Violence

Day 2 (3/20): Promote Respect and Tolerance! Sponsored by Teaching Tolerance

  • Respect & Tolerance Essay Contest. Have the winning essay read at an event or over morning announcements. Share on social media with #NYVPW
  • Think Before You Speak. Conduct an activity to identify words that include instead of exclude and help create a culture of acceptance. Create posters or a bulletin board with positive, encouraging and inclusive words.
  • Mix It Up! Eat lunch with someone new, and learn about each other!  Creatively assign random tables (birth month, colored objects).  Place cards with conversation starters on tables that ask questions that begin with “Would you rather…”
  • Reduce Stigma. Build capacity for youth empathy, social responsibility, and social activism, by providing them with vital knowledge through the Signs of Suicide.  Share these Brief Tips to help identify someone at risk.
  • Foster Gratitude. Engage in simple gratitude activities to reinforce students sense of well-being and role as positive members of the school community. Learn how Gratitude Works!
  • Sponsor Spotlight: Mix It Up Activities

Day 3: Be An Upstander! Sponsored by The Allstate Foundation

  • Start With Hello. Use the Start With Hello program to create a more caring and inclusive school and community! Challenge all students to get to know at least one person they do not know each day of #NYVPW
  • Build a Team! Conduct team building activities that utilize sharing and group participation to complete a common goal.
  • Create PSAs. Create public service announcements on what it is to be an upstander. Role play different scenarios. Share on morning announcements, with local media or social media with #NYVPW
  • Poster Contest. Conduct a superhero upstander-themed poster contest. Create posters displaying why upstanders are superheroes. Share posters on social media with #NYVPW
  • Pledge to be an Upstander! Create a banner with the Say Something Pledge and ask youth to sign to be an upstander in their school and community.  Explain they are the Guardians of their Communities and to look out for each other.
  • Be Brave! Use these easy to access Bravery Tips for youth to help know, share and build your strengths.
  • Sponsor Spotlight: Good Starts Young

Day 4: Resolve Conflicts Peacefully! Sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics

  • Don’t Let Anger Heat You Up! Pass out hot chocolate with this phrase attached. Share Tips on Staying Cool When Things Heat Up
  • Exercise the Anger Away. PLAY 60 Challenge, fun, engaging exercise videos for educators and parents for a break in the day!
  • Perform Role Plays or Skits. Illustrate positive ways to deal with difficult situations such as bullying and peer pressure. Everybody Gets Mad, Ideas for Coping.
  • Mind your Mind. Lead students through a guided reflection where they can learn to pause and observe their own thoughts as they come up, assigning each thought a color: yellow for happy, green for neutral, blue for sad, red for angry. Discuss using this practice as a tool when blue and red feelings come up. Start With Hello can help you reach out to friends experiencing difficult feelings.
  • Discover Your Happy. This program aims to create awareness that happiness is more than a fleeting feeling, that sustainable happiness is achievable, and that there are a set of skills that can be taught, learned and practiced to help anyone in their journey toward happiness.
  • Spread the Peace. Paint a peace mural over graffiti or host a peace-themed sidewalk art event. Share photos of your art on social media with #NYVPW
  • Sponsor Spotlight: Emotional Wellness

Day 5: Unite in Action! Sponsored by Discovery Education 

  • Form a Club. Be part of the national effort all year long by registering as a Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) Promise Club. Clubs will be entered into a #NYVPW drawing for special prizes.
  • Unite in Service. Organize a service project where youth and adults come together and make a difference. Create a connected community – empower youth to think of ideas, like organizing a park clean-up, or planting a  garden to help feed community members in need.
  • Participate in the IWitness Challenge. The IWitness Challenge is an actionable way to promote equality, challenge bias, discuss tolerance, and engage students in a service-learning project that inspires action
  • Share Resources. Work with community agencies to create a community card with mental health, suicide, and runaway resources and other youth-focused resources.
  • Be A Buddy.  Pair adults or youth mentors with other youth for positive role models and positive peer activities. Utilize the trusted adults that you identified in your Say Something activities.
  • Host a Safety Fair. Coordinate a safety fair with exhibits and activities involving first responders, local health departments, medical agencies, safety groups and community agencies. Try to have someone from each sector of the community wheel involved.
  • Sponsor Spotlight: Chase the Race


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