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Participatory Action in Schools: Improving school climate and safety in K-12 schools for sexual and teen dating violence prevention

More and more school communities are recognizing that there are powerful opportunities to support healthy teen relationships by elevating youth voices. Building off of CDC’s technical packages that list strategies to improve school climate and safety, prevention practitioners, school personnel and youth are partnering to prevent teen dating violence and other forms of violence. This web conference will feature guests who have used participatory action research and hotspot mapping to identify student and school needs to improve school climate and safety. Join us as they share how school communities are creating actions plans with the goal of reducing rates of sexual and domestic violence affecting students. Plans include beginning to change norms to make safety a school-wide issue, modify physical spaces, and change policies to improve school climate.

HOST: Ashleigh Klein-Jimenez, PreventConnect and CALCASA

FACILITATOR: Alisha Somji, Prevention Institute


  • Describe how participatory action research and hotspot mapping can help uncover safety issues in school settings.
  • Explore how youth, school personnel and community leaders are lifting up student voice and modifying physical and social aspects of school environments to prioritize safety.
  • Engage in a candid discussion on how school climate and environments can support safety.


  • Web Conference PowerPoint Slides [PDF]
  • Text Chat Transcript [PDF]
  • Web Conference Guest Profile Participatory Action in Schools: Incorporating Sexual Violence Prevention into English Classes in Findlay, Ohio [PDF]
  • Web Conference Guest Profile Hotspot Mapping: How Colorado is working to improve school climate to prevent violence [PDF]
  • PYD (Positive Youth Development) in Action, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment [link]
  • Colorado Youth Engagement Continuum [PDF]
  • Structured Ethical Reflection curriculum matrix template [PDF]
  • Structured Ethical Reflection worksheet example [PDF]
  • Reading List for Action Research and Arts-Based Research [PDF]


Victoria Dickman
Derek McCoy
Maribeth Geaman
Danielle Tuft

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