Have a great concept for a school-wide campaign or community service project to help build stronger teen relationships? Want to be a leader in your school, church, or community, but need ideas? Post, share, and find ideas here for how to get your friends, communities, and schools involved. Your ideas matter, so share them here … and take action!
Check out this new video about several Austin youth leadership programs focused on promoting healthy relationships! (This video was produced by Ready By 21 with funds from the Quality Counts grant.)
Create an Awareness Campaign
Set up an information table in your school cafeteria with fliers, info sheets, posters, etc. getting the word out about healthy and unhealthy relationships. Invite an inspirational speaker to your school or youth group, or a panel of youth to speak at a community meeting or school assembly. Ask them to speak about the problems teens face in relationships and how adults and youth can help.
Each year, the Lanier High School PALs group organizes a school-wide assembly to educate their peers about the impact of domestic violence and what students can do to get help for themselves and their friends. This slide show is one part of their program which also includes poetry, songs, survivor stories, skits and a memorial ritual for lost lives.
The 6th grade theater classes at Burnet Middle School participated in the SafeTeens Leadership training. They created a video about “keeping the peace” that was shown during the school advisory classes and followed up with an in-class exercise.
Create a Public Service Announcement (PSA)
Get your friends together and create a short video to promote safe and healthy relationships. Talk to your school principal about showing it during the daily announcements. Visit the Resources page of this website for information and check out some great PSA examples here:
The P.O.W.E.R. Girls focused on raising awareness on issues affecting teen girls including sexual harassment, dating violence, body image and empowerment.
In 2003, a young woman from Reagan High School was killed by her boyfriend at their school during a passing period. Some of the slain girls’ closest friends created this video as a way to honor her memory and prevent this from happening again.
Participants in the Changing Lives Youth Theatre Ensemble created this humorous PSA to address jealousy and control in relationships.
Organize a Poster Contest
Work with your art teacher to organize a poster contest with positive messages about relationships. Hold a school-wide vote and display the winning posters in your school hallways, local shops and restaurants. Local businesses may be willing to donate prizes! Check out some of these great designs from past poster contests in Austin.
What better way to get the word out than by wearing it? Create an eye-catching t-shirt design with a clear message about stopping relationship violence. Print the t-shirts and wear them to public events to spark conversation about the issues.
The Teen Action Partnership Texas was a 3-year project aimed at supporting peer leadership, outreach, advocacy and support for victims. This video outlines the project including their use of T-shirts to increase awareness of teen dating violence.
Create and Perform Skits
Theatre is a powerful way to get people thinking and talking about issues. Work with your drama teacher or a group of friends to create short scenes depicting relationship conflicts. Dramatize a solution to the problem, or invite the audience to get involved by offering their own suggestions. You don't need a theatre – perform in classrooms, community centers, churches, even outdoors! – anywhere you can gather an audience together. Check out these recent skits created and performed by the Changing lives Youth Theatre Ensemble:
Changing Lives 2009 Monologue
Changing Lives 2009 Sexual Harassment
Organize an Art Show
Encourage your peers to use their artistic skills to inspire others to stop relationship violence! Talk to your art teacher about creating a gallery in the library to display teen-created artwork inspired by their personal experiences with relationships. Consider a traveling art show that could be set up at local middle and elementary schools, restaurants, businesses, and community centers.
Host a Poetry Slam
Some of the most powerful poetry written today comes from teens just like you. Pull your peers together by hosting an event to highlight their poetic abilities. Make the central message about empowering the community to fight violence and abuse. All you need is a public space – and maybe some microphones!
Organize a Rally or March in Your Community
This is a big one, but you can do it. Get together with teens and adults from your community to organize a march from your school to another central location in your neighborhood. Follow the march up with a rally to energize the community to take action. Invite local leaders to get involved with the project.