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With An Eye to the Future

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2018: Ambassadors for Respect Campaign was Nominated for the Governor's Better Government Awards

The Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying effort for 4th graders was a Finalist in the "Great Results" category of the Governor's Better Government Awards.

Ambassadors for Respect is an anti-bullying program that was first developed by people with developmental disabilities who had themselves been bullied. The Ambassadors are self advocates with developmental disabilities who are invited into schools to teach 4th graders how much bullying hurts and what the students can do to stop it. In 2017 the PeaceMaker Foundation added its support. The curriculum was modified so that students with and without disabilities could benefit from the program and its powerful message of kindness and healing.

Ambassadors for Respect

The Better Government Award nomination recognized the national attention the Ambassadors program has received, and lauded the creation of a replication kit that made the program available to any school interested in stopping bullying. The Ambassadors Handbook includes a sample Application for Recruiting Ambassadors for Respect, an Ambassadors for Respect Expectations Agreement, Evaluation Survey, and Certificate of Completion.

The program achieved measurably "Great Results" by surveying both the students and the presenters before and after the presentations.

  • Presenters, all of whom have a disability, were asked to rate themselves using the IPSII Index, which is a 5-point scale rating Independence, Productivity, Self Determination, Integration and Inclusion. Since the program began in 2013, IPSII scores have increased from 4.6 to 5.
  • Participating students rated the presentations on a 5-point scale as well, on the value of the information they received and whether it would change their behavior around bullying. Average scores went from 4.6 to 4.7.

"Great Results" were also measured financially. A report from the Highmark Foundation estimated the societal cost benefit of high school bullying prevention could total over $1 million per individual over a lifetime. Ambassadors for Respect teaches kids not to bully from a young age, preventing high school bullying from ever happening, at a cost of approximately $29.13. Now those are "Great Results."