Issues of unhealthy relationships and sexual violence are nationwide problems and Texas is no exception to the rule. Programs of primary prevention across the country seek to avert the occurrence of violence of any type prior to its inception. Kaleidoscope is on such a program. The Kaleidoscope curriculum, offered by the Women’s Center of East Texas, is meant to facilitate a more holistic approach to the students’ academic and social lives. The curriculum falls in line with the criteria established by the Texas Office of the Attorney General’s performance expectations and the selected goals of the Women’s Center of East Texas. Specifically, the goals are chosen to seek to reduce attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors supportive of violence and increase adult role modeling of social competence, positive values, and positive identities.
As a partner in this effort, The Women’s Center of East Texas offers a curriculum that presents lessons and activities aimed at reducing harmful attitudes. Since many participants in the program are students, the curriculum encompasses the use of items that would complement lessons being taught in the classroom. To promote competence in identifying the relationships between the powerful and the powerless, students will be asked to participate in varied cognitive and artistic activities aimed at promoting understanding of that sessions concept. For instance, in speaking about environments that promote risk factors for sexual hostility, the tool used to illustrate this concept might be an editorial/ political cartoon. Political cartoons are a form of media that relies upon historical knowledge as well as symbolism. Symbolism in turn promotes the use of language arts skills (e.g. puns, satire, dialogue, context clues, and irony). Language arts skills are foundational tools for critical thinking skills. The cartoons, in turn, allow for the facilitator to present these skills at age-appropriate levels and supplement the lessons that teachers cover in the classroom.
In addition, we offer training to staff members and interested parents on the same topic so that students are introduced to positive emotional concepts, including bystander intervention, all year round. Training for staff on the Kaleidoscope will follow the order and objectives of the curriculum items from students and community members.