About the Personal Safety Program
The Personal Safety Program is offered for free once a year to schools in Dutchess County and provides age-appropriate, in-class instruction on sexual abuse prevention to children Pre-K through 5th grade. Similar to how students view fire drills, it is considered a “just in case” lesson. Students learn how to speak up and use their voice to protect themselves if someone breaks the personal safety rules and makes them feel uncomfortable.
In 2019, New York State passed Erin’s Law requiring that public schools provide a prevention-oriented sexual abuse program. Our Personal Safety Program is specifically designed to help schools meet those necessary requirements.
Why your school should consider the Personal Safety Program
Typically a child’s sexual abuser is someone the child knows and trusts. This is often why it can be difficult for a child to speak out and tell someone. Through the Personal Safety Program, students are taught to become good bosses of their bodies and how to differentiate between happy secrets and bad secrets. They learn that it is never their fault if someone breaks the rules, and that they should always tell a trusted adult, even if they have been told to keep it a secret by their abuser.
3rd Grade Student in Dutchess County
- Define and explore types of safe vs. unsafe touches.
- Perform short puppet skits testing comprehension of safe vs. ouch! (unsafe) touches.
- Teach assertiveness skills: students are taught they are the boss of their body.
- Help students identify the areas of their body that are private.
- Define Personal Safety rules that go along with the private parts of their body.
- Discuss their personal body alarm and explore how it would help keep them safe.
- Emphasize the need to tell a trusted adult.
- Define happy, safe secrets vs. unsafe secrets.
- Stand up and practice the safe touch song: Trust your feelings, try to say no, try to walk away, and TELL an adult!
- Perform a puppet show. Students see how a puppet is tricked by an unsafe touch or inappropriate picture, how it makes the puppet feel (scared, troubled, worried), and how telling a trusted adult solves the problem.
- Hand out a pre-survey for students to complete.
- Review and summarize Personal Safety Program concepts taught in younger grades.
- Expand on topics such as safe/unsafe secrets, assertiveness skills, and trusting adults.
- Show an age appropriate video which helps guide a discussion about what they should do if someone they love breaks the personal safety rules. Children learn that telling an adult can be very challenging, but always important, to put their safety first.
- Administer a brief survey at the end of every presentation to check the comprehension of the student
- Provide an opportunity to disclose any feelings or unsolved problems they may have.
- Grade 3: “David Speaks Up” (CPU3 FAMI LYG3)
- Grade 4: “Hannah Keeps Herself Safe” (CPU4 FAMI LYG4)
- Grade 5: “Lee Keeps Himself Safe” (CPU5 FAMI LYG5)
Note to parents: Access is available to the above videos by visiting SecondStep.org and logging in with the activation key (see above) to get more information about what your child has viewed.
Videos: Sponsored by the Committee for Children- Second Step Program, Child Protection Unit
Volunteer for the Personal Safety Program
We are always looking for special volunteers to help teach school-aged children about personal safety and safe touch. Volunteers will be trained by our Personal Safety Coordinator on how to give personal safety lessons at local schools. If you would like to learn more about this volunteer opportunity, please contact Kaitlyn Deragon.
Meet The Puppet Team
Billy the Puppet
Personal Safety Program Star
Mr. B. the Puppet
Personal Safety Program Hero