June 17, 2022

Educator Shares How Safety Awareness Education Helps Students
“It's great to have ways for children to feel like their home and their community are connected, that both are invested in keeping them safe.”
—Monica Malmquist, Educator and English Language Learners Specialist
English Language Learner teacher Monica Malmquist recently received an e-mail from the mother of a 3rd grade girl student. A boy in the class was repeatedly saying bad words to her daughter and making the girl feel very uncomfortable. The next day Monica told the girl that there were a lot of adults at school that wanted to keep her safe, and that she should always tell someone right away when something like this happens. Monica reminded the girl about the Network of Support she had created to remember the adults she could call on when she needed help, as well as the important messages taught by her backpack buddies, Nono Awai, and Telli:
Nono teaches us to Say “No!” if someone is doing or saying something that makes us feel uncomfortable, or is touching us in a way we don't like. Say No!

Awai reminds us that if someone is making us feel unsafe or uncomfortable, we should get far away from them as quickly as possible. Get Away!

Telli teaches that if someone says or does something that makes us uncomfortable or breaks a safety rule, we should tell an adult right away. Tell Someone!
Two days later, the girl ran into Monica’s classroom and wanted to speak with her. Monica was in a meeting and asked if it could wait. The student said, “No, I need you right now!” She told Monica that the boy would not leave her alone and was repeating the bad words to her, making her feel uncomfortable. Monica told the girl how glad she was that she came to her right away and let her know it was important, even though Monica had been in a meeting. The girl then said, “Well you know: Say No, Get Away, and Tell Someone!”

Both students are English learners. Monica brought the boy in, and, with the girl helping to translate, they talked to the boy about his behavior. Monica believes the boy is acting out because he is having a challenging time adjusting to a new school. This is all the more difficult for him since he is a beginning English speaker. Monica gave him a set of backpack buddies and, with help from the girl, explained the important messages that the buddies share in Spanish.

The young girl clearly has been empowered by these important safety rules. By bringing forth her concerns, she also brought attention to the struggle her classmate was having, which resulted in him getting help as well. Now that he has learned the important messages of Nono, Awai, and Telli, we hope that he is also able to apply them in his own life when needed: 
Say No! Get Away! Tell Someone!
Monica Malmquist has been featured in a number of helpful Partners in Prevention resources. In April, she was one of the Partner Professionals featured in our April Partner Talks. In her Partner Talk, she answered the community's questions about how to prevent abuse, neglect, and trauma by supporting children and families in building resilience. Monica is also featured in two helpful videos in our Resource Library, working with Safety Awareness Trainer Molly Jardiniano to learn how to effectively use the materials in our Safety Awareness Education Kit to help teach safety rules to students like the boy and girl in this story.

Welcome, Gateway to Success!
We are so delighted to welcome our new Community Partner, Gateway to Success, an organization that is now using Safety Awareness Educational materials and messages in their programs to help keep kids safe! Gateway to Success is a behavioral health outpatient treatment facility serving Fremont, Pueblo, and El Paso Counties in Colorado. Thank you for partnering with us, and thank you for your service to children and community, Gateway to Success!
“Thank you so much for providing such amazing materials to help with safety awareness for our community kiddos. Our clinicians and therapists who go to local schools found the educational materials to be so useful in teaching safety awareness to kids of all ages. The curriculum is extremely helpful. We appreciate your program so much. We're thankful to have found your organization and are tremendously grateful!”
—Anessa Hornback, BS, Certified Victim Advocate and Case Manager, Gateway to Success
Learn How to Become a Community Partner
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