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Following Up


It is time to catch the message, stories of disclosure and courage.


Hey everybody, welcome to Catch the Message. Uh, my name is Victor and Deanna's with me today. We are very excited to share this, uh, very short podcast with you today. This episode is really, uh, about what we do and, and, and the, we are so happy about what we do in terms of, uh, the work and the empowerment and helping kids speak up and, and to be able to, to understand that they can always, always go to somebody need to talk to someone about anything that's hurting 'em. So, Deanna, do you, what do you wanna share today?


Yeah, so we actually just finished up the 20 22, 23 school year. And I mean, you, you've heard it on, on the podcast if, unless it's due first episode. We talked all about different disclosures from students and staff members. But there are days where we may not get a direct disclosure to us as the presenters. Okay. It happens. However, um, there are times where we see red flag behavior and, and or, or reactions and things like that, that it's so obvious that that student needs to be followed up with, right? So, uh, my last day of work, um, was just a couple of days ago. It was a fantastic day. Um, we've been going to this school for years. Um, students, uh, they they were just amazing, you know, um, uh, being able to recall things like the song we sing when they're in elementary school, and these kids are in seventh and eighth grade, you know, and so I, I'm doing my presentations.

I only have four. And in every presentation, you know, we're scanning the audience. You know, we don't just stand behind a podium. We, we, we move constantly. We're trying to engage with almost every person individually. And we notice when there is a student crying or if a student, you know, pulls their hood over their face and just kind of buries their head in their hands. And so in each presentation, I noticed, uh, a crying student. And so after the program wraps up, you know, they start to dismiss students. I be lying for what IB line, for whatever staff member is closest to me. And so I can point out who that student is, who I recognize, so there can be follow up. And I know Victor in a moment here is gonna talk about how we help provide some of the follow up. And, and that's so important because it's one thing for us as, um, presenters, educators, you know, to, to go in and teach this. But that is a moment, truly that is a moment in their school year. But when they connect for, with whatever they're connecting to, I don't want them to wait a year for us to come back to open up. And so the, the follow up things that, that we provide and also the school can provide, could be quite literally life changing and saving. And so, Victor, talk, talk a little bit about, um, how, how you have, you know, created, cultivated a way for us to stay connected with the kids even after we leave a school.


Yeah, I mean, again, when, when a reaction happens during a presentation, it doesn't mean that that child has been abused, however, they're, they're connecting in some way. And it, it could be just an emotional connection of feeling empathy for that, for that person who's presenting. Um, and so it needs to be followed up. That whole, it's just important too. Uh, and again, we are there, the school provides, uh, the students the service for us to come in, but it's up to those counselors and social workers and teachers to really follow up once we leave and as simple as follow up questions that we've provided the school, uh, to get them started in a process of just, you know, um, kind of downloading what they learned after the presentation. Now, a lot of schools may not go directly to that point, uh, but we can make it available so that they can go back to class and just do this, uh, you know, this, uh, being able to talk about what they learned, uh, very simple.

But something else that we have, uh, created is, you know, the law recommends, uh, and if you don't know, it's called Aaron's Law, uh, recommends four communications a year, and one of those obviously is the main presentation. But then the other three, something I just came up with, which was like, what can I do to make it so simple that they could literally press a button and it's done for them? Well, it's simple follow up videos that we've created that are very short to the point, the review videos basically. And it allows the, the students to watch them, uh, you know, uh, spaced out throughout the school year. So a couple of things, right? Right. Number one, they're getting a message again, and, and it's being, uh, rehearsed for them to understand that, that that's how we learn by practicing. You know, if you just see something one time and don't really follow up with it or try to learn from it, you know, outta sight, outta mind kind of thing.

So this allows them to, uh, to review. But also there are students that have seen us 3, 4, 5 times that haven't disclosed them until the fifth time because they were not ready to talk about it. So these little follow up videos allows that, uh, to, to potentially become the, I don't know, what's the tool for them to have the courage to go talk. So, uh, again, it's all about helping students, uh, have that confident voice to speak up. And we just provide simple ways, and, and they are, they're very simple ways to, to help students throughout the school year. And also when we go back to the school the next year, they're that much ahead. They remember that much more just by, even if it's just a, a, a strict, simple educational process, and they're not connecting, but they're learning about raising their awareness, they're gonna come that much further along the next year. So, any final thoughts? Deanna? Think you're muted.


I am muted. Sorry. So one of the things that we always encourage, um, but is not a part of the law is something called exit slips as well. So those follow up videos are wonderful and, and they're, they're created in a way that they're quick, there's follow up questions just to continue the conversation. But the exit slips are something that we encourage students to, or rather staff to provide to students, is immediately after the presentation is over, they go back to class. Some schools do it electronically, so the students pull out their Chromebooks or their tablets right away, and they fill it out and it's basically like a three question survey about, you know, I'm connecting and I need to talk to someone. I'm not connecting, but I know someone who is and I'd like to talk and I'm not connecting, and I don't have any further up question or further questions.

And so it's, it's not anonymous, but it is private. So those students, then it's right there in their hands. And I've gone to schools where they've said, you know, we had way more disclosures when the, uh, when the exit slips were implemented, and then they never went back to not having them. So I think that, um, is, is a great thing as well. And I think also, again, we try to make it as simple as possible. So these kids, you know, the repetition, they hear it more, they, they are more educated, and then if the unthinkable happens, right? They have many opportunities throughout the school year, it's constantly being brought up. And so to me, you know, those students being able to have that follow up, what if I didn't see them? What if I hadn't seen them crying or, or putting their heads down? What if I never noticed that behavior? Then they just walk out of there, you know? But with an exit slip, with follow up videos, it's, it's multiple opportunities for them to hear, we see you. We're here for, you, we're here if you need it.


Yeah. And one more thing about the Isaac slips that I've learned over the years is that a lot of times kids, they don't feel comfortable talking about it, but you give 'em a piece of paper or you know, it's digital and they're like, they, they, they can't seem to hold it in if it's to write it out, right? So they, they, they, they have to be honest. And so they, if they're connecting, they're gonna, they're gonna circle that or whatever that is. So it's really important to give kids options and ways to, to talk. You know, you can draw, you know your feelings, you can write your feelings and you can vocalize your feelings. And there's other ways too. But those options and those tools really, really help kids to talk about all things that are being locked up inside. That's kind of what I say. So, um, if you found this to be valuable today, please share this with your schools. Um, we provide curriculum for grades, pre-k, all the way to 12th grade, uh, uh, curriculum for kids with special needs, deaf and hard of hearing students, Spanish speaking students. And just share it if you could. Um, we would really, really appreciate that. So until next time, uh, also too, here's our website, childhood victories.com. Again, that's childhood victories.com. It should be in the notes. Um, we will see you next time. Thank you so much, everyone. Have a great day.

To learn more about our products, go to two 12 victory lane.com. And for more information about our curriculum and programs, visit childhood victories.com.