Matzmichim is seeking funds to deliver cyberbullying training for school professionals, students and parents.
Due to advancements in technology, violence and social aggression are no longer limited to verbal or physical bullying at school. Digital media have become a vehicle for spreading hurtful messages, images or videos, unlimited by time and space. Indeed, bullying transferred to the online environment is increasing and consequently, the potential for psychological, emotional and social damage to children. Studies show that over 70% of children in Israel experience cyberbullying. School administrators and parents are affronted by cyberspace's escalation of adolescent viciousness on and off campus. They yearn for tools to teach children to be good digital citizens. While efforts have been made by schools to educate children and parents about internet safety– i.e. avoiding sexual exploitation through the internet and protection from harmful content - it is time to shift the focus towards reducing risk from known peers in the online environment.
Matzmichim's cyberbullying training introduces school professionals to the unique features and impact of cyberbullying - and particularly how the internet accelerates cruelty - and introduces them to effective intervention strategies, which they are able to observe in action through student workshops. The workshops constitute the practical training component of the program and demonstrate techniques such as enhancing the positive forces within each classroom. The workshops also provide students with tools to protect themselves against cyberbullying and guidance to effectively respond to incidents of online cruelty targeted at their classmates. Moreover, Matzmichim's facilitators engage students in an in depth discussion about the types of online violence they experienced and help them to define norms of online behavior. The workshops also serve to develop students' social-emotional skills that lead to positive behaviors between classmates. Following the workshops, teachers receive support resources (lesson plans and ongoing guidance) to further reinforce program learnings. Parents attend lectures that encourage them to be involved in their children's ethical use of technology on and off campus.
Working together – educators, students and parents - cultivates educational environments and communities that are respectful and nonviolent, where teachers can focus their talents on providing a quality education, without dampening their enthusiasm and zeal for teaching, and students feel worthy, connected, and safe to thrive. Also, when teachers are able to establish a positive classroom climate that favors pro-social behavior, the affects transcend the school premises and impact the broader community.
Matzmichim operates nationally in general and special education schools (from elementary to high school). Programming is sustained through the generosity of donors and school participation fees.
Our aim is to raise 10,000$ to deliver cyberbullying interventions in 2017 in schools throughout the country.
Established in 2004, the mission of Matzmichim is to reduce school violence and aggression, and transform Israeli classrooms into safe and nurturing environments. Programming targets education professionals, students and parents, and is designed to impart practical and life-long skills to confront all types of violence (verbal, physical, cyberbullying), and promote pro-social behavior.
School violence and bullying threaten the overall well-being of young people. In spite of significant increase in budgets to reduce violence, and The Ministry of Education's Zero Tolerance Policy, levels of violence have not dropped in Israeli schools. One of 4 children suffers from shunning, 50% are bullied in social networks, and 70% have endured school violence. Field research in recent years shows that children, no matter their socioeconomic background, use aggressive behavior to maintain or improve their social status. On top of that, 91% of teachers claim to be unequipped to counteract school violence and state that their violence prevention training must be radically changed from the ground up.
Matzmichim's intervention model is based on international violence prevention research and practice, coupled with self-developed strategies. Programming is evaluated by TNS, an international research agency, to assess impact and improve service delivery.
Matzmichim operates nationally in general and special education schools. To date, we have engaged over 45,000 educators, students and parents, who are building better school communities, as indicated by assessment studies investigating program impact. Our accumulated experience and proven results have opened doors to partnerships with the Ministry of Public Security (Matzmichim was commission to train School Safety Facilitators for the national violence prevention programs – 'City without Violence' and 'Metzila'), academic institutions, philanthropic foundations in Israel and abroad and corporate philanthropy. In recognition of our achievements, Matzmichim received the Knesset Chairman Quality of Life Award for 2015.
For more information, please contact:
Director of Resource Development
Our Website: www.matzmichim.org.il
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