Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center and Lincoln County UW-Extension are partnering to offer training for adults and youth leaders to create safe, affirming and fair environments with youth groups they work with and are involved in.

Be SAFE (Safe, Affirming and Fair Environments) is a Michigan State University Extension initiative designed to help young people aged 11 to 14 and adults work in partnership to create environments that are physically and emotionally safe.

While the primary audience for Be SAFE are young people and adults involved in out-of-school settings (such as after-school programs, 4-H, Boys and Girls Clubs, Scouts, Y’s, sports programs and faith-based programs), the effort also applies to middle school settings.
This curriculum can also be adapted to use with groups of youth of mixed ages. Be SAFE focuses on education and prevention of bullying, bias, harassment and other hurtful behaviors – as well as providing suggestions for intervening when young people are affected by these issues.  It draws from extensive research from a variety of key disciplines – as well as evidence-based bullying prevention programs.

The overall goals of Be SAFE are to:
•Promote social and emotional learning and development.
•Address and reduce bullying.
•Prevent bullying behaviors by tapping the wisdom and assets of youth and adults.
•Develop positive relationships with peers and adults.

According to the authors of Be SAFE, Janet Olsen and Karen Pace, this program is unique in that it is grounded in positive youth development. Be SAFE uses a positive youth development approach to tap into the wisdom, strengths and resiliency of young people and draws them into a process of learning, growth and change - alongside and in partnership with adults.

To assist groups in utilizing this program, training will be held on Saturday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Lincoln County Service Center located at 801 N. Sales St. in Merrill.  

Area youth group leaders along with older youth are invited to participate. In exchange for participating in the training and agreeing to implement the curriculum with at least one group of youth within the next year, each group represented at the training will receive a free copy of the Be SAFE curriculum (value of $75).

Ministry Good Samaritan Health Center will cover costs for the training for all attendees as part of an effort to provide this program to the community.
For more information or to register, visit UW-Extension Website and click on the Be SAFE article or contact the UW-Extension office at 715.539.1072.