Safe School Ambassadors

Date 02/13/2018
Teacher Herd-Tesson, Jamie
School Martin County High School
Grade 9-12
Subject Cross-Curricular

Martin County High School would like to empower our students to change the school climate by preventing and reducing bullying, mistreatment, and violence. We would like to start a Safe School Ambassador (SSA) Program that enables students to be the change element at our school. In addition to this program, we would like to offer three presentations to 750 additional students. These assembles called Waking Up Courage (WUCA) will empower all students to stand up and speak out when they witness bullying. With these two programs, we are confident that we will make positive changes at MCHS.

The total cost is $9,300. The Education Foundation has offered us a matching grant of $5,000, if we can raise the $4,300 balance. Will you please consider helping us reach our goal?


Community Matters’ Safe School Ambassadors® program, a student-centered model, empowers, equips and engages diverse student leaders to prevent and reduce bullying and mistreatment. The 35-40 students who are from diverse social groups participate in a two-day training with seven adults. These adults become the Family Group Facilitators.

The training gives Ambassadors skills to resolve conflicts, defuse incidents, counsel restraint, offer support, and model acceptance. Upon completion of the training, Ambassadors intervene with their peers to prevent and stop harassment, bullying and cyber bullying. They stop incidents before they can escalate to physical harm and intentional injury. To both support the students and sustain the program, small “Family Groups” of 7-10 students are established for the Ambassadors and are led by adults who participated in the training.


SSA is a research-based approach that has been reviewed and evaluated on its own merits and found to be an effective program for bullying prevention. In 2011, the Safe School Ambassadors program was evaluated by an independent third party consisting of Dr. Alexander White of Texas State University, San Marcos, and Dr. Katherine Raczynski and Dr. Andy Horne of the University of Georgia, Athens. The multi-year evaluation found several statistically significant outcomes:

  • Increased rates of intervention in bullying incidents by Ambassadors;
  • Improved school climate among friends of Ambassadors, who also reported increased rates of intervention in bullying incidents by their peers;

The evaluation also showed that when the program was implemented as designed, SSA schools showed suspension rates dropped 33%, while suspension rates in non-SSA schools increased 10% during the same years. This holds true for similar populations including large, inner city public schools.

The 2011 evaluation led to a listing in the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices (NREPP). The SSA Program met NREPP’s requirements for review and has been independently assessed and rated for Quality of Research and Readiness for Dissemination. This confirms that the evaluation is from a reliable external source.

Through the SSA program, individuals will benefit from a true and sustainable improvement in school climate at all participating schools as evidenced by:

‐ Decrease in bullying incidents, - Reduced disciplinary incidents such as suspensions and expulsions and time spent on disciplining students, ‐ Increases in self-esteem of chronically absent and often bullied students as evidenced through an increase in their attendance at school.


Title Amount
Balance needed for the Student/Teacher Training for SSA Program and “Waking Up Courage” Assemblies $4,300.00
Total $4,300.00

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Amount to Reach Goal: $3750.00

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Program Partner

Rosie Aviles

Current Funding

$550.00 / $4,300.00

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