Anti-bullying program targets local schools

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By Special to the Monitor

The Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico will be implementing an Anti-Bully Program in the middle school in Los Alamos and will continue to reach the elementary schools in Española this school year.

“This effort stems from a Board decision to seek ways to prevent domestic violence,” said Carol Merriweather, the executive director of the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico. “Our statistics show that an overwhelming number of adults who use our program, have witnessed violence as a child. We are excited by the community response and grateful for the generosity and confidence of the United Way in supporting this program.

“The Crisis Center has made a commitment to find ways to work with children before the violent patterns become ingrained,” she said.

The United Way of Northern New Mexico provided grant money for the Anti-Bully Program that is a pilot program developed by the Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico.

The Los Alamos Middle School will see a curriculum that is geared toward the issues that face middle school students, including problem solving and skill development in mediation.

“We also teach children how to react to inappropriate and potentially dangerous bullying behavior. The (Anti-Bully) program will reach and teach hundreds of children who are often confronted by difficult school environments. The program also encourages children to make choices for maintaining a tolerant and inclusive school and social environment,” Merriweather said.

Since 1992, the Crisis Center has been providing services to victims of domestic violence.

Last year they served 365 people in the service delivery area that includes Rio Arriba, Los Alamos and northern Santa Fe counties.

In addition to providing emergency shelter, the Crisis Center also offers counseling for all family members and group counseling for both men and women.

The funding received from United Way has supported the expansion of programs and the addition of therapists for children.

For more information about Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico, call 505-753-1656 or visit their website at www.Crisis-Centers.com.

Its office is at 577 El Llano Road in Española.

The Crisis Center of Northern New Mexico is a member agency of the United Way of Northern New Mexico. This year’s fundraising campaign will run from Aug. 20 through Oct. 31. For additional information, please contact United Way of Northern New Mexico at (505) 662-0800 or visit www.LosAlamos.com/UnitedWay on the Internet. Information may also be obtained 1200 Trinity Dr., Suites 418 and 419.