Date of Award

4-2005

Degree Name

Specialist in Education

Department

Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (to 2007)

First Advisor

Dr. Sue Poppink

Second Advisor

Louann A Bierlein Palmer

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Campus Only

Abstract

The Challenge Day Organization is a non-profit establishment that provides workshops and programs to youth and their communities geared toward creating environments where all children feel safe, celebrated, and loved. Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan contracted with the Challenge Day Organization to provide its cornerstone Challenge Day program, Challenger Program Training, and Mentorship Training for its students as a means of addressing goals related to improved school climate and reducing incidents of bullying. Ninth grade students were administered a Likert-type survey prior to and following implementation of Challenge Day programs with the freshman class. Results indicated improvements in six of eight items associated with improved school climate, with the largest gains being percentages of students reporting that they (a) confront peers making hurtful comments or choices, (b) get along with others from different backgrounds, ( c) stop gossip when they hear it, and ( d) witness less or no teasing at school. Improvements also occurred in seven of nine items associated with students feeling welcomed at school, with the largest areas of improvement being the percentage of students reporting that they (a) get along with their teachers, and (b) receive great citizenship marks. Disciplinary incidents related to bullying, teasing, and violence decreased by 24.1 % following the implementation of Challenge Day programs.

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