Project SELFIE (Safe Expression online For Internet Empowerment) is a program developed by PCAVT after multiple Vermont schools reached out requesting sexting prevention education. Research indicates that Vermont youth experience online risks that are concerning and that this is especially true when they are not prepared for it. Nearly one in four Vermont middle schoolers and 16% of high school students have experienced cyber-bullying.
Thanks to a generous donation from the Canaday Family Charitable Trust, PCAVT will be able to bring this program to 10 schools or youth serving organizations in Chittenden, Windham, and Windsor counties. The program will be provided free of charge. Inquiries about scheduling can be made to Marcie Hambrick firstname.lastname@example.org.
Project SELFIE has a two-pronged approach: building adult protective skills and student empowerment. The program includes one adult training that covers how adults can protect youth from all kinds of digital risk, such as online grooming, online pornography, and sexting. It helps adults understand their important role in monitoring and guiding youth in their digital decisions. The student empowerment is accomplished through a two-lesson series for middle and high schoolers on how youth can manage their online presence in healthy ways. The student lessons are developmentally appropriate, trauma informed, and cover how to build resilience to the social pressures inherent in digitally facilitated relationships.
The mission of PCAVT is to promote and support healthy relationships within families, schools, and communities to eliminate child abuse. Serving Vermont began as Parents Anonymous of VT in 1976 and has grown to have a helpline and three main programmatic areas: Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Family Support Programs, and the Safe Environments for Infants and Toddlers Program. PCAVT partners with over 250 organizations across Vermont, and many more both nationally and internationally. PCAVT’s programs are skills based, teaching adults how to nurture healthy development in children, and emphasize adult responsibility in keeping children safe.