By Maureen Smith
JACKSON/TUPELO – The Office for the Protection of Children is offering two August workshops for those who teach child protection classes. The workshops will expand upon and enhance what trainers and teachers learned in training sessions last year, especially for those working with middle and high school students.
The diocese uses Praesidium’s “Called to Protect” program. “This will be a more in-depth look at the youth program,” explained Vickie Carollo, director of the Office for the Protection of Children. “We will expand into bullying prevention and responses,” she said.
Audrey Oliver, a safety analyst from Praesidium is coming to present the workshops. “We will look at some of the supplemental lessons dealing with healthy boundaries in dating and peer relationships and healthy boundaries in electronic communications,” said Carollo. Bullying, she said, continues to capture headlines nationwide so these lessons are timely and important as school and parish youth programs get started again in the fall.
The workshops are primarily for those catechists, youth ministry coordinators or parish leaders who present the child protection lessons to their communities, but pastors and other catechists are welcome to attend.
“Called to Protect” is a nationally-recognized program designed to teach children how to protect themselves from sexual predators, how to set healthy boundaries, what to do if someone tries to violate their boundaries and what to do if someone they know is being abused. It has age-specific lessons from young children though high school. These workshops focus on the middle and high school lessons.
The first workshop is Friday, Aug. 8, from 9 a.m. – noon at Madison St. Joseph School in the Fine Arts building. The second is Saturday, Aug. 9, from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. at Tupelo St. James Parish in Shelton Hall. The workshops are free, but Carollo asks that those who wish to attend let her know by July 15 by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Maureen Smith