FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 02.18.09
Stephen Wakefield, Discovery Education
Andrew Feirstein, BCPS
Broward County Public Schools and Discovery Education Partner to Support Prevention Programming
Digital Service Provides Resources for Teaching Violence and Substance-Abuse Prevention
Silver Spring, Md. (Feb. 18, 2009) – Broward County Public Schools and Discovery Education announced a partnership to provide district educators and counselors with access to high-quality digital resources to teach students about violence and substance-abuse prevention. The collaboration began with a five-day professional development session, hosted by the district’s Office of Prevention Programs.
In response to a Florida statute passed in June 2008 requiring all districts to implement anti-bullying curriculum by December 2008, Broward County Public Schools was the first district in the state to incorporate a prevention program. The district’s policy went into effect in July, aided by the federal Safe Schools-Healthy Students initiative, with the goal of suppressing violence and substance abuse by students in the community.
Using digital r esources that engage 21st century students to teach anti-bullying programming, Broward County Public Schools collaborated with Discovery Education to train educators, counselors and others throughout the district invested in spreading prevention how to access and use digital resources available in Discovery Education Health. The training focused on the online program’s “Keeping It Real” curriculum, which provides resources related to drug and alcohol prevention programming, the “Get Real About Violence” curriculum, and also safe dating habits.
“Broward County Public Schools has a strategic plan to move toward a paperless environment using digital resources to prepare our students for success after graduation,” said Amalio Nieves, Title 4 Coordinator for Broward County Public Schools. “We understand that safe and healthy lifestyles increase achievement, ultimately increasing the likelihood of a student’s success.”
Discovery Education Health is a comprehensive healt h and prevention library of digital resources that addresses the needs of the whole student. Aligned to state standards, the service helps students to build life skills in nine key areas: physical activity, mental health, alcohol and other drugs, violence, safety, nutrition, tobacco, the body, and growth and development.
“We believe that using digital resources is a key component of our overall prevention program,” said Jennifer Thomas-Simmons, Project Manager for the Office of Prevention Programs. “Using the train-the-trainer model, we are working to complete training for all educators throughout the district by the end of February, using a combination of face-to-face activities and webinars.”
Broward County Public Schools was one of the recipients of a Safe Schools-Healthy Students grant, part of a federal initiative that provides grants to districts nationwide to develop approaches to creating safe and drug-free schools and promoting healthy childhood developme nt. The initiative is supported by the departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services.
In addition to Discovery Education Health, Broward County Public Schools educators use Discovery Education streaming, the video-based learning resource scientifically proven to increase academic achievement, to engage today’s technology-savvy students in learning. Broward County Public Schools are also supported by the Discovery Educator Network, a global community of more than 88,000 educators passionate about integrating media into classroom curriculum. Through the Discovery Educator Network, educators throughout the district have free access to a wide range of technology training as well as a resource library of teacher-generated projects and tools.
For more information about Discovery Education and its services, visit www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Discovery Educat ion
Discovery Communications (NASDAQ: DISCA, DISCB, DISCK) revolutionized television with Discovery Channel and is now transforming classrooms through Discovery Education. Powered by the number one nonfiction media company in the world, Discovery Education combines scientifically proven, standards-based digital media and a dynamic user community in order to empower teachers to improve student achievement. Already, more than half of all U.S. schools access Discovery Education digital services. Explore the future of education at www.discoveryeducation.com.
About Broward County Public Schools
Broward County Public Schools is the nation’s sixth largest public school system and the largest fully accredited district with over 255,000 students in more than 260 schools and education centers. For more information about Broward County Public Schools, visit the district Web site at www.browardschools.com.