Start Strong is a Nationally recognized program that has brought The Halls, Break Up Summit, and a variety of Media literacy tools to young people across the Nation and the globe. Young people's knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors shift positively towards healthy interactions with their peers after participating in our workshops.
Start Strong offers a variety of programming for both youth and adults who work with youth that are both free and open to the public. Our trained high school Peer Leaders, with an adult staff member, deliver innovative and interactive lessons on healthy relationship promotion, teen dating violence prevention, media literacy, gender and sexuality, and healthy break ups.
We have 11 workshops in our #RealLoveRealTalk Curriculum with each workshop lasting approximately 60-90 minutes. Our workshops are tailored for both middle and high school age students.
We prefer a minimum of 8 participants, and Start Strong Peer Leaders travel to your school or community space to present. We are a low tech program. We can bring any materials needed if the site is running low on supplies. If available we occasionally use pens/pencils and dry erase boards.
Teen Workshops are for teens ages 11-18 years old. Our Start Strong Peer Leaders can facilitate workshops for groups in out of school time programs. Workshop topics cover: Teen Dating Violence 101, Healthy Relationship Skill Building, Engaging in Healthy Break Ups, and Media Literacy.
Healthy Relationships Series (four 60-90 minute workshops)
This series allows young people to explore and start conversations on healthy characteristics. Studies show that most teens know what healthy characteristics are needed in a relationship, but they don't know how to integrate these behaviors/skills in their partnership. Our workshops on Trust, Communication, Support, Conflict Resolution, and Fun allow young people to dig deeper and find out how they can incorporate more healthy behaviors.
Teen Dating Violence Series (three 60-90 minute workshops)
This series allows students to understand the basics surrounding unhealthy and abusive relationships. Our workshops cover topics such as the 5 types of abuse, warning signs, and how to help a friend in an abusive relationship.
Media Series (three 60-90 minute workshops)
This series provides young people with tools to unpack and analyze how their media diet impacts their behavior, relationships, and ideologies. Our Sound Nutrition Label unpacks the healthy/unhealthy relationship messages teens receive in their lyrical diet; The True View Tool allows them to discuss how music videos portray healthy/unhealthy relationships; and our Reel Binary Tool promotes critical thinking towards tv shows and movies in how they portray gender.
Break Up Series (five 60-90 minute workshops)
Dealing with break ups is often difficult and rarely discussed. Every year Start Strong hosts a Break Up Summit to create a safe space for young people all around Boston to discuss break ups. This series includes, but is not limited to, Break Ups 101, Break Ups and Cheating, The Role of Gender in Break ups, LGBTQ and Break Ups, Social Media and Break Ups, and much more!
Adult Series (varies based on interest)
Starting conversations with young people about relationships can feel overwhelming, scary, and uncomfortable. This series provides adults who work young people the tools to start conversations about their relationships and life, how teens use media and the impact media has on relationships, as well as a general overview on the importance of youth development in social change and advocacy.
Our Provider workshops cover Teen Dating Violence 101, Healthy Relationships, Media Literacy, and supporting teens to engage in healthy break ups. See below for materials for our provider workshops:
The Halls is a web series created by Start Strong Peer Leaders in partnership with Beyond Measure Production. The Halls tells the story of three young men in Boston and their struggle with relationships, trauma, masculinity, and their own identities.
The web series comes with a discussion guide
that helps adults start conversations with young people around the themes presented.
The discussion guide raises questions, cites anticipated challenges for the audience, and features concrete take-aways as well as various activities.
Most young people engage in multiple relationships throughout their teenage years. The ensuing break-ups can be messy, uncomfortable, and hurtful. The Boston Public Health Commission hosts annual "Break Up Summits" to bring together teens from around the City to discuss current trends in break-up practices and how to engage in healthy break-ups.
Since 2009, Start Strong's annual Break Up Summits have brought together 200 youth and 50 adults to start conversations around healthy break ups. The summits are co-designed by teen peer leaders and Start Strong staff.
The Commission's Start Strong Initiative has a number of tools to help teens build healthy relationships and conflict resolution skills that are especially important during break ups. You can download the tools on our resources page.
For more information on workshops contact Jess Alder at email@example.com or 617-534-3446