Play it Safe!® is a child abuse awareness and prevention program developed by The Women’s Center of Tarrant County and presented locally by the Fannin County Children’s Center. It incorporates age-appropriate scripts and movies to teach children how to reduce their risk of sexual and physical abuse, and sexual assault. It teaches them to recognize potentially abusive behavior, provides the tools to respond to threatening situations, and encourages them to report abuse to a trusted adult.
Play it Safe!® is an evidence-informed, age-appropriate risk reduction program for Pre-K through high school age students. Each grade level’s interactive curriculum speaks to children in a way that they can best learn and respond.
Brief summaries of each grade level program are included below. To read even more about each grade level program and watch video trailers, go to:
To schedule presenter(s) to come to your school, church or other youth serving organization, please contact Andrea Lappin at firstname.lastname@example.org or (903) 583-4339.
An easy-going tone is quickly set for this age level by capturing the students’ attention early in the presentation with an animated movie. Afterwards, the points introduced in the movie are reinforced, and Joe and Suzy dolls provide a visual aid. Children are encouraged to take home a coloring book to discuss what they learned with family. Scripted presentation and movie are 30 minutes total.
The program expounds upon the Pre-K message with an interactive discussion on safety rules. Concepts such as “strangers” are defined and students name trusted adults that they could talk to if they had a problem. Students learn that there are some times when there’s a REASON for touching, and those situations are not secret, and are okay. Joe and Suzy dolls and coloring books boost the message. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
Storytelling and the use of Joe & Suzy dolls further expound upon the Play it Safe!® concepts. Interspersed in these scripted stories are scenarios which help children process what action they could take, or how a character might feel. Stories portray the difference between discipline and unsafe touch, and coloring books reinforce this message. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
Because the message is delivered through humor in the movie, the curriculum increases student interaction through questions & information processing to ensure comprehension of this important message. Joe and Suzy dolls are used once again to emphasize the message. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
In addition to the basic premise, internet safety is addressed as well as what it means to give out “personal information.” Additionally, the concepts of “taking advantage” of someone and bullying are explored. Discussion includes how difficult it can be when someone you care about asks you to keep a secret that you don’t want to keep, and how telling a trusted adult is the right thing to do. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
Recognizing a slight shift in maturation of 4th graders, internet safety is more deeply examined. Discussion addresses how gaming with or meeting someone online might feel safe when that person appears to have the very same interests. However, it’s still a stranger, and caution should be taken just as if meeting a stranger in person. Taking safe action as a bystander to bullying is also introduced. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
Internet safety further examines how someone can pretend to be someone they’re not, even through photos and video. The safety rule can be adapted when there are confusing or potentially threatening online situations. By knowing what’s okay and what isn’t, students are empowered to take action. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
The concepts of being taken advantage of and of being assertive, online sharing of personal information, touch and the safety rule are repeated, but in a way that speaks to this level of maturity. Students re-examine who are the trusted adults with whom they could talk. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
5th & 6th Grade
Respect for others is the first and vital step. This program builds empathy by tackling issues such as appreciation of our differences, bullying, cyberbullying, safe bystander intervention, and flirting vs. sexual harassment. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
RELATIONSHIPS: PAINT THEM HEALTHY
Whether dating yet or not, our goal with this theme is to help teens assess the characteristics of a relationship, and make deliberate choices as to what kind of relationship they want. All of us learn about intimate relationships from the household in which we’re raised, from other family and friends, and from the media. Yet, with so many destructive relational aspects being portrayed, it may be difficult to know how a healthy relationship should look. This presentation addresses healthy and unhealthy aspects of a relationship, including mutual respect, boundaries, jealousy and control, how to break up, and communication skills. Regardless of what we’ve seen and learned growing up, we can gain the tools to make a conscious decision about the kind of relationship we want. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
SEXTING & CYBERBULLYING: CAN’T TAKE IT BACK
Ever-changing technology will impact this and future generations beyond comprehension. Some teens are engaging in behaviors that have potentially serious consequences. The goal of this program is to educate about the consequences that exist as a result of sexting and cyberbullying. Those consequences can be emotional and/or legal. Although laws vary by state, and will likely continue to change, teens are discouraged from taking an unknown risk. They are encouraged to think BEFORE creating or forwarding anything sexual through electronic means. Sexting and cyberbullying are defined and the roles of bystander, victim and perpetrator are examined. Safe bystander intervention is addressed. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
AN ABUSE OF POWER
This addresses a difficult topic that, unfortunately, affects many individuals, as well as their loved ones. Child sexual abuse is perpetrated upon not only young children, but youth of all ages. In an age-appropriate manner, this presentation addresses using power and control to sexually abuse a minor. It identifies tactics that perpetrators might use to groom an individual, as well as his/her family and community. Many victims of child sexual abuse not only know, but trust and care for the offender. For that reason, most never tell anyone about the abuse. An Abuse of Power empowers individuals to identify tactics and speak out against the abuse. This program emphasizes that a victim is never to blame, why it’s important to report this crime, and that victims can become survivors. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
IT’S CALLED RAPE
Both girls and boys receive mixed messages about sexuality and what is expected of them. Coercion is often times masked as love. This presentation examines consent from both an emotional and legal stance. It calls non-consensual sex just what it is – rape. It can be perpetrated against either gender, by either gender. Students are alerted to high-risk behaviors, non-stranger assault, victim blaming and communication. As always, students are assured that people can and do heal. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.
ABUSIVE RELATIONSHIPS: SEEING THE SIGNS
Research confirms that as many as one in five adolescent females and one in ten adolescent males have been abused physically or sexually by a dating partner. This places them at a higher risk for substance abuse, eating disorders, risky sexual behavior and further domestic violence. Violence is a learned behavior, but with work, can be un-learned. It typically follows a continuum, accelerating from emotional/verbal abuse in the form of continuous manipulation, humiliation, control, jealousy, obsessive texting, and stalking, to physical and/or sexual violence. This program’s goal is to alert teens to the signs of dating violence, and encourage them to make a conscious decision about the type of relationship they desire. Scripted presentation and movie are 45-60 minutes total.