"Teaching students to value, encourage, and respect each other, therefore creating an open line of communication for all."
The idea is not simply to combat bullying,
but to create a culture of kindness.
THE VALOR V.I.P. program is presented in local schools in the Greater Cincinnati area alongside the Cincinnati, Hamilton, and Ross Township Police Departments. The Valor program teaches and emphasizes good character traits and the positive outcomes it has for students. We discuss the idea that when these positive traits are not present, strife and difficulties can arise.
Students are encouraged to follow the acts of VALOR:
- Value others
- Always be kind
- Lend a helping hand
- Offer encouragement
- Respect your classmates.
We discuss with students that they will encounter other children and adults that do not live by the acts of Valor and that they need to understand when that happens and what they can do to protect themselves or their peers. We provide information on what bullying is and how it is different from someone being rude or mean.
A discussion is held that provides examples of the four basic types of bullying; social, verbal, physical and cyber. During this discussion the school resource officer talks about the legal implications of this type of behavior. At the conclusion of the presentation, the horses are brought in to meet and spend time with the children while handlers encourage conversation.
We use the horses to remind students that the horses need to be trained with some of the same principals we talk about with Valor. Horses are especially tuned into how kind they are treated by humans and we explain that many of the ways that people like to be treated, horses do as well. When horses are valued, encouraged, and respected by humans they are often much more willing to interact.