In Southeast Missouri, The Green Bear Project and Southeast Missouri Network Against Sexual Violence (SEMO-NASV) have collaborated with many agencies and organizations to Raise the Issue to end violence against children!

Although our most prominent collaborating partners are our local schools, we also collaborate with our local children’s museum, libraries, and other not-for-profit organizations and businesses. Each year we reach between 20,000 – 30,000 people through our events.

Green Bear and Tiffy Bear, The Green Bear Project’s mascots, created their own little town, with the assistance of Green Bear Educators, to educate both children and caregivers on preventing and disclosing violence against children – Green Bear Junction.

In 2022, a board member for both SEMO-NASV and Discovery Playhouse, realized there was a unique opportunity for our 2 agencies to collaborate. Thanks to SoutheastHEALTH sharing their exhibit space, Green Bear Junction was opened for business in April 2022.

In the summer of 2022, The Green Bear Project partnered with Riverside Regional Libraries to participate in community book reading events in all of their local libraries. We read stories to children about consent, Don’t Hug Doug and feelings, In My Heart. After reading the book, children and caregivers had an opportunity to ask Green Bear Educators questions. At the end of the session, the children completed a fun activity with our educators.

Each April, SEMO-NASV and The Green Bear Project sponsor “A Day in the Park with Green Bear.” This event encourages caregivers to bring their children to the park for a fun-filled day with Green Bear and his friends. Green Bear and other familiar characters make an appearance for children, games, and activities are provided on-site for a day of stress-free fun.

Each year, The Green Bear Project collaborates with the EDvolution Center at Southeast Missouri State University to provide our presentation, “A Guide for Mandated Reporters, Recognizing and Reporting Child Abuse,” to college students who will be graduating as mandated reporters. Our free classes are available to community members as well.

Being a mandated reporter is a role that should be taken seriously. To know and understand one’s role as a mandated reporter, one must be able to recognize the signs and symptoms of child abuse, learn how to respond to a child who discloses abuse and make an effective hotline call to report suspected abuse.