The Green Bear Project

The Green Bear Project was created in memory of Baby Ty, a two year old toddler who was tragically killed only three months after returning to his biological family from foster care. Baby Ty’s favorite toy while he was in foster care was a little stuffed green bear he affectionately called “Green Bear.” Just as Green Bear gave baby Ty comfort when he was scared or frightened, we want to comfort and care for children through our organization.

The Green Bear Project has many programs available for concerned adults, professionals, and children pre-kindergarten through 12th grade. Funding for these programs is provided by SEMO-NASV, private donations, and grants. We provide child abuse prevention education programs to the following counties: Bollinger, Cape Girardeau, Dunklin, Mississippi, New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Scott, and Stoddard. All programs are available for FREE.

Programs include:

Download a copy of our promotional brochure HERE.

Elementary School Program

The Green Bear Program is a 30-minute program created for students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade which teaches students body safety as well as well as primary child abuse prevention strategies. Parents/guardians are encouraged to attend this program (if there are no COVID restrictions) with their children so they can reiterate what children learn in class at home.

Our very simple message covers 3 main topics:

  • Definition. We explain body safety in a developmentally appropriate manner. “Our bodies are private. No one should hug you, kiss you, or touch you where you do not want to be hugged, kissed or touched.” We go on to explain, usually we are talking about the part of your body your swimsuit covers, and discuss exceptions to this rule. It is emphasized if a child is touched where they should not be touched it is NEVER the child’s fault.
  • Deterrents. Prevention efforts are discussed such as secrets vs. surprises, preventing abduction situations, online and outside safety.
  • Disclosure. Children learn about grownups they can tell at home, in their school or in the community. We emphasize to children if the first grownup they tell doesn’t HELP them, keep telling different adults until someone does help.

Children are taught if they are touched where they should not be touched, they will have many different feelings. Any feeling they have is fine. Counselors can help them understand and deal with the different feelings they are having.

  • Pre-Kindergarten – Third Grade: Students participate in a puppet show with Green Bear or his sister, Tiffy Bear. Older children will learn through stories about animal characters who were touched where they should not be touched and how they received help from adults.
  • Fourth and Fifth Grade: Instead of puppet shows and story books, these children learn through “Fun” books. Students participate in completed word games and competitions to learn about body safety and prevention efforts.

Middle School and Junior High Programs

According to RSMo 170.045, all schools are now required by law to provide a trauma-informed, developmentally appropriate sexual abuse training to students in 6th – 12th grades. Our programs will provide students with the knowledge and tools to recognize sexual abuse, report and incidence of sexual abuse and actions a student could take to obtain assistance and intervention. Students are also provided with available resources they can utilize if they are
affected by sexual abuse.

Each student in our program is provided a HELP card. On one side the card provides the students with grownups they can give the card to for help, the other side provides grownups with prompts on ways to help the student. Students are also instructed on the following topics, by developmental level.

  • S.A.F.E. Guide to Growing Up. Sixth grade students learn how to foster healthy relationships by treating others other with respect. Students are instructed on how to help a friend who has been sexually abused as well as how to stay safe online. Students are provided with additional knowledge regarding online safety and how to stay S.A.F.E. in predating relationships:
    • S – Say what you mean
    • A – Avoid secluded places
    • F – Forget alcohol and drugs
    • E – Encourage group outings
  • S.A.F.E. Guide to Healthy Relationships. Our 7th and 8th grade
    students are introduced to the definition of sexual harassment and what to do if it occurs. Seventh and eighth grade students learn how to foster healthy “romantic” relationships and how to exit relationships that are not safe. To stay S.A.F.E. in relationships students learn to:

    • S – Say what you mean
    • A – Avoid pressuring partners
    • F – Forget alcohol and drugs
    • E – Effectively communicate

We emphasize in all of our students classes if they are sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed, it is NEVER their fault!

High School Programs

  • S.A.F.E. Guide to Dating. Students in 9th and 10th grade are introduced to the meaning of sexual assault and what to do if sexual assault occurs. We also review how to help a friend who has been sexually abused/assaulted. Sexual harassment is introduced to students as well as steps to take if a student is sexually harassed at school. Students learn to stay S.A.F.E. when dating:
    • S – Say what you mean
    • A – Avoid pressuring partners
    • F – Forget alcohol and drugs
    • E – Establishing consent
  • Surviving the Dating Game. This program for 11th and 12th grade students is preparing them for dating as adults. Students learn about risk reduction strategies they can utilize when dating to reduce the chances of being sexually assaulted. Students learn how to set healthy boundaries in relationships, establishing consent and party safety. Students are introduced to the Power and Control wheel which discusses tactics abusers use to obtain power and control over their partners and learn how to safely exit these dangerous relationships. Online safety is once again emphasized to these older students as well as how to stay S.A.F.E. on preliminary or first dates:
    • S – Set expectations
    • A – Agree to be respectful
    • F – Forget alcohol and drugs
    • E – Enforce consent

We emphasize in all of our students classes if they are sexually abused, assaulted, or harassed, it is NEVER their fault!

Community Programs

Mandated Reporter Training

According to Missouri’s School Board Association, each school in Missouri is now responsible to arrange for training and information necessary to assist staff members in identifying possible instances of child abuse and neglect. Each school is also responsible for implementing a planned program of personal safety and awareness education, including methods for preventing sexual abuse, that shall be provided to teachers, students and parents/guardians (Missouri Statutes- RSMo 160.261, 210 110.165).

Objectives: After completing this two hour course, mandated reporters will be able to:

  • Discuss ways to prevent child abuse in schools, churches and civic organizations (establishing appropriate contact between students/teachers, becoming a role model to students, involving adolescents in building non-violent relationships, engaging men as allies, and classroom supervision).
  • Define child abuse and recognize the importance of Missouri’s mandated reporting laws.
  • Identify signs and symptoms of child abuse.
  • Discover the importance of the Multidisciplinary Team Approach when dealing with suspected child abuse.
  • Perform a preliminary interview when child abuse is suspected.
  • Report and document suspected child abuse in Missouri to Missouri’s Child Abuse Hotline.

Target Audience: All mandated reporters in Missouri, which includes:

  • All school personnel
  • Police officers including juvenile officers
  • Counselors/social workers
  • Clergy and their agents (Sunday school teachers, church leaders and deacons/elders)
  • Medical personnel
  • Foster parents
  • Daycare providers
  • Anyone in Missouri who works with or around children

Raising Healthy Children in Your Community

This program includes information on developing collaborative child abuse
prevention efforts, protecting all children from abuse, online dangers, and more. We discuss how to protect children on an individual, organizational and community level. This class can be taught as a community coalition project, or for a specific school, organization, or faith-based entity.

To schedule a class, contact SEMO-NASV at (573) 332-1900 or leasastone@semonasv.org.