The COREMatters Project is a 13-week, curriculum that teaches kids the importance of being strong, balanced and flexible. We address these things in the physical sense and talk about not allowing others to knock you down. We then speak of the necessity of having these within you as well so that you cannot be knocked down with words. This process replaces the false power that violence and bullying provides with real EMPOWERMENT. The COREMatters Project teaches youth respect, empathy and integrity through physical, emotional and intellectual core strengthening activities. This in-school program focuses on teaching students to respect themselves as well as others with the intention of creating respectful and resilient individuals. The COREMatters project accomplishes this through activities focused on Social Emotional Learning coupled with empowering moves of physical fitness. The physical activities act as a metaphor for the social emotional lessons and create meaning for the child in a way that simple conversation cannot accomplish.
Ancient cultures believed in building a more peaceful world, beginning with the individual. The COREMatters Project builds upon this philosophy and brings it into the classroom where COREMatters’ Team Specialists help students apply these values through adherence to a respect-based code of conduct, self- evaluation, conflict resolution and decision making practice within the reenactment of real world scenarios. The COREMatters project is based on research in the areas of bullying prevention, competency and social emotional learning. However, our technique is innovative. We utilize the physical moves of empowerment that act metaphorically for the social emotional lessons. This creates an environment that is based on discipline, respect and a strict code of conduct. This allows the children to feel the concepts with their muscles and creates meaning for the difficult-to- understand social emotional lesson. Although we cannot keep stressors, adversity and conflict from our children, by strengthening both the physical and emotional cores our students are better prepared for the challenges they will certainly face during their formative years and beyond.
Part of this process includes teaching children how to face and handle adversity. Many well-meaning parents remove anything perceived as painful or difficult from their children’s lives. This actually impedes the natural maturation process and creates young people who, since they have not had to solve their own problems, are incapable of handling the normal pitfalls of adulthood, as well as not having tools with which to handle the emotions that go along. This leads to increased anxiety, fear and confusion, which many times leads to violence. The COREMatters Project teaches children that although they may not be in control of everything that happens to them, THEY are in absolute control of how they react. The COREMatters Project measures its value and effectiveness through a mix of student, parent, teacher and institutional-wide feedback which is gathered during and after the COREMatters intervention. Some of the survey-criteria for quantifying success include:
- Willingness to Seek Help
- Prevalence of Teasing and Bullying
- Aggressive Attitudes
- Reduction of Disrespect
- Physical Aggression
- Physical Aggression
- IL Bullying Scale (Including Victim , Bully and Fight Subscales)