Bullying prevention program working across state and in MPS

With our partners at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction 

MILWAUKEE – Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, in collaboration with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction and Milwaukee Public Schools, today released statewide and MPS research results for Act Now!, a bullying prevention program for grades 4 through 8. Currently the program offered at no cost to schools in Wisconsin.

In 2010, Children’s Hospital launched Act Now! statewide. The program engages student bystanders and staff members to put a stop to bullying in their school. Initial enrollment goals for the program were 5,000 students, however in 2010-11, more than 15,000 students were enrolled in the middle school program for grades 6 through 8. With ongoing support from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, more than 16,000 students were enrolled in the 2011-2012 school year. Milwaukee Public Schools is expanding its use of the program.

A sampling of the results shows a significant change in the school culture and climate when staff training is included. More detailed results are available here.

Statewide schools with staff training:

  • Reduced the number of students bullied by more than 49 percent.
  • Reduced the number of students that encouraged the bully by more than 41 percent.

Milwaukee Public Schools with staff training:

  • Reduced the number of students bullied by more than 31 percent.
  • Reduced the number of students that bullied students by more than 57 percent.

During the 2010-2011 school year, 6,488 middle school students and 24 teachers in six Wisconsin public schools participated in a study of the effectiveness of the Act Now! program and its staff training component. Students in three schools received the student course Act Now! and teachers were given staff training. Students at three schools received the student course Act Now!, but teachers did not receive training.

The findings, coupled with the anecdotal feedback received from teachers and students, show Act Now! is effective in lowering the number of bullying instances and helps improve overall school climate. The ongoing comprehensive research study results, funded by the Ruddie Memorial Youth Foundation, will be released upon publication in an article by a leading research journal.

About Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin

Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin is the region’s only independent health care system dedicated solely to the health and well-being of children. The hospital, with locations in Milwaukee and Neenah, Wis., is recognized as one of the leading pediatric health care centers in the United States. Children’s Hospital provides primary care, specialty care, urgent care, emergency care, community health services, foster and adoption services, child and family counseling, child advocacy services and family resource centers. In 2010, Children’s Hospital invested more than $105 million in the community to improve the health status of children through medical care, advocacy, education and pediatric medical research. Children’s Hospital achieves its mission in part through donations from individuals, corporations and foundations and is proud to be a Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. For more information, visit the website at chw.org.