Harrisburg, Pa. − April 30, 2019 − Senate Democratic Leader Jay Costa, Jr. announced today $350,000 in state grant funding in a violence prevention initiative for the Woodland Hills School District communities in conjunction with the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape.

“Last year, we in state government decided that had seen enough violence in our schools and communities and created a grant program for schools and organizations to make their facilities and neighborhoods safer,” said Senator Costa. “Our community stepped up and submitted worthy applications for these grants to reduce violence and I’m anxious to see their work brought to fruition.”

Pittsburgh Action Against Rape will deliver a comprehensive approach to reducing sexual violence by primarily working with WHSD and continued work in the community through the parents and community members of the district.

“When we created these grants, I made it a priority to ensure that Woodland Hills and the surrounding area got the funds they need for anti-violence programming,” said Senator Costa. “I also want to thank the Pittsburgh Action Against Rape for taking the lead in developing this project.”

The proposed programs include an after-school program for K-6 th grade, two days a week; social norms group; Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM); Athletes Leading Change (ALC); Parents in the Know (PITK) trainings to other professionals, and the use of a Community Readiness Model (CRAM), which measures a community’s readiness to change.

These programs will serve up to 3,500 students and 600 adults, as well as surrounding communities with an estimated population of 21,000 individuals

This project will deliver a comprehensive approach to reducing sexual violence by primarily working with WHSD youth and continued work in the community to the parents and community members of the district. Prevention work will be done on multiple levels including evidence- and research-based programming to youth in the school district through afterschool programs, working with parents, male and female athletes, trainings of professions within the school district and systems in the feeder municipalities.

Programs to students will be done through classroom presentations, after-school programming, small group work with male and female athletes, and community work with parents and caregivers. Programs will focus on social norms to increase bystander intervention skills, awareness of trauma focused services available to victims and their families and increase and identify resiliency factors in students.

Act 44 of 2018 created a School Safety and Security Fund for the purposes of providing funding to school districts for school safety and security concerns and addressing community violence.  $60 million was put into the fund with $7.5 million for community anti-violence programs and the remaining 52.5 million for school safety.