For over a decade, the Union County Health Department partnered with the Union County elementary and middle schools to provide conflict resolution education to staff and students. Through these partnerships, staff members were trained in Positive Discipline in the Classroom, bullying prevention techniques, and provided many resources including the Games Club program curriculum. The health department still has many educational resources available including guidebooks, lesson plans, board games, and videos. These materials are available by request to all Union County schools and organizations.
Games Club is a conflict resolution program that was created by the Union County Health Department. Through the playing of board games, the program teaches school-aged children about types of conflict and provides the skills to resolve conflicts peacefully. To learn more about the Games Club program and how to implement it within your school or youth organization, please see the Games Club Manual.
Union County Conflict Resolution Program Recognized by NACCHO
The Union County Health Department was honored at the 2011 annual conference of the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a body of peers, for developing and implementing a program that demonstrates exemplary and replicable qualities in response to a local public health need. "Creating Positive School Environments through Conflict Resolution Education" was one of 41 public health programs developed by a local health department selected from across the nation to receive NACCHO's Model Practice Award.
From 2000 through 2009, the Injury Prevention Program at the Union County Health Department worked to improve the climate and environment of Union County school settings and reduce violence occurring in the school community. This goal was accomplished by providing conflict resolution, bullying prevention, and positive discipline and classroom environment education to the staff and students in the Marysville Exempted Village School District. Project success was measured through school climate surveys which asked students to report the frequency of bullying and harassment within the school building. At the start of the program, 33% of students reported regular harassment. Following nine years of program implementation, this number was drastically reduced to just 10%.
"We are proud to receive NACCHO's Model Practice Award for our conflict resolution program. The award is evidence of our commitment to developing responsive and innovative public health programs that improve the health of Union County residents," said Jason Orcena, Health Commissioner.
Each innovative project receiving the award was peer-reviewed (by other local health department professionals) and selected from a group of 130 applications. Since 2003, NACCHO's Model Practice Awards program has honored initiatives—including programs, resources, and tools—that demonstrate how local health departments and their community partners can effectively collaborate to address local public health concerns. "Creating Positive School Environments through Conflict Resolution Education" is now part of an online, searchable database of successful public health practices in areas ranging from immunization and maternal and child health to infectious diseases and emergency preparedness. The NACCHO Model Practice database allows users to benefit from colleagues' experiences, to learn what works, and to ensure that resources are used wisely on effective programs that have been implemented with good results. It also enables NACCHO to share information with key stakeholders and media about the good work being done by local health departments across the country.
This award puts the Union County Health Department into special company—a select group of health departments that exemplify a forward thinking, proactive attitude toward protecting and promoting the health of communities across the nation.
For more information about the NACCHO Model Practice Awards and to view a list of other award winners, please visit NACCHO.