Grantee Spotlight: Bonnie Leadbeater, PhD
Name-calling on the playground, teasing in the cafeteria, taunts in the hallways. Parents and teachers are often at a loss when it comes to effective and accessible bullying interventions.
Bonnie Leadbeater, PhD, used her 2003 APF Violence Prevention and Intervention to pilot an effective intervention that could stop this trauma. Her grant has gone on to significantly contribute to efforts to prevent bullying in schools throughout Victoria, Canada.
Since receiving the APF Grant, Leadbeater has received more than $2,800,000 in additional funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada. She will now be able to conduct a large randomized controlled trial of the program and will be able to implement, district-wide, the WITS-LEAD program.
Dr. Leadbeater, a developmental psychologist at the University of Victoria, used the $20,000 grant to develop and pilot the WITS-LEADS (which stands for: Walk away, Ignore the bully, Talk it out and Seek help) Program. The aim of the program is to imbue older elementary school students with a sense of responsibility for preventing bullying among younger students. The program also develops the older children's leadership and conflict resolution skills.
According to Dr. Leadbeater, "We have continued to benefit from the APF's investment in the WITS-LEADS program, also particularly in terms of making resources available to middle school students." Also, she notes "the recognition from this award has been important in obtaining further support from the community and from federal funders of the program. The APF award allowed us to develop a manual for the WITS-LEADS program and to test its feasibility in elementary schools. This was essential to our subsequent applications for funding."
Free access to resources and online training for school staff and community leaders is available on the WITS program's website.