Now in its second year, ACT-Adults and Children Together Against Violence, APA's early childhood violence prevention project, is continuing its strong outreach through public service announcements and training in local communities.
The project is a two-pronged effort:
A national public service advertising campaign featuring television, radio, print and outdoor advertisements.
A community-based training program that helps communities disseminate violence-prevention information and build violence-prevention skills for parents, teachers and caregivers of children up to age 8.
ACT is a collaborative effort of APA, the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) and the Advertising Council. Its first public service announcements were distributed nationwide in March 2001. To date, the ACT television ad has played more than 40,150 times nationwide. The radio ad has played more than 146,000 times. The combined value of this airtime, donated to the project under the auspices of the Advertising Council, is more than $30 million. Calls to the campaign's toll-free number (877-ACT-WISE) average about 200 a week and the ACT Web site (ActAgainstViolence.org) has had nearly 14,000 unique visitors during the past year.
The project's community training program is under way in Northern California, Morris County, N.J., and Kansas City, Kan. At each site, APA and NAEYC staff work with a local organization that hosts the program. Instructors trained by APA/NAEYC then conduct workshops for local professionals who work with families and children. Workshop participants pass along their knowledge to other adults in the community, including early childhood educators, teachers, parents, members of the clergy and social workers, among others. In its first year, the ACT program trained more than 150 professionals who have reached almost 3,000 adults in their communities.
A new component of the project is the ACT National Leadership Training Program, which prepares professionals from different parts of the country to become ACT coordinators in their communities. The first workshop was held last fall at the APA headquarters; the second is planned for this fall. APA is establishing a technical assistance and communications system to help these coordinators create initiatives on early violence prevention based on the ACT messages and materials.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Division of Violence Prevention is supporting the Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation to assess the effectiveness of the ACT training program dissemination. One component of the evaluation will be comparing the National Leadership program with the community implementation model.
For more information about ACT contact Jacquelyn Gentry or Julia Silva in APA's Public Interest Directorate.