There is no one face of child sexual abuse. Children from all ethnic, socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds can fall victim to a predator so Lauren Book and the rest of the advocates at Lauren’s Kids decided to create a curriculum called Safer, Smarter Kids which gives children the tools they need to stay safe and avoid terrible situations. The curriculum provides age-appropriate lessons for children in Kindergarten through 3rd Grade which emphasize valuable skills such as awareness in surroundings, knowing when to act and how to protect personal space. Thanks to the efforts of Lauren Book and the rest of the staff, Lauren’s Kids established the full curriculum of lessons which do not overtly discuss child abuse, but rather equip children with basic protective principles which provide a foundation for action should they find themselves in an unsafe situation.
Far too often, victims of abuse remain silent which allows the attacks to continue. The curriculum stresses the importance of speaking up even when it may seem scary or difficult. Abuse can happen at the hands of a stranger, by a relative or close friend so it’s important for children to understand there is no shame is talking about it when they feel uncomfortable or violated. Each lesson is unique and emphasizes another safety technique which can keep children safe and sound. The curriculum is available in multiple languages including Spanish and Creole so children from all backgrounds can learn the valuable skills which prevent abuse. The lessons, given by Lauren and Buddy, her cartoon dog, teach children that their bodies are their own, and they need to tell a trusted adult anytime a situation makes them feel confused, scared or “icky”. Since the curriculum was first established, Lauren’s Kids has distributed more than 16,000 kits resulting in a 77% learning gain in children’s personal safety information.
Parents and teachers are encouraged to visit https://safersmarterkids.org to learn more about implementing Safer, Smarter Kids in the classroom. The curriculum is designed in such a way that learning is fun and engaging. Lauren’s Kids also offers a unique curriculum for children with special needs. By empowering children, educating parents and engaging with teachers, we all work together to help prevent children from going through tragic situations. Visit the Safer, Smarter Kids website and learn more about how the curriculum can help educate and prepare children for a safe and happy life.