Since 2013, student group Sticks ‘n Stones has been challenging bullying behaviours. Now it’s teamed up with Facebook to take its augmented training programme nationwide and is looking for schools to sign up and take part.
According to Netsafe, a third of kiwi teens spend four hours or more online every day. They move seamlessly between online and offline spaces. They start conversations in person and continue these through text, direct messaging or social media. Choices are made quickly and for the one in five young people affected by cyberbullying, these have negative implications that play out offline too.
Since 2013, Sticks ‘n Stones has been empowering young people to develop confidence and skills to create positive change in their schools and communities, to recognise and challenge bullying behaviours and change norms and attitudes that accept them. Its teenage co-founders were tired of fear-based messages and adults making decisions ‘about us, without us’. They wanted to be meaningfully involved, to use their voices and to have the chance to lead with their ideas and skills.
The group’s programmes harness the power of peers to co-design campaigns, resources, workshops or lessons and tools that are relevant and authentic. Young people are the experts at being a young person today. They know what apps or sites are hot and what the issues are. They are crucial partners in creating change.
Seeking schools to take part
In 2019, Sticks n Stones is taking its programme across Aotearoa with an augmented training programme powered by Facebook – and is looking for schools interested in being involved. The ‘Online Advocate’ training is provided free and can support up to 40 schools this year.
The programme starts with full-day activator workshops in host schools attended by local students (supported by a staff champion). This is followed by an interactive and collaborative online training programme supported by webinars.
For an information pack – or if you have any questions – contact email@example.com