Where is REACH’s Prevention Team?

There’s a common question asked at our office: “Where is prevention?” Our team of three is hard at work throughout the 27 cities and towns in our service area, and sometimes that means rarely crossing paths.  If you, too, find yourself wondering, “where is REACH’s Prevention team?” check out this write-up featuring our work in May (so far!)

On May 1st our Director of Prevention Programs, Jessica Teperow, along with our Youth Education Specialist, Molly Pistrang, met with the Wellness teachers at Wayland High School to present REACH’s middle school curriculum.  That same day, our Community Engagement Specialist, Lauren Montanaro, attended a meeting of Needham’s Domestic Violence Roundtable where the group began planning events for next year. Molly also taught the first of three workshops with each 8th grade health class at McDevitt Middle School in Waltham.

On May 2nd Jessica attended Bentley University’s Coordinated Community Response Team for the Office on Violence against Women (OVW) Campus Grant. This was their 2nd meeting of the year. She presented to the team about the importance of relationship building in prevention work. (Next month, the core CCRT will be traveling to Pittsburgh for continued training.)

On Friday, May 3, the PAVE Peer Leaders tabled at a health fair at Waltham High School. PAVE members asked fellow students questions about jealousy and consent and helped participants make PAVE buttons with slogans such as “say YES to consent” and “boundaries are B.A.E. (before anything else).” 

On Saturday May 4, one of REACH’s Outreach Volunteers tabled at the Woburn Health Fair, sharing information about our organization to the community.

On Sunday, May 5, REACH’s Youth Education Specialist led a workshop for a confirmation class at First Lutheran Church of Waltham. During the workshop, the youth and adult leaders explored topics such as healthy and unhealthy relationships, defined abuse, and built skills around how to support a friend. Students engaged deeply in these topics and discussed how to promote healthy relationships in the different communities they come from.

On May 6, REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist, Lauren, facilitated a monthly volunteer meeting for current volunteers.  This meeting featured guest speaker David Adams, Co-Founder of Emerge, who shared information about myths about abusers with our volunteers.

On May 7th REACH’s Director of Prevention Programs presented a workshop entitled “Beyond Screening: Understanding Domestic Violence and how to support your Patients” at the 30th annual Partners in Perinatal Health Conference.  This talk discussed the following:

Intimate partner violence can be difficult to talk about- both for the patient and the provider. We know domestic abuse can have a lasting impact on the emotional and physical health of our patients. This workshop will lead participants in an interactive discussion about the dynamics of domestic violence, including barriers to leaving an abusive relationship. Participants will learn about local resources and how to refer a patient to a domestic violence organization. We will also address the need for universal education and how to start- and continue- this vital conversation.

On May 8th REACH’s Director of Prevention Programs attended the Wellbeing Collaborative in Worcester, facilitated by the Full Frame Initiative. This program brought together sexual assault and domestic violence organizations from across the state.  Later that day, REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist attended a planning meeting with the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization.

On May 9th REACH’s Director of Prevention Programs facilitated a meeting for members of REACH’s Survivor Speaker’s Bureau.

Showers for Shelters

On May 14, REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist attended a monthly meeting of the Sudbury-Wayland-Lincoln Domestic Violence Roundtable.  The SWL Roundtable had hosted a two-week donation drive called “Showers for Shelters” where members of the community donated new household items for survivors leaving domestic violence shelter and moving into their own home.

On May 15th REACH’s Director of Prevention Programs trained the Wayland High School MVP club on Escalation, and went back on May 22nd to facilitate a parent night on Escalation. Finally, at the end of the month, the senior class saw the film and participated in the workshop on May 28th. Also on May 15th, REACH’s Youth Education Specialist taught a workshop on teen dating violence to 9th grade health classes at Needham High School. REACH is collaborating with Needham Youth and Family Services to teach a 90 minute workshop to each section of 9th grade health.

Volunteers at Burlington Health Fair

On May 18, REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist, along with two of our amazing outreach volunteers, tabled at the Burlington Health Fair, sharing information about REACH with the Burlington Community.  This year’s Health Fair also featured our Community Engagement Specialist leading a workshop for community members on what to do/say when you’re concerned about a friend or family member who might be experiencing abuse.

On May 20, REACH’s Youth Education Specialist co-taught a lesson on teen dating abuse to a stress management class at Waltham High School. This class was co-facilitated with a member of the peer leadership club, PAVE (Peers Against Violence Educators), a student club led advised by the Youth Education Specialist.

On May 21, REACH’s Youth Education Specialist taught the first of two lessons to three sections of biology at Waltham High School.

On May 22, REACH’s Community Engagement Specialist co-led a monthly meeting for the LGBTQIA Domestic and Sexual Violence Coalition.

And, the month isn’t over!  In the next few days, REACH will be facilitating a training for the RISE Program at YearUp, teaching in more middle school classrooms, and so much more!

To request a speaker from REACH for your organization, please contact our Director of Prevention Programs, Jessica Teperow, at jessica@reachma.org.