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Ontario Trillium Foundation
The Power of Young Leaders

Community Builders has worked for many years to develop and hone programs that are effective in teaching leadership and intervention skills to children.  Sustained leadership training of young people (Grades 4 through 8) has a significant impact on reducing bullying, harassment and social exclusion in school communities.  We know that early intervention can help reduce the potentially lifelong negative effects of mistreatment on perpetrators, victims and witnesses. 

The Community Builders training model involves introductory workshops for teachers and parents, followed by a program of age-appropriate leadership activities with students in Grades 1 through 3.  Grade 4 students are selected and trained in an intensive 4-year program to help their younger peers understand the messages and undertake leadership projects.  As young children begin to see themselves as community leaders who can help create more caring environments, there is an increase in the frequency and effectiveness of peer interventions in situations where others students are being mistreated.  A key feature of our programming is the training of teachers and parents along with the students, so that there is solid support for the children's leadership.