Coralville, Iowa (PressExposure) May 19, 2011 -- Every day, a new headline hits the media demonstrating the devastating effects of bullying: "Teen Suicide Linked to Bullying;" "Boy Teased to Death." The Global Alliance for Preventing Relational Aggression (GAPRA) aims to head off physical bullying by preventing relational aggression, a.k.a. emotional bullying, which is often the precursor to violence and suicide among children. Annual membership in GAPRA offers schools and youth organizations affordable training for all staff members, volunteers, group leaders and parents.
"We need to turn away from drama and focus our attention on working with children so they can solve their own relationship problems," said Blair Wagner, co-founder of GAPRA. "GAPRA offers a truly positive - and affordable - network and framework for everyone who works with girls and boys. We provide the training that educators, parents and youth group leaders need to prevent relational aggression."
On Wednesday, June 15, 2011 at 3:30 p.m. central time, GAPRA co-founders Jane Balvanz, an elementary school counselor, and Ms. Wagner, a professional life coach, will conduct the first of two free informational calls about GAPRA and how it delivers "Hope and Help for Bullies, Targets and Bystanders of Emotional Bullying." The GAPRA Membership Sneak Preview call on the 15th will be followed by the GAPRA Membership Q&A call on June 22nd. Educators, parents and volunteers are invited to register for the calls and submit their questions about GAPRA at: http://www.gapraconnect.com. The presentations will be recorded, and the audio recordings are free to anyone who registers for the calls.
"Research shows that relational aggression can start as young as age 2.5 - when kids start making friends. Bullying behaviors tend to grow if left unchecked," said Balvanz. "It's absolutely essential for adults to learn the best practices in preventing relational aggression, so we can help promote healthy friendships from the earliest age possible. Reducing relational aggression will reduce the damaging effects it can have on children that may lead to skipping school, depression and suicide."
"Everyone is looking for information about how to prevent bullying, and we're incredibly excited to start sharing that with educators, parents and volunteers from the U.S. and around the world," said Wagner. "GAPRA is affordable and our training reaches members wherever they live and work."