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Blue Ribbon Foundation Funds Youth Violence Prevention Program

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By: Anthony Matrisciano
March 19, 2013
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania staff member Jason DeNinno (center) reviews cyber safety – one of the safety skills taught as part of the Kids in Control program – in the Club’s computer lab with Archer Jones (left) and Braden Neeson (right).
Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania Director of Operations Laura Gentile (center) reviews school safety – one of the safety skills taught as part of the Kids in Control program –with children at the Club.

Blue Ribbon Foundation Funds Youth Violence Prevention Program at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania

175 children in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties reached

Wilkes-Barre, PA - The Blue Ribbon Foundation of Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania recently awarded a $5,000 grant to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania to fund “Kids in Control” for children ages 6 through 11 in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties.

The Foundation’s funding of “Kids in Control”– a 12-lesson program that includes after-school workshops led by certified education specialists – helped 175 children in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties learn age-appropriate safety skills such as first aid basics, stranger awareness, controlling anger, playground safety and recognizing and preventing cyber-bullying. 

Nationwide, more than 700,000 young people ages 10 to 24 were treated for injuries in emergency rooms in 2011 as a result of physical violence, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Prevention programs such as “Kids in Control” teach youngsters the skills they need to avoid violent situations,” said Cynthia A. Yevich, executive director of The Blue Ribbon Foundation.  “Children who develop healthy habits when they are young will carry those skills with them for a lifetime.  We are pleased to support the work of a community partner like the Boys & Girls Club that is making a real difference in the lives of local kids.”

Following pre- and post-testing, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Northeastern Pennsylvania reported the following measurable, positive results from the “Kids in Control” program:

  • 100% of participants reported an increased knowledge on how to handle scissors and knives properly.
  • 95% of participants reported an increased knowledge on how to make a first aid kit.
  • 97% of participants reported an increased knowledge of the role emergency services play in helping them.
  • 97% of participants reported an increased knowledge of calling for help and giving information during an emergency.
  • 95% of participants reported that they learned what to do, think and say if bullied.
  • 100% of participants reported an increased knowledge of how to avoid dangerous situations away from home.
  • 100% of participants reported an increased knowledge of how to avoid being victimized when home alone.

“The results of the ‘Kids in Control’ program show the importance of teaching children the skills they need to stay safe at home, in school and out in the community,” said Ms. Yevich.

About The Blue Ribbon Foundation

BCNEPA established its private, nonprofit Blue Ribbon Foundation in 2002 to invest in health education and prevention initiatives that produce measurable health improvements and help manage long-term health costs for the residents of northeastern and north central Pennsylvania.  During its first decade of service, The Foundation has awarded nearly $10 million in grant funding to 170 nonprofits to help meet the health and wellness needs of more than 186,000 at-risk individuals.

About Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania

Headquartered in Wilkes-Barre, Blue Cross of Northeastern Pennsylvania is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. BCNEPA offers a comprehensive portfolio of health insurance products and administrative services to more than 540,000 individuals in 13 counties in northeastern and north central Pennsylvania. The company’s mission is to provide integrated health care services and products to improve the quality, accessibility and affordability of health care in the populations it serves.

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Anthony Matrisciano
Phone: 570.200.6310
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