Early Childhood Education Students Educate Others on Teen Dating Violence

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness Month, and the junior students in the Lorain County JVS Early Childhood Education program, have made it their goal to educate others on this topic and share the resources that are available in our community for individuals who find themselves in an unhealthy relationship.

“This entire project is student led,” shared Hilary Duffala, junior Early Childhood Education Instructor. “Every year my students pick a community organization to work with for their FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) Chapter project. This year, the Genesis House was selected because there was a strong interest in teen dating violence and spreading the message that there are so many teens that might be in a relationship that isn’t safe.”

As part of their project, the students put up an Empty Seat Display in the front school hallway. This display is a reminder of the vacancies that are left when a life is cut short through teen dating and domestic violence. Each seat has a picture frame on it that tells a true story of a young person who has been murdered by someone who was supposed to love them.

Kaitlynn Starcher, Early Childhood Education junior from Midview, likes to make a difference and shared how she thought this project would do just that. “Some people aren’t in a good relationship, and we wanted to try and change that. People are stopping us in the hallway to tell us how impactful our display is. That feels good. It shows that you are actually reaching people. I hope that our display gives people a voice and encourages them to reach out and get the help that they need.”

On Friday, February 7, the JVS community came together for a purple out jeans day. This fundraiser was a way to show support of this topic and help raise money for the Genesis House. Staff and students were asked for monetary donations to wear a purple shirt and jeans to school.

Another fundraiser the students organized and ran was a cupcake decorating event for their preschool students ages four and five. The students, and their preschoolers, enjoyed a morning filled with frosting and sprinkles, decorating over 800 pre-sold cupcakes! The fundraiser was made possible with the help of Pink Peppercorn Catering.

Along with bringing awareness to teen dating violence, the students raised $1,411 for the Genesis House from their two fundraising events.

The FCCLA (Family, Career and Community Leaders of America) is a national Career and Technical Student Organization that provides personal growth, leadership development, and career preparation opportunities for students in Family and Consumer Sciences education.