Sources of Strength Program Helps Students Spread Message of Hope

  • Sources of Strength logo During the 2016-17 school year, PCSD began participating in an initiative called Sources of Strength, an evidence-based program designed to help prevent violence, suicide, bullying and substance abuse. The program harnesses the power of peer and social networks to change norms and culture, ultimately preventing violence, suicide, bullying and substance abuse. Sources of Strength has been shown to increase youth-adult connectedness, increase school engagement, increase the likelihood that students would refer a friend to an adult and increase positive perceptions of adult support for youth.

    The Sources of Strength program is now available at Mendon and Sutherland High Schools. In partnership with the University of Rochester's Department of Psychiatry, students and staff at both high schools participate in training and ongoing activities to help prevent violence, suicide, bullying and substance abuse. PCSD is one of 42 school districts participating in Sources of Strength which is funded through a state grant and coordinated by the University of Rochester Medical Center.

    Students Provide a Powerful Protective Factor

    Students have the power to promote change and build a more positive culture and climate in Pittsford Schools. This is widely recognized as a protective factor, which promotes individual safety, group security and well-being. Students also have great power to help those in need as they are encouraged to say something if they see something.

    Our research shows that this model and our students' particpation in Sources of Strength is working. Over 90% of our high school students report being exposed to Sources of Strength programs. Of those students, over 60% report an increase in their skills to prevent violence and/or suicidal actions.

    There is also a mechanism available to report a concern anonymously. An electronic form is available on the District website, and once completed, it is routed to the proper administrator. The form can be found on this page. In urgent situations, it’s always best to call 911 first.

Pittsford Students Continue to Spread Messages of Strength

  • Paper chain at Sutherland High School staircase Sutherland High School continued its Sources of Strength initiative by participating in the Trusted Adult program.

    In order to promote connections between peers and caring adults, using the Trusted Adult program, students were asked to identify a trusted adult in their lives. This person could be a teacher, parent, relative, school staff member, coach or other adult. Students then wrote thank you notes to their trusted adults. The overwhelming majority of students recognized teachers and staff at Sutherland High School as trusted adults, and every teacher at SHS received at least one thank you card.

    As part of that activity, students also wrote the name of their trusted adult on a paper link and together they formed a paper chain. The paper chain, which was over 900 links strong, was displayed at the base of the grand staircase at Sutherland High School (see photo).

Sources of Strength Video

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