Embrace Civility

Embrace Civility

The objectives of Embrace Civility are:

  • Empower students to embrace kindness, inclusion, and civility using a positive norms and student leadership approach that fosters positive behavior and increases student skills as a witness, the one being hurtful, or the one treated badly.

The student program, Embrace Civility, will help students gain critical important personal relationship skills in five key areas:

  • Reach Out. Be kind to those who are treated badly or left out and help resolve conflict.
  • Say “Stop.” Help those who are hurtful stop, accept personal responsibility, and remedy the harm.
  • Report Concerns. Report serious concerns to an adult who can help.
  • Stop, Own it, and Fix It. If you were hurtful, stop yourself and remedy the harm.
  • Be Positively Powerful. Respond effectively if someone is hurtful and become positively powerful.

Program Resources

The program resources include:

  • Student Guide. A 6 page reproducible document. This is provided for your review.
  • Implementation Guide. Provides guidance on the establishment of student leadership team and activities, research-based insight on fostering positive relations,  along with instructional objectives and recommended approach, with related survey items.
  • Videos. These are short videos, each under 20 minutes. They provide the insight into the underlying research and instructional objectives, that is also addressed in the instructional guide. The topics include:
    • How to implement the program and the overall positive social norms approach, self-regulation, and thinking things through approach.
    • Insight and strategies to promote positive peer intervention.
    • Insight and strategies to become positively empowered and respond effectively if someone is hurtful.
    • Insight into hurtful behavior and strategies to effectively avoid impulsive retaliation and to stop, own it, and fix it if you have been hurtful.
    • Insight and strategies to effectively reach out to provide support for others who are being treated badly, help resolve conflict, and detect and support someone who is experiencing greater challenges.
    • Insight and strategies to effectively and safely tell someone being hurtful to stop, especially helping a friend who has been hurtful stop, own it, and fix it.
    • Knowing when and how to report concerns if you witness serious and unresolved situations or if someone has been hurtful to you and it is not possible to get this to stop.
  • Slideshow for Students. This slideshow should incorporate local social norms data from the survey. The slides can be used for posters.

Program Approach

The objective in the creation of Embrace Civility is to provide the essential insight into  the underlying research and basic lessons, but to encourage adaptation and creativity in the delivery.

The lessons in Embrace Civility can be aged up or down. However, they are likely most appropriate for grades 4 through 10. However, high schools are encouraged to engage older students as leaders in providing instruction to the younger students. Further, all students will benefit from the information instruction and additional activities.

Schools are especially encouraged to implement an “older student supporting younger students” approach. Older high school students taking on leadership roles and talking with younger high school students. Older and younger high school students going back to their middle schools and talking with them. Older middle school students taking on leadership roles and talking with younger middle school students. Middle school students going to the elementary schools and talking with the fourth and fifth grade students. Fourth and fifth grade students taking on leadership in their schools.

It is acknowledged that this is different than the traditional approach that expects fidelity to a very specific approach. To ensure a likelihood of success, the strategy taken in Embrace Civility is the use of an annual survey. This shifts the thinking to more of a continuous improvement model.

The Engage Students to Embrace Civility approach should be considered to under the category of “Demonstrates a Rationale.

Demonstrates a Rationale. To demonstrate a rationale, the intervention should include:  1) A well-specified logic model that is informed by research or an evaluation that suggests how the intervention is likely to improve relevant outcomes; and 2) An effort to study the effects of the intervention, ideally producing promising evidence or higher, that will happen as part of the intervention or is underway elsewhere (e.g., this could mean another SEA, LEA, or research organization is studying the intervention elsewhere), to inform stakeholders about the success of that intervention.

The Embrace Civility lessons directly address the individual Knowledge and Student Skills expectations in the Center for Disease Control’s HECAT for Violence Prevention for grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12.

Program Support

An Engage Students to Embrace Civility Google discussion group has been established. Both staff mentors and student leaders will be encouraged to participate in this group. This will provide a way for the development of a collaborative support network of those who are using the program.

The establishment of the discussion group, along with the instructional videos, will allow Embrace Civility in the Digital Age to offer this program at far lower cost than most alternative programs–and achieve a greater positive impact because of the collaborative group effort.

As an outcome of this group, an additional web site will be established that provides links to online resources that mentors and staff have found to be helpful. In addition, this web site will allow for the presentation of work product of the student groups.


Embrace Civility in the Digital Age is mindful that schools vary in size. Therefore, a pricing structure has been established to charge the initial program based on the average student population.

Initial Program Costs: $1.50/ student, based on average student population.

Ongoing Program Costs: After the first year, schools will be expected to pay $350 for ongoing participation in the Engage Students to Embrace Civility group.

Please contact us at purchasing@embracecivility.org.





Embrace Civility Student Survey

The development of this program was informed by a survey of students conducted in 2015. This was a national survey of 1,500+ secondary students using a prior extended version of the Embrace Civility Student Survey. A report of the results of this survey is available.



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