Monday, February 4, was a day of celebrating the official launch of Hope Squad at Loveland High School (LHS), Loveland Middle School (LMS), and Loveland Intermediate School (LIS). Over the past several months, approximately 140 students, staff members and external experts have worked to prepare for the implementation of the program, which is a model using faculty advisors and trusted peers to identify students at risk for suicidal ideation and behavior, and ultimately, to save lives.
“We are very excited that our partnership with Grant Us Hope has led to this new initiative of student CARE at Loveland,” said Eric Dool, Loveland City School District director of student services. “Our Hope Squad student representatives were all nominated by their peers. They have been training and learning about Hope Squad and how to connect fellow students at risk with the critical resources they need.”
Hope Squad members greeted other students with life saver candy, wallet resource cards and words of inspiration as they arrived to school on Monday morning. At both LIS and LHS, videos made by Hope Squad members were shown during Tiger Time and news announcements. At LIS, students worked on “compliment” activity sheets, passing them out to each other. At lunch, they played their Hope Squad theme song and shared messages of hope on banners.
“It is a wonderful experience to work with these students – they are an amazing group of kids,” said LHS Counselor Jamie Gordon. “We will continue to train and work through the Hope Squad curriculum over the course of the year. This launch event was an opportunity to create awareness about the program throughout our schools and underscore that we are here to support one another.”
About Grant Us Hope
Grant Us Hope
is a Cincinnati nonprofit focused on creating communities of leadership and advocacy that enhance mental wellness, safety and prevention in schools. The organization has developed a school-based, peer-to-peer suicide prevention program for students with a three-year curriculum that emphasizes suicide prevention fundamentals, self-care and anti-bullying. During the 2018-19 school year, Grant Us Hope has assisted more than 25 schools in Cincinnati and Columbus with the implementation of Hope Squad. Loveland Intermediate School is the first school in Ohio to put in place a “Jr.” Hope Squad program for fifth and sixth graders.
Additional resources: The Loveland M/INT PTSA January 2019 newsletter for parents discusses mental health and suicide prevention, and includes an article by Jennifer Wright-Berryman, PhD, a lead researcher for the national Hope Squad program. It also outlines the services provided by Children’s Home of Cincinnati through a partnership with Loveland City Schools, as well as other resources. You can access the newsletter here.
For more information about Hope Squad at Loveland, please contact Eric Dool or the lead Hope Squad advisor at each school: Robin Schneider, LIS; Kim Shafer, LMS; and Jamie Gordon, LHS.
Caption: The official launch of Hope Squad at Loveland took place on February 4, 2019. The inititiave is the result of partnership with the Cincinnati nonprofit Grant Us Hope, which works with schools in Ohio to implement the Hope Squad program.
Article posted on February 7, 2019.