NIOC seeks to invest in the next generation through implementing trafficking curriculum in our city’s schools and through innovative training and education for students and teachers. We seek to empower today’s youth to change tomorrow’s policy and culture.
NIOC Brings NEST Foundation Curriculum to Katy,TX
NEST Foundation (www.nestfoundation.org), an organization whose mission is to Protect Childhood and prevent sexual exploitation and trafficking of children by educating youth, educators, and other various community members has partnered with NIOC. NEST Foundation has developed, and successfully piloted, a curriculum for use in the high school classroom. This curriculum builds community within the school, educates students and teachers about sexual exploitation, and empowers students to then educate their own communities.
NIOC is bringing this Curriculum to an 8th grade class in the Spring of 2018 for a pilot with Middle Schoolers. This exciting program dives into the underlying cultural beliefs and patterns that make trafficking thrive today. This engaging and thought-provoking curriculum ends with a student-led forum, where students sit across the table from policy makers. The next generation is empowered to change the current epidemic facing their peers.
We are excited to begin in the next months and hope to extend this Curriculum to more schools and school districts by Fall of 2018.
NIOC prepares for "Not In Our Schools" Launch Fall of 2018.
At a recent roundtable discussion on Domestic Sex Trafficking, US Congressman Michael McCaul said, "This is a growing problem." The selling of American children has become as easy as ordering a pizza. Nick Nelson, Polaris (Human Trafficking Hotline) stated that, "There were 800 cases from Texas alone reported to the national hotline." Traffickers are preying on American children from all walks of life, turning them into commodities. Recruiters and groomers use even the most common vulnerabilities, such as low self-esteem and acne, to build false relationships with potential victims and lure them and trick them into the sex industry.
Mark Dawson, Special Agent in Charge of ICE's Houston Human Sex Trafficking Division, said, "This crime is done in secret. The more we can bring awareness to the issue, the better." We believe that by empowering today's youth with self-confidence and knowledge, we safeguard them from being vulnerable to the tactics used by traffickers. When this is combined with raising awareness within our schools of the potential red flags and tricks used by traffickers, we believe we not only protect our children, but we change future generations.
Our Not In Our Schools Program, consists of a monthly after school club. Each club will meet for 45 minutes to an hour and is facilitated by a school sponsor (ex: teacher or counselor) and a NIOC trained mentor. Each club will include (yet not limited to) the following activities: team building and trust activities, identifying the red flags, discussion on the underlying societal issues that fuel trafficking, healthy relationship building, social media safety, service projects in coordination with local victim recovery organizations, student-led awareness campaigns hosted by the club, and a student-led forum on trafficking in which policy makers, parents, and the general public are invited. There will also be made the opportunity for student club members to report to the teacher and mentor any potential red flag situations within the school. Students will be taught how to delicately and safely report and engage with a potential victim or groomer. The program will be supplemented with coordinating parent info nights hosted by a network of partnering anti-trafficking organizations (HAAT).
We believe that not only will be protect each individual child by exposing them to the mentor relationship and knowledge of the issue, but we will also be building a defense for their peers. Club members will be on the front lines of this fight as they walk the halls of their schools with an awareness of what to look out of for in others.
Our goal is to pilot the program with 5 clubs during the 2018-2019 school year. (Making opportunity for other participating groups, such as church youth groups or boy scouts, for example.) We would like to have 20 after school clubs participate the following 2019-2020 school year.