What is the Hands Are Not For Hitting program?
It is an interactive puppet show for children in Kindergarten and first grade as well as Pre-K students. The program is designed to help address bullying behavior by teaching children non-violent conflict resolution skills.
Why does the Solicitor’s Office do a puppet show about bullying?
Bullying can be a sign that a child has witnessed domestic violence, a crime regularly prosecuted by the Solicitor General’s Office. The short-term goal of this program is to address bullying in an age appropriate way to help create an environment that all students feel safe learning in. The long-term goal is to establish the beginnings of preventing future violent behavior that may become criminal. Our hope is that by engaging our community’s youngest citizens through education, we can strengthen our fight to end violent crimes and their effect on our community.
Also, we send a coloring book home with each child for their parents or guardians to see. The back of every coloring book has information about the effects of domestic violence on children and what the parent or guardian can do if they are in a domestic violence situation or know someone who is. This allows us to reach an audience with important safety-related information that we would not otherwise reach unless a criminal case has occurred.
Who performs the puppet shows?
The Solicitor’s Office has partnered with students in the Early Childhood Care and Education program at Athens Technical College who volunteer to do the shows as part of their curriculum.
How is the program funded?
This program is offered to the children of our community free of charge. All financial support to make this program possible is through private donors and organizations including the Athens Rotary Club, the Luncheon Optimist Club of Athens, the Athens-Oconee Junior Woman’s Club, Fortson, Bentley and Griffin, P.A., Brenda Blanton, Len Davis, Elizabeth Grant and other caring local citizens.
If you would like more information about the Hands Are Not For Hitting program, please contact C.R. Chisholm at the Solicitor General's Office at (706) 613-3215.