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Throughout the months of January, February, and March, the Safe and Sound team collectively traveled to 20 U.S. cities, plus a stop in Canada, reaching over 5,000 people.

Safe and Sound Schools kicked off 2019 with New Year, New Sound at Kellogg’s in New York City! With a new twist on New Year’s resolutions, Safe and Sound Schools invited teens to sound off on school safety. Teens gathered for an evening of music and fun, and shared their New Year’s school safety resolutions. Michele was joined by celebrity guest and actor Jeremy Ray Taylor. Jeremy discussed school culture, “sparking” kindness, and encouraged everyone in attendance to join the growing Safe and Sound national movement. He echoed that sentiment in a PSA for Safe and Sound Schools. Also in attendance, were members of the band Chasing DaVinici – Jeddi, Jessi, Josephine and Josiah. The band debuted an original song, “Good Days,” dedicated to Safe and Sound Schools. The evening was certainly one for the books!

With New Year, New Sound setting the tone for 2019, the Safe and Sound team hit the ground running in the months that followed. While our in-house team continued preparations and planning for the inaugural National Summit on School Safety, Safe and Sound Schools’ team of speakers traveled from coast to coast, presenting in states like Pennsylvania, Colorado, Ohio, Indiana, California, Florida, and Arizona. For a full list, scroll to the bottom of this blog.

In March, hundreds of school safety professionals convened in Houston, Texas, to attend the inaugural National Summit on School Safety, a two-day conference co-hosted by Safe and Sound Schools and Region 4 Education Service Center. The conference focused on comprehensive school safety, providing attendees with opportunities to learn about the six key areas of comprehensive school safety. With more than 30 presenters and panelists in attendance, attendees were able to listen to keynotes, attend workshops, and participate in a series of group roundtable discussions. For a full recap, click here.

Although New Year, New Sound and the National Summit on School Safety were certainly the biggest highlights of the first quarter, here other highlights that helped make our first quarter one to remember:

  • With the generous support of our partner, Door Security and Safety Foundation, Safe and Sound Schools produced a short education video about door safety.
  • Safe and Sound Schools welcomed Bark as an organization partner.
  • Azia Celestino joined Safe and Sound Schools’ media relations team. Azia was key in helping the organization plan New Year, New Sound and the National Summit on School Safety. We are fortunate to have a media savvy go-getter on our team!
  • Miss Green Wave Teen 2019, Cameron Fox, joined Charlie Hobin as a Safe and Sound Schools teen ambassador.
  • After months of preparations, the Safe and Sound Parent Council program training officially took flight!
  • Safe and Sound Schools launched new research for 2019, surveying students, educators, and public safety officials in efforts to gain new perspectives on the state of school safety in the country today. Results will be shared later this month!

Now for a full list of first quarter travels…

January

  • Jan. 4, NY – Michele Gay, with the help of Kellogg’s, hosts New Year, New Sound in New York City.
  • Jan. 7-8, PA  – Melissa Reeves holds threat assessment workshops in Lancaster.
  • Jan. 9-10, MA – Frank DeAngelis presents for Masconomet High School.
  • Jan. 13-14, CA – Frank DeAngelis attends a conference in Menlo Park.
  • Jan. 23, MN – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond Minnesota Juvenile Officers Association in Duluth.
  • Jan. 29, MS – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Mississippi Association of School Superintendents in Jackson.

February

  • Feb. 15, CO – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Counterterrorism Education Learning Lab in Denver.
  • Feb. 19-20, CA – Frank DeAngelis attends the CAHF Really Ready 5 Conference in Anaheim.
  • Feb. 27, CO – Alissa presents in Denver with the support of Allegion.
  • Feb. 27, NY – Frank DeAngelis presents for the Corning-Painted Post Area School District in Painted Post.

March

  • Mar. 1, FL – Michele Gay presents School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective for the National School Systems Contractors Association in Tampa.
  • Mar. 6, OH – Scott Poland presents on youth suicide and threat assessment for South-Western City School District in Grove City.
  • Mar. 8, Canada – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond for the  Saskatchewan Association of Police Affiliated Victim Services (SAPAVS) in Saskatoon.
  • Mar. 11, MA – Alissa Parker and Frank DeAngelis present for the Burlington Police Department.
  • Mar. 13, AR – Michele Gay presents School Safety: A Parent’s Perspective for the Arkansas Mental Health in Education (ARMEA) Annual Conference in Little Rock.
  • Mar. 18, KY – Michele Gay and Melissa Reeves hold workshops for Muhlenberg County Schools in Powderly.
  • Mar. 21, NY – Frank DeAngelis presents Leadership Lesson from Columbine and Beyond the University of Buffalo/Utica National Insurance Group in Buffalo.
  • Mar. 22, PA – Michele Gay presents Beyond Tragedy: Response and Recovery in a School Based Crisis for Friends of Safe Schools USA-Pennsylvania in Washington.
  • Mar. 29-30, TX – Safe and Sound and team travel to Houston to host the inaugural National Summit on School Safety.

Don’t forget to follow us on social media for day-to-day updates on all things Safe and Sound.

 

Earlier this year, I had the pleasure of meeting some very special teens who joined us to celebrate our cause during our New Year, New Sound event in NYC. While the event recap does a great job of capturing the essence and excitement of the day, I wanted to share some more personal reflections with you.

Actor Jeremy Ray Taylor and members of the band Chasing da Vinci – Jeddi, Jessi, Josephine and Josiah – were a HUGE part of the success of our event. These five artists traveled all the way from Tennessee to be with us!

Jeremy filmed a PSA calling for students to join our school safety movement, and Chasing da Vinci wrote and performed an original song, “Good Days,” dedicated to Safe and Sound Schools. The music instantly sets an upbeat vibe and the lyrics are powerful!  

By participating in New Year, New Sound, Jeremy and Chasing da Vinci shared their passion, generosity, and hope, filling our hearts and energizing our national movement. I was deeply humbled by their presence and how they gave their time and talents to benefit the safety of students everywhere.

So many young people passionate about positive change for school safety came out for the event. Of course, many heard about us through Jeremy and Chasing da Vinci, but I did get the chance to speak with a lot of them. They brought stories from their schools, experiences that they or their friends have encountered, and most importantly, a desire to create a more caring and inclusive community on their own campuses.

Finally, the support from the many companies who made our event possible brought tears to my eyes. Literally. Kellogg’s NYC was a gracious, welcoming host for us. Hipstr brought the whimsy with their fun and interactive photo booth–lots of Instagram moments there!  And Rekovr donated the coolest sunglasses (check out our Facebook album to see the most popular styles). Each of these donations, on their own, were generous, but altogether showed a network of amazing people behind our mission.

Though we’re more than five years into building this national movement, we’re really just getting started. We have so much more work to do to ensure “Good Days” ahead for our all students. But as we saw at New Year, New Sound, we are joined with so many smart, caring and fun people! Together, everything is possible. Together, we will continue to grow this national community dedicated to making our schools safe and sound.


Michele Gay, Co-founder of Safe and Sound Schools