The topics covered in COPE24 videos are dealt with in very real and appropriate ways. COPE24 tales a straight forward approach to sensitive issues. I highly recommend this valuable resource for your classroom use. Bonnie Pritcher
Effingham County HS, Springfield, GA. The intent of the COPE24 program is not to cause students to judge their parents for dysfunctional behaviors but rather provide meaningful conversation for changing behaviors that facilitate the patterns of abuse. The future parents of our nation need to see that their actions and words come with consequences. Kristi Hodson
Carthage HS, Carthage, Mo. I have viewed many video presentation in my 12 years in education and this is the best! Margaret Radlund
Riverton HS, Riverton, KS I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the COPE 24 curriculum to my high school students. It is the most thorough and realistic approach to parenting skills that I have seen. I fully support your movement, and know that higher enrollment in parenting, child development, and/or family relations classes will not only change but save lives as well Julie Monroe Yukon HS / Yukon, Ok This DVD is one of the most worthwhile things I have shown my students. I highly recommend both Renee’s presentation, and also her curriculum and DVD. Angie Kropf
South Callaway HS, Mokane, MO This latest video, The Life Sentence
is incredible! In this video, COPE24 has found families that are willing to share the details of their very personal experiences living with the result of a child who has been shaken and their life forever altered. The video is very well done, it is professional in all aspects and interjected into the actual stories, are experts sharing additional facts and commentary. The families are SO honest and forthright. It is a brutally honest, factual glimpse into their day to day life after this horrible experience. I highly recommend the video, it’s affordable, research-based, and current. Marina Scheiner
Smith Cotton HS. Sedalia, Mo. I recently had Rene Howitt speak to my classes at Lebanon Technology and Career Center. She did a fantastic job and also showed my students the trailer for “The Life Sentence.” This is a new video that will be available for purchase through COPE24. I highly recommend it. The trailer left my students wanting to see the full version of the movie. It’s always a great experience having her as a guest speaker, my students really enjoy her and learning a lot from her program. Joey Bowling Early Childhood Careers Instructor
Dear Colleagues, I think we have had a post on here before recommending this newest video from COPE 24, but I want to add my encouragement as well. We purchased the original COPE 24 curriculum and I use it in parenting, child development and family relations classes. It functions well for all three courses making the investment very affordable. This latest video, The Life Sentence is incredible! In this video, COPE24 has found families that are willing to share the details of their very personal experiences living with the result of a child who has been shaken and their life forever altered. The video is very well done, it is professional in all aspects and interjected into the actual stories, are experts sharing additional facts and commentary. The families are SO honest and forthright. They are not melodramatic, nor is it a video about “poor pitiful me”; it is a brutally honest, factual glimpse into their day to day life after this horrible experience. This past week, I introduced the concept, used the original curriculum to teach the topic, lectured and did a written activity, and then used the Life Sentence video to wrap it up. Combined in this way, it enhanced my lesson exponentially and made an impact my students WILL remember. I saw it in their faces and read it in their responses—this clicked for them. In this day and age of reality television that is so staged and fake, this video is the real deal, it is gut-wrenching and it speaks volumes as to the damage that a few seconds create for so many lives. I had a new teen mom in my class that was just sobbing after the video. Her comments to the class as she shared her outrage and also how tired she is made this so real for my other kids. Again, another connection that is better than my best lesson can ever do. I highly recommend the video, it’s affordable, research-based, and current. And what’s really wonderful is that Rene Howitt, the founder of COPE24 is a Missourian; she will come to your school and she does a fantastic job in the classroom. I know this post is long, but I had a lot to say—thanks for reading! Marina Scheiner FCS & FCCLA Co-Advisor
Smith-Cotton High School This is a FABULOUS resource, well worth the money spent! I’ve been using it in my classroom for the past few years and it is a really great asset to Child Development and Parenting classes. The curriculum is great, lots of discussion starters and notes, the students really enjoy the videos that come along with the curriculum. Kristi Hodson Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher
Carthage High School, MO I’m a teacher at a technical high school where we have an Early Childhood Department and the high school students work and learn about young children. A great focus in our curriculum is prevention. As early childhood professionals we instill in the students the need to keep children safe and how to support families in caring for children. Incorporating “The Life Sentence” video produced by Cope24 was an important addition to our resources. As a result of viewing and discussing this video the students brainstormed ways to communicate this critical information to the families in our preschool programs as well as spreading the word to other high school students. This video “The Life Sentence” needs to come alive in our classrooms and in the lives of the families we serve. It must be one of our missions as Early Childhood Professionals. Tina Weiner
Bullard-Haven Technical HS
Bridgeport, CT I have thoroughly enjoyed teaching the COPE 24 curriculum to my high school students. It is the most thorough and realistic approach to parenting skills that I have seen. I fully support your movement, and know that higher enrollment in parenting, child development, and/or family relations classes will not only change but save lives as well. If I can help in your endeavor in any way, please do not hesitate to let me know. Best Regards, Julie Monroe
Yukon HS / Yukon, OK This was one of the best educational videos I have every purchased. There is no doubt in my mind that this video will leave a lasting impression on the students in my classroom. You could hear a pin drop as the students were highly engaged. I know in my heart that these testimonials will carry with the students that have viewed it and will be a constant reminder of what can happen when a person snaps under stress. I highly recommend this video to educators and day care centers. I also think this would be appropriate for new moms and dads to view. This video was amazing! My heart goes out to the families involved but thank them for sharing their stories as I know it will help to save lives. Jennifer Murkowski
Slinger High School/Middle School Health/Business Education Department
Renee talked to a couple of our high school classes the same day and one of my students has a nephew who was affected by Shaken Baby Syndrome and his mom purchased “The Life Sentence” for our classes and it is very well done. It has not only 4 stories from families, but some professionals talking about SBS. This DVD is one of the most worthwhile things I have shown my students. I highly recommend both Renee’s presentation, and also her curriculum and DVD. Anonymous
I recently had Rene Howitt speak to my classes at Lebanon Technology and Career Center. She did a fantastic job and also showed my students the trailer for “The Life Sentence.” This is a new video that will be available for purchase through COPE24. I highly recommend it. The trailer left my students wanting to see the full version of the movie.
It’s always a great experience having her as a guest speaker, my students really enjoy her and learning alot from her program. Joey Bowling Early Childhood Careers Instructor
I recently had the opportunity to have Rene Howitt with COPE24 come to our middle school during the last two class periods of the day. I have 6th grade classes during those two class periods. I was a bit concerned that they were a little too young for the topic, but did not want to pass up the opportunity, so I scheduled her to come. I did send a letter to the parents of my sixth grade students letting them know that she would be coming to talk to them about parenting and child abuse. I also gave them the opportunity to choose for their child not to attend this presentation and invited the parents to attend also. Rene did a fabulous job talking to them on their level. She was straight forward about the information, but made it very age-appropriate. She showed one short, but impactful, video about Shaken Baby Syndrome and spend the rest of the class period discussing basic parenting skills, prevention of child abuse, and then ended with a discussion of how important it was to avoid becoming teen parents. My students were captivated by her presentation. She was very approachable, so they felt free to ask and answer questions. She made a big impact on them in a very short time. I am so glad that they had this opportunity. My only regret is that we did not have her speak to the entire middle school in an assembly. All of the students would have benefited from this experience. I have not yet had a chance to review the rest of the COPE24 curriculum, but hope to use it in my middle school classes in the future. I also had the opportunity to review part of the new video, The Life Sentence. I did not have her show it to my sixth grade classes because I was concerned they might be a little too young for it. However, from the portion I saw, I think it would be very appropriate for my eighth grade classes. I think this is an important program for both our middle school and high school students. They need to understand how difficult parenting is and how important it is to delay it until they are emotionally ready to be parents. Unfortunately, if we wait until high school, the message will be too late for some of them. Sharon Pohlman Family and Consumer Sciences
South Callaway Middle School
Mokane, MO 65059 Oct. 2, 2013 Rene,
Thank you so much for sending me your follow up video [The Life Sentence]. As soon as I saw it advertised I knew I had to have it and then it arrived in the mail that same week!! It is EXACTLY what we need to educate our students about this topic. When combined with the curriculum you have created, it ties it all together in a way that no lecture or textbook could ever do alone. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for making this video, thank you to the families who have opened their lives and shared their stories. Their voices will be heard and their experience will make a difference in countless lives. The outcome of this effort will be measured in what does NOT happen rather than by what DOES happen…and in this case, that is a very good thing. If you are ever in the Sedalia area, I would love to have you present again, please give me a call at any time! The best always, Marina Scheiner FCS & FCCLA Co-Advisor
Smith-Cotton High School To Whom It May Concern,
It is with great pleasure to write this letter of recommendation for the nonprofit agency C.O.P.E. 24, founded by Rene Howitt. I first became acquainted with Rene when she came to my 9th grade Child Development classroom more than 5 years ago as a guest speaker, sharing with my students about her experience with Missouri’s foster care system, and the abuse and neglect that her niece and nephew were subjected to as a result of Missouri’s “reunite families at all costs” initiative. She wrote a book about her experiences trying to save these children. Lack of response from law makers, landed her in classrooms across the state, attempting to educate youth about the face of abuse, and why the cycle of abuse, neglect, and dysfunction exists. I believe C.O.P.E. 24 is deserving of this recognition because students today, need to continue to be exposed to the type of curriculum that Rene created in partnership with educators, law makers, and others whose lives have been touched by the face of child abuse. Rene has spent her own time and personal resources traveling across 3 states to over 120 schools, and has shared her message with over 10,000 students in Missouri, Illinois, and Kansas. She has been in my classroom numerous times. Not satisfied with simply reaching and educating those she could personally talk with in the classroom setting, the idea was born for her to create a curriculum to share with teachers across the state. I was very honored that Rene asked me and several colleagues to partner with her in order to come up with a relevant, meaningful curriculum that would not only meet state standards for education, but that would also be up-t0-date, and able to prepare the youth of today (the future parents in our society) with how to practically handle common, spontaneous triggers that often start the cycle of abuse (a crying baby, potty training, and bedtime issues). She wanted to create something more than everyday “textbook” learning. Her
heart was to create a curriculum to expose students to the realities of abuse. Rene’s curriculum was released in the Spring of 2011 and I started using it every semester in my classroom. The intent of the C.O.P.E. 24 program is not to cause student participants to judge their parents for dysfunctional behaviors but rather provide meaningful conversation for changing behaviors that facilitate the patterns of abuse. That is why I love using her curriculum in my classroom!! There are 10 lessons which range from how to deal with a Crying Baby to how to tackle the issue of Sexual Abuse. In each lesson, I show kids a video clip about the “wrong way” to handle something. We discuss statistics, students become willing to discuss these hot topics, offer their own suggestions and solutions for how to do things differently in that particular situation, and then we watch the “here’s a better way” video. The students are empowered coming up with their own solutions. They also recognize that in the heat of the moment, acting out because of their own selfishness and/or anger, could alter a child’s life f.o.r.e.v.e.r. That is a lesson they will never learn in a textbook. The reason this curriculum is so effective is because they are able to associate these lessons with the face of a child. This current generation in our schools, the future caregivers and parents of our nation, need to see that their actions and words come with consequences. Whether a child is planned or unplanned, parents and caregivers usually have the intention of providing a loving and nurturing home. Only when the child is in their arms, does reality set in. Students and future parents today need to recognize and realize that when they act out towards a child, a life can be forever damaged.
Rene has invested her own time, her own funds, her own blood, sweat, and tears into this program. She strives for excellence in all that C.O.P.E. 24 stands for. She willingly and humbly asks for input and feedback from educators, law makers, judges, and other members of the community. Not pretending to have all of the answers, she is constantly seeking and striving to get the word out to our youth, that when it comes to raising children, consistency and patience are required, no matter how stressful, busy, distracted, or over-worked a parent might feel. Even now, as I write this letter to you, plans and production are in the works for more material to be released from C.O.P.E. 24 to be offered to educators. Respectfully Submitted, Kristi Hodson Family & Consumer Sciences Teacher
Carthage High School
2600 S River Street
Carthage, MO 64836 My name is Bonnie Pritcher. I teach Early Childhood Education classes at Effingham County High School in Springfield, GA. Not only have I purchased the COPE24 Instructor’s Manual and DVD for use with my students, but I was fortunate enough to have Ms. Rene Howitt as a guest in my classroom for a day. The COPE24 materials have proven to be a valuable addition to my Early Childhood Education classes. Student understanding and ability to evaluate situations has increased through these content specific videos. The topics covered in the COPE24 videos are dealt with in very realistic and appropriate ways. Though some topics are controversial in nature, there is a need for students to be aware of the realities involved. COPE24 takes a straightforward approach to sensitive issues. This provides students with opportunities for dialogue and problem solving conversation about these difficult and often avoided topics. Student reaction to the Crying Baby video segment included shock, disbelief, and anger. Discussion following the video was well received with students having a more vivid understanding of the fact that – “You may NEVER shake a baby!” My students remember the content of these videos and known that these issues and concerns are very real. I highly recommend this valuable resource for your classroom use.
Sincerely, Bonnie J. Pritcher Early Childhood Education Effingham County High School
As a FCS teacher, I have viewed many presentations/videos in my twelve years in education and this is the best. COPE24 has the potential to improve the outcome for future generations. When we start with young people and offer them positive parenting options we equip them with the tools to be good parents. These good parents teach their own children what they need to know to be responsible adults. Rene, thank you for having the insight to bring this much needed message to our young people. Included below are the comments of two of my students.
Margaret Radlund Family & Consumer Sciences Instructor Riverton High School