Purple Hands Preschool Pilot Project
Walker Middle School Peer Helpers – Salem, Oregon

Walker Middle School Counselors, Pete Teller & Marsha Griffiths and Peer Helpers, a group of 26 middle school students, taught the curriculum to 14 participating Marion & Polk County Oregon preschools reaching 300 preschoolers during the course of the school year.

The curriculum and experience was embraced by peer helpers, participating preschool teachers, preschoolers, and their parents! 

Trust Management Services, LLC awarded the grant to The Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® in 2004 that created our partnership with Walker Middle School Peer Helpers to Pilot the Purple Hands Preschool Curriculum. 

The Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® is forever grateful for the generous contribution and financial support for this important endeavor that enabled us to reach our dream of creating a successful program that has traveled around the nation and overseas!

This Pilot Program included the following
Certified Preschools:

     Buttercup Hill Preschool & Kindergarten
♥     Bush Elementary School
     Chapman Hill Elementary School
♥     Harritt Elementary School
     Keizer Kids Preschool
     Salem Child Development Center
♥     Salem Family YMCA Preschool

Counselor Comments

“The preschool violence prevention program developed by The Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project® is by far the most innovative and inspired effort yet in addressing the issues of bullying and mean-spirited teasing. Our eighth-grade students who participated in the preschool visits came away with a profound sense of having made a real difference in the lives and characters of the 4 & 5-year-olds they mentored. Not only did our middle school students have the chance to model and demonstrate positive coping skills but they also were able to take away an improved self-image of themselves.” – Pete Teller, Counselor

“As a long-time school counselor with experience at all grade levels, I wholeheartedly endorse the Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Project’s® Preschool Curriculum. At a time when concerns about bullying in schools have increased, this excellent antiviolence curriculum teaches students not to use their hands or their words to hurt themselves or others. It was impressive and heartwarming to watch our Peer Helpers teach this program and interact in a meaningful way with local preschoolers. The bonding and positive modeling that took place between the preschoolers and our peer helpers further insured that the students would learn and internalize the Purple Hands Pledge® message.” – Marsha Griffiths, MSW, ACSW, Counselor

Preschool Curriculum Implementation Kit

Our Curriculum Guide is for Pre-K through 2nd Grade

Teacher & Parent Comments

“The activities were great, the bear was an object the kids could understand and relate to.” 

“This is a wonderful, outstanding program which should be in all schools.” 

“The parents were happy with this; had positive comments!”

“I think it’s very important to introduce this program at the preschool level.  Children at this age are just learning how to successfully interact with peers.  The more knowledge and tools that they have, the better their relationships will be as they continue through school.”

“I appreciate all the work and organization of the program-my students and their families benefited greatly from the program.

“ I loved this program. It became a part of our classroom.. reminding the children the Pledge helped them stay in control of their actions. I felt this program gave my kids a base to problem solve with and relate to. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be a part of this program. This is a wonderful, outstanding program which should be in all schools.”

“We are very excited and supportive of this program. Parents I know said they would remind family members Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting.” 

8th Grade Peer Helper Comments

“It’s nice just to come in and see them smiling” – Kimmi Nguyen

“I hope the preschoolers will understand the negative impact of violence. I hope they learn that violence is not something good to do so that they won’t grow up to be bad.”- Rachel Kottek

“The work is more rewarding when the children remember and repeat the songs and poems they were taught. They’re going to be our age in a couple of years, so hopefully, they’ll learn about being nice. Kids these days are so mean to each other in school.” – Kristi Meuller

Our History Highlights!

As you can “see” Peer helpers and Volunteers made name tags for every Purple Hands Pledge® Bear. All 300 preschoolers got their very own Purple Hands Bear to play with during the school year reinforcing the lessons taught. 

On their last visit, as reminders of their special time spent together, the Peer Helpers gave the official Hands & Words Are Not For Hurting Purple Hands Pledge® Bears, t-shirts, and the children’s ceramic tile Purple handprints to take home with them.

The ceramic tiles (with each child’s own purple handprint) were created through many hours of teacher and volunteer time. This lasting gift will hang in the children’s homes for years to come. They become another precious visual reminder of this important educational experience. 

Simple and fun songs & activities everyone enjoyed that made a lasting impact! 

Create A Memory Paint Your Own Pottery & Fused Glass Studio!

A Heartfelt Thank You to Ann Tucker, Owner

Your support for our Preschool Pilot Program, along with the generous gift of your time and workspace, made it possible for each child’s ceramic Purple Handprint to become a lasting gift that will hang in the children’s homes for years to come.