S.T.O.P. is a youth education and leadership program that began in 1991 in Sudbury, MA when hate messages were discovered on a wall in a grammar school. S.T.O.P. was organized to help young people understand why prejudice harms everyone and how to deal with situations of prejudice and discrimination. Check out more on the birth and evolution of the program by clicking here!
Several years ago, a young Muslim boy from Shrewsbury came home from a birthday party because another child stated that “all Muslims are terrorists!”. The young boy’s mother discovered the S.T.O.P. program in Sudbury and founded the program in Shrewsbury in 2008. The program has grown from a handful of students to over 60 participants!
The program is targeted towards middle school students, and facilitated by: 1) high school graduates of the S.T.O.P. program, and 2) adult advisors from sponsoring organizations.
Through short teachings at the start of each session, students have the opportunity to learn and appreciate the similarities and differences among each other. Through games, activities, and peer discussions participants learn how to recognize and respond to stereotypes, prejudice, and discrimination both individually and in groups. Each session is individually designed, highly interactive, fun and is led primarily by trained high school facilitators who have graduated from the program. appreciate the similarities and differences among each other.
The sessions take place in participating organizations, including houses of worship.