Beyond Differences

Beyond Differences is a student-led organization dedicated to ending social isolation by empowering students to become activists and change the culture of middle school. We work with over 6000 schools across all 50 states by providing educators free access to a set of three (3) Positive Prevention Initiatives that wrap around the school year: Know Your Classmates, No One Eats Alone and Be Kind Online. Each initiative contains lesson plans for teachers, student leadership activities and a national celebratory day. Our mission to ensure that all students feel included, accepted, respected and valued by the classmates is more important than ever!

Age Groups Served
  • Middle School
  • High School
  • Parent and Caregiver Engagement
Geographical Area Served
  • County Alameda
  • County Marin
  • County San Mateo
  • State of Oregon
Services Offered
  • Academic Support
  • Mentoring
  • Social Emotional Learning
  • Student and Family well-being
Social isolation among adolescents is a social justice issue and can be eliminated. Social isolation is an issue that is harmful to the entire school community, diminishing everyone's experience. Social isolation is far-reaching and contributes to poor educational and life outcomes. Middle school is the ideal time to address the dynamic of social isolation. We believe that young people are inherently kind and compassionate and want to do the right thing. Young people will courageously take a stand against social isolation when given the tools, training and guidance. Middle school can -- and should be -- a great experience. Student leadership opportunities develop stronger and more compassionate adult leaders. And the best way to reach middle school students is through other students, especially older to younger mentoring programs. We believe we can change the culture of middle school so kids "don't just have to get through it!"
We collect data on the baseline number of schools across the US who sign up and use our curriculum; following each Positive Prevention Initiative we send out a survey to all participating teachers and measure our data re: Title 1 schools, demographics, etc. and ask for feedback on how to improve curriculum and leadership activities. We average 12-18% response rate, very positive. Beyond Differences also embarked on a year-long research and evaluation study with ten (10) public middle schools in New York City during the 2018-2019 school year and created indicators measuring student voice, student leadership, attitudes by principals and teachers, use of materials, etc. from the beginning through the end of the school year. Our study concluded that, on average, 3.8 dosages of Beyond Differences curriculum administered in a school in one year had a measurable impact on awareness of, and readiness to address, social isolation by 7th grade students. The research student is available for distribution.

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