Dutch Documentary Series: 'Over de Streep' - Season 4

Challenge Day Evaluations & Research



Toggle each topic to read Challenge Day's remarkable results!

(click to open/close)

School Results


Challenge Day Student Survey


Read summaries of results from the Challenge Day Student Survey. The summaries highlight the first and second large-scale data collection and exploratory studies performed by Challenge Day, and explore the effects of the program on students for eight factors related to Challenge Day's theoretical foundation.
Challenge Day Student Survey 2010-2011 Summary highlighting the fourth large-scale data collection and exploratory study performed by Challenge Day
Challenge Day Student Survey 2010-2011 - Executive Summary Challenge Day Student Survey - Executive Summary
School Climate Survey 2010-2011 2010-2011 Survey measuring school climate at schools that held Challenge Days
School Climate Survey 2010-201 - Executive Summary 2010-2011 Executive Summary of survey measuring school climate at schools that held Challenge Days
Challenge Day Student Survey 2008-2010 Summary highlighting the third large-scale data collection and exploratory study performed by Challenge Day
Challenge Day Student Survey 2006-2008 Summary highlighting the second large-scale data collection and exploratory study performed by Challenge Day
Challenge Day Student Survey 2006-2008 Summary highlighting the first large-scale data collection and exploratory study performed by Challenge Day
Latest Results

Lessons Youth Learn at Challenge Day Programs

Evidence based research has shown that Challenge Day helps develop leadership in high school students through its day-long Challenge Day programs.1 It also increases particular skills and life effectiveness listed in the categories below:
  • Intellectual Flexibility – youth that demonstrate this attribute are open to new ideas, are adaptable and flexible in their thinking, and can change opinions easily if there is a better idea or way of doing activities and projects. They can also see and understand perspectives different than their own2
  • Task Leadership – youth that demonstrate this attribute can successfully enroll people to participant in tasks, activities, and projects. Youth with this attribute believe that they can productively lead others in a positive and effective manner.
  • Emotional Control – youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they can stay calm in stressful situations and overcome anxiety quickly when things do go wrong and recover and resolve the problem efficiently.
  • Self Confidence – youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they have the ability to do anything they put their mind to and they are confident they will succeed.
  • Social competence – youth that demonstrate this attribute have a high degree of self-perceived ability in social interactions. They have a high degree of confidence in their ability to positively relate with others.

In addition, Challenge Day provides growth in other areas as well. After our programs, you can expect the youth participants to:

  • Increase their skills in noticing oppression and isolation
  • Practice safe and effective intervention tools in the midst of conflict
  • Perform acts of change in their schools and communities3

At Challenge Day, we invite youth to make at least one conscious, positive contribution (also known as an act of change) each day in their communities and schools. The acts of change youth most often did after a Challenge Day are as follows 4:

  • Helped peers and family
  • Connected and reached out to peers
  • Gave hugs and expressed love
  • Participated in community service
  • Resolved conflict
  • Took care of self

By participating in Challenge Day, youth learn to accept themselves completely for who they are just the way they are, look through the eyes of acceptance, love, and respect, and live their life in service. This is the work of Challenge Day!

1Nail, Terry. Dissertation: Evaluation of Life Effectiveness and Leadership Development in a Challenge Day Program for High School Students, Library of Congress, 2007.

2Neill, James et al., Life Effectiveness Questionnaire, 2003.

3Nail, Terry, 2007.

4Ibid.

You can download this report of results as PDF:

Studies
Evaluation of Life Effectiveness and Leadership Development in a Challenge Day (abstract) 2007 Outcome-based evaluation measuring improved life effectiveness and developed leadership in high school students at Jefferson High School, Daly City, CA. Full version (5mb) can be downloaded here.
School Climate Study 2005 Study measuring positive change in school climate at Bangor High School.
Challenge Day and Positive Youth Development 2002 Document describing how Challenge Day targets Positive Youth Development (PYD).
Schools Are Transformed


We wish to acknowledge all of the people who are working with us to document the results attributed to participation in the Challenge Day programs. The results reported by the following schools represent highlights from six such efforts.

Duval County, Jacksonville, FL

A 2011 survey contducted at Duval County Public Schools (DCPS), in Jacksonville Florida.

The purposes of the survey were (a) to assess students’ perceptions of changes in their attitudes and behaviors following Challenge Day and (b) to gain awareness of issues currently being faced by students.

The survey's conclusion lists a number of positive outcomes, which "included increased awareness, safety, social responsibility, acceptance of self and others, connection, expression, optimism regarding the future, and academic goal-setting."

Bangor High School, Bangor, MI

Ninth grade students at Bangor High School in Bangor, Michigan were administered a Likert-type survey prior to and following implementation of Challenge Day programs with the freshman class. Results indicated improvements in six of eight items associated with improved school climate, with the largest gains being percentages of students reporting that they:

  • confront peers making hurtful comments or choices
  • get along with others from different backgrounds
  • stop gossip when they hear it
  • witness less or no teasing at school.

Improvements also occurred in seven of nine items associated with students feeling welcomed at school, with the largest areas of improvement being the percentage of students reporting that they (a) get along with their teachers, and (b) receive great citizenship marks. Disciplinary incidents related to bullying, teasing, and violence decreased by 24.1% following the implementation of Challenge Day programs.

School Climate Study 2005 Study measuring positive change in school climate at Bangor High School.

Natrona County Schools, Casper, WY

For the past three successive school years, Natrona County Schools have reported that use of the Challenge Day programs significantly contributed to their ability to reduce suspension rates. Here are a few excerpts of their report:

In order to determine reasons for the down trend [in suspensions] we need to look at consistently applied prevention and early intervention efforts ... We can identify three programs that may be helping to move suspension data downward; however, analysis indicates that The Challenge Day Program is the leading prevention/ intervention strategy.

The focus of the Challenge Day program is literally to change the hearts of participants because only then can they begin to change their behavior. It works.

Use of The Challenge Day prevention/early intervention retreat is clearly the program leading to fewer suspensions and more academic time on task in NCSD #1. There is additional data indicating the effectiveness of The Challenge Day approach that is being collected and analyzed at this time.

— Our thanks to Wayne Beatty, Principal, Casper, WY

Waipahu High School, Waipahu, HI

Thanks to Faye Toyama, former Vice Principal, Challenge Day is now in its third year of providing programs at the school. In the time we have been at Waipahu High School, their statistics have shown that suspensions have gone done from 701 in 2000 to 587 in 2002.

A $38,000 grant targeted the entire freshman class, combining Challenge Day for the entire 500 + freshman class, their teachers and community members; smoking cessation classes for those youth who smoked, and a follow up curriculum for teachers to deliver to the freshman class.

Bret Harte High School, Angels Camp, CA

At Bret Harte High School, 123 students participated in Day One. Of those, 113 completed a pre-event survey for a response rate of 91%. 51 students completed a post-event survey for a response rate of 45%. 28 students were also interviewed a week after the event. There is a lot to this survey, however, here are a few of the highlights from the 23 page PowerPoint report they created:

  • 78% decrease in those who reported feeling unsafe
  • After Day 1, ALL students felt there was an adult at school who would listen to them!
  • 50% of students mentioned an increase in sense of connection, openness, friendliness and knowing people
  • 17% mentioned less teasing, bullying and fewer students being picked on

Reported Results - Tavernier, FL

Coral Shores High School is a safer place, thanks in part to Challenge Day! Quoted in the Key Largo Times, leadership class teacher Cheryl Cooke said, "Since we started, there has been a 67 percent drop in disciplinary incidents. That, in itself, should speak for the program and what we have done."

The data comes from the Monroe County High School Safety and Environment Report, which logs crime and violence incidents at the county's three high schools. "During the 2002-03 school year at Coral Shores, the number of reported incidents was 20, down from 70 just two years earlier," the article said. "Monroe County Safe School Coordinator Mike Henriquez attributes part of that change to Challenge Day and the leadership class."

Faculty Results


Faculty Tesimonials

I would like to commend every aspect of Challenge Day-from the people to the premise of the organization itself. This is the third Challenge Day that I helped to organize, and I continue to be impressed with the program itself and with all of the people involved. Our first Challenge Day at Elmwood took place with our most recent graduating class. As part of their portfolios, students are asked to write an essay about their most positive school learning experience. They could choose anything from grades K-12. Out of our 90 graduating seniors, 50 wrote about Challenge Day. What a compliment to the entire Challenge Day organization.

I think a lot of the day's success (all 3 years) can be attributed to the two Challenge Day facilitators you sent to us. They treat everyone-students and adults-with the utmost respect and dignity as well as kindness and empathy. I cannot imagine doing what they do on a regular basis as it must be draining. The students made the comment that they appreciated the Challenge Day leaders sharing their own experiences. Their willingness to open up to students and adults provides an environment where we too feel comfortable opening up and "dropping the waterline."

It amazes me how many students that we think "have it all together" are many times the ones who have the most issues and have never shared these issues because they have never had the right "forum" to do so. Challenge Day provides them with the means by which to examine their issues.

I am so honored to be a part of such a wonderful program. I would like to thank the entire Challenge Day organization for promoting the idea that every person, no matter who they are, are worthy of kindness, dignity, and respect. If the whole world worked by means of that premise, the world would be a much more wonderful place. Again, thank you for all you do!

– Sandy Brunswick, English Teacher, Elmwood High School
"This day was 200% more than it promised to be!"
– Brad, Principal, Casper, WY
"It's been over a month since our Challenge Day and I'm still seeing the lasting effects of your program."
– Julie Richardson - Activities Director, Marin Catholic High School, Kentfield, CA
"I have seen the changes this program has made in the lives of many students! It is a program that must be continued until we reach all kids. Crossing the line is especially powerful! I enjoyed doing this with my son. I think we understand each other better!"
– B. Crawford, School Counselor, W. Lafayette, IN
"The Challenge Day program created an environment of caring, sensitivity and understanding that I would not have believed possible in a one day program. Imagine if all kids were exposed to this type of sensitivity training on an ongoing regular basis!"
–Robert Lebby - Director, North Star Camp for Boys, Hayward, WI
"Wow! This training opened my eyes to a whole new way of seeing and being with young people!"
– Sue Schilling - Counselor, Natrona County Schools, Casper, WY
"I think our kids need to be aware of their feelings and be reminded that they don't have to handle them alone."
– Scott Bergerhouse - Vice Principal, Antioch, CA
"There has been some serious racial tension on our campus recently and the police were called to intervene. I got some feedback today from some of the teachers that attended the Challenge Day as adult participants, that there were some apologies in the small groups and Speak Out where the victims of the assault were apologized to. I feel that is great progress for my students and attribute it to Challenge Day. Thank all the leaders that have been a part of the CDs at Helms.. so thank you on behalf of my school and students."
– Wendy Warda, School Coordinator, Helms Middle School Oakland, CA
"We are tying Appreciation Day with the Challenge Day message: To show appreciation and support of others, for who they are and what they do, despite their differences. This new holiday will take place on the third Friday of every December. On Thanksgiving, we remember what we are grateful for. On Appreciation Day, we will appreciate the kind acts of others, celebrate the differences of others, appreciate our individuality etc. Our goal is to make this national!"
– Kelly Legg, Director of Guidance, Perrysburg, OH

Student Results


Student Testimonials
"I have to say that was one of the best days of my life, and I would have to say it's because of the leaders! They are such amazing people, who have changed my life and the way I think. I just want to thank them. I especially want to thank them for being there for me...when we did the line up they were there for me when I needed someone to hold, and I really appreciate everything they both have done. They are both amazing people with big hearts! Thanks!"
– Kathryn, student, Watchung Hills Regional High School, Warren, NJ
"I just want to thank you for taking your time to come to my school. A lot of kids made fun of me because I was new this year. They called me a lot of names and said I was conceited because I'm a model. Now that we had Challenge Day everyone has been so nice to me! Thank you guys so much."
– Carley Atwood, Steamboat Springs Middle School
"I've been the biggest jerk and I didn't know why! It actually felt good to understand myself and to have the chance to say I'm sorry."
– Patrick, 16 - Oakland, CA
"I never knew there was so much pressure for men and boys to be the way they are."
– Ericka, 18 - Yuba City, CA
"Hey! I just wanted you both to know that you did a great job. It really made me think about my life and how much of it I have been hurting people. Thank you!"
– Jennah Kukulka
"I don't feel alone anymore."
– Ian, 17, student, Fairfield, C
"Kids find ways to express themselves and get to know one another."
– Danielle, 17 - Student, Vallejo, CA

Community Results


Community Testimonials
"I wanted to share a story I heard at John Ware Jr. High yesterday. Two students who had been making a teacher's life miserable by continually challenging her and encouraging classmates to be disrespectful towards her, left Challenge Day last Monday and went directly back to the school. They found her in her classroom, asked permission to speak to her and then in front of a class of students who had not been at Challenge Day, apologized sincerely and promised not put her through that anymore."
– Pat Mass, Lord Beaverbrook HS, Calgary, AB
"This is my third Challenge Day experience and I believe it is my best! This beautiful program grows every time."
– Gail VanWart, Parent
"I was blown away to see a group of introverted 'inner-groupers' becoming open, loving, and sharing individuals in a short six hours!"
– Alvin Pruitt – Austin Eastside Story, Austin, TX
"When I signed up for Challenge Day I thought I was going for the kids. Clearly it was the gift I needed for myself."
– R.C. Kelly, Police Activities League, Atlanta, GA
"Things would have been very different if I had a Challenge Day at my school."
– Jim Armstrong – Reporter, KGWC News Channel 14
"I was amazed by what the students shared and how I could get close to them as an adult that they didn't previously know. It gave me an inside view of a middle schooler's mind and tribulations as well as my own. Thank you!"
– A. Plean, Steamboat Springs, CO
"Powerful! As an adult participant, I came in with an illusion that this would be 'all about the kids.' I discovered that it's all about relationships. The timing and sequence of activities worked very well to bring people out of their comfort zone. The power shuffle was amazing."
– L. Middleton, Steamboat Springs, CO
"This program is desperately needed in every school across the country. The impact that it made on me and the students I saw here will not be forgotten... Thank You!"
– Addictions Therapist R. Giuliano – Michigan
"Challenge Day works better than any other program I've seen locally or nationally."
– Tim Monroe, former Mayor and Councilman, Casper, WY
"At last, a program that addresses the teasing and ridicule that unfortunately begins at such a young age."
– Joanne Theobald - Social Worker, State of Wyoming Family Services
"The Challenge Day Peer Mentorship Program is right down the line of what I have been preaching. That I want everyone to be a mentor ... It should be a mandatory thing to try and salvage the sanity of Our Country."
– Philmore Graham, Founder, Omega Boys and Girls Club, Vallejo, CA
"One of the best and most thorough mentorship programs we have ever seen."
– Jane Callahan - "Fighting Back" program, Solano County, CA
"If every school had a Challenge Day as part of the curriculum, our world would be 100% better off."
– Earl Miller - Founder and Director, Reach Out Benicia
"I was blown away by the organization and effect the day had- the leaders showed enthusiasm and connected to the heart. Thanks."
– J. Ellis, Crystal Bay, NV
"You both carried the energy and focus needed to run the workshop. What you do inspires me to continue doing what I do, help kids. I would like to be more involved in your program and contact you for information regarding a research project I have, and interning."
– M. Gonzalez, Incline Village, NV
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for making a difference to improve our society. We all learned very important things that are hard to find anywhere else."
– C. Schulte, Manchester MI
"Both leaders were excellent examples of the principles they talked about. That is, they walk their talk. They showed lots of enthusiasm and respect, etc."
– K. McChesney, San Francisco Bay Area
"Very good at motivating kids and getting them (and as adults) into an emotional space where we can all understand the impacts of bullying and begin to change those dynamics."
– R. Culp, Twisp, WA
"This was an absolutely brilliant combo of some main ideas that I've heard in self improvement seminars and books in the early 80's, and racism classes I've had more recently. This is the stuff that all kids need, I think, more than reading, writing and math."
– S. Rasmussen, Wofford Heights, CA
"The whole session was awesome! I loved the exercises. I loved the energy. I appreciated you both showing your emotions and sharing your touching stones. You made it easy for others to open up. "
– Grace Webster, Administrator & Therapist
"Today was amazing! Thank you for making your dream a reality. I share your dream and appreciate the tools and education you and your staff are offering through Challenge Day and other trainings. God bless you and your work."
– Sheerene Mehrizi, Assessment Counselor

Business Results


A Coca-Cola Challenge Day


Imagine a workplace where every employee is safe, loved, and celebrated. This vision was at the heart of our first corporate Challenge Day program, held at The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta, Georgia in the summer and fall of 2007.
Coca Cola Challenge Day"I have so much more respect for my co-workers and I feel so much more connected to them."
– Coca-Cola employee

"Inspired by Challenge Day's work in schools across the nation, Steve Bucherati, Coca-Cola's Group Director for Diversity and Fairness in North America, invited Challenge Day's founders, Rich and Yvonne Dutra-St. John, to conduct a pilot Challenge Day at The Coca-Cola Company.

Over 140 Coca-Cola employees "dropped the waterline," opened their hearts, and took part in powerful validation exercises especially tailored to their on-the-job experiences.

Coca-Cola employees gave glowing accounts of their Challenge Day experience, describing it as "an amazing training experience," and "the best diversity training ever." Read on for more rave reviews!

Coca Cola Challenge day"Participant after participant told us what a life-changing and positive experience [Challenge Day] was. For me, personally, it brought me back to all that's right, decent, and possible in this world."

"Having been exposed to Challenge Day through the airing on Oprah Winfrey's show made me, as a human being, feel so good about the work that Rich, Yvonne, and their team are doing every day to enrich the lives of our young people. It also spoke to me that perhaps we could adapt and adopt this program into a large corporate setting, and the pilot program we recently ran at The Coca-Cola Company was an overwhelming success."
– Steve Bucherati, The Coca-Cola Company
"Best course I've ever had in a work environment. Thank you!"
– Coca-Cola employee
"I wish that I had an opportunity to attend a session like this in high school!"
– Coca-Cola employee
Coca Cola Challenge Day"Best diversity class ever! I love how you brought difficult topics out and addressed them in a 'challenge and change' way."
– Coca-Cola employee

Business Results


Additional research that supports Challenge Day's
ideas and practices


Lessons Youth and Adults Learn at Challenge Day Programs

Evidence based research has shown that Challenge Day helps develop leadership in high school students through its day-long Challenge Day programs1. It also increases particular skills and life effectiveness listed in the categories below:

Intellectual Flexibility
Youth that demonstrate this attribute are open to new ideas, are adaptable and flexible in their thinking, and can change opinions easily if there is a better idea or way of doing activities and projects. They can also see and understand perspectives different than their own2.

Task Leadership
Youth that demonstrate this attribute can successfully enroll people to participant in tasks, activities, and projects. Youth with this attribute believe that they can productively lead others in a positive and effective manner. Youth show an increase in leadership and action towards positive change.

Emotional Control
Youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they can stay calm in stressful situations and overcome anxiety quickly when things do go wrong and recover and resolve the problem efficiently.

Self Confidence
Youth that demonstrate this attribute believe that they have the ability to do anything they put their mind to and they are confident they will succeed.

Social Competence
Youth that demonstrate this attribute have a high degree of self-perceived ability in social interactions. They have a high degree of confidence in their ability to positively relate with others.

In addition, Challenge Day provides growth in other areas as well. After our programs, you can expect the youth participants to:

  • Increase their skills in noticing oppression and isolation
  • Practice safe and effective intervention tools in the midst of conflict
  • Perform acts of change in their schools and communities3

At Challenge Day, we invite youth to make at least one conscious, positive contribution (also known as an act of change) each day in their communities and schools. The acts of change youth most often did after a Challenge Day are as follows:4

  • Helped peers and family
  • Connected and reached out to peers
  • Gave hugs and expressed love
  • Participated in community service
  • Resolved conflict
  • Took care of self

Challenge Day has served hundreds of thousands of youth around the world, helping schools create positive and permanent changes in how relationships and communities are built and sustained. We invite you to join us in the work of Challenge Day and to Be the Change!

1Nail, Terry. Dissertation: Evaluation of Life Effectiveness and Leadership Development in a Challenge Day Program for High School Students, Library of Congress, 2007.
2 Neill, James et al., Life Effectiveness Questionnaire, 2003.
3Nail, Terry, 2007.
4 Ibid.

(back to the top)


Evidence Based Research

While it is true that no one program can be all things to all people, the seemingly universal appeal of our programs appears to come down to one thing – "Our shared humanity". Since 1987, our programs have demonstrated that acceptance, compassion, and understanding are possible for people everywhere.

It is our vision to create a world where "every child" feels safe, loved, and celebrated. (This vision includes those who now live in grown-up bodies). The primary focus of all our work is to end the fear, separation, isolation, and loneliness that we believe is at the root of almost every destructive behavior we see.

Imagine living in a world where everyone made a commitment to do these three things:

  • Accept themselves completely for who they are just the way they are.
  • Look through eyes of acceptance, love, and respect.
  • Live their lives in service by Being the Change

With the ever growing increase of violence and oppression on our planet, we believe a commitment to these simple steps can actually create peace on earth.

Since we know that service and depression can't live in the same body, we challenge people everywhere to commit to doing at least one intentional positive act of change each day as one way to BE THE CHANGE they wish to see in the world.

Program Goals

Challenge Day successfully addresses some common issues seen at most schools during our school programs including cliques, gossip, rumors, negative judgments, teasing, harassment, isolation, stereotypes, intolerance, racism, sexism, bullying, violence, homophobia, hopelessness, apathy, and hidden pressures to create an image, achieve or live up to the expectations of others. At the end of every Challenge Day program, all participants that fully participate will:

1
Never again be able to say they didn't know that negative judgments, thoughtless jokes, rumors, or oppressive behaviors, comments or violence hurts people.
2
Be challenged to adopt our three step formula for creating positive change:
  • NOTICE – Wake up!
    Notice what's happening.
  • CHOOSE – Dream It!
    Create a vision for what you DO want your life to look like.
  • ACT – Do Something!
    Have the courage and commitment it takes to be the change.
3
Be challenged to celebrate the diversity of ALL people.
4
Be encouraged to "drop the waterline" and to share and express their true selves (instead of hiding who they are to fit in at school or in their community)
5
Be provided with tools and alternatives for the healthy self expression while also being challenged to let go of self limiting thoughts, beliefs, and/or emotions.
6
Be challenged to live in a life in service to others.

Challenge Day programs are the catalyst for creating positive change in schools and communities. We believe each school can be an expert in knowing and understanding the needs of their students and for this reason, we ask schools and their communities to help sustain the changes made during the Challenge Day programs. We require each school we work with to have a Be the Change Team and we provide tools and curricula for schools to sustain the momentum created by our programs. We believe every school can be a place where students and faculty feel safe, loved, and celebrated.


(back to the top)


 
Submit Feedback
Submit Feedback

Have you participated in a Challenge Day or a Next Step Workshop? Tell us about your experience. We would love to hear from you!

Name
Challenge Day
3 Day Next Step Workshop

Name

Sender Email

Comments
By checking this box, I give Challenge Day permission to use my comments in whole or in part.

Resize