Partnership with Sioux City Schools

The Waitt family has attended Sioux City Schools for four generations.  The Waitt Foundation’s partnership with the Sioux City Community School District began in 1993, with such programs as technology centers and a decade long scholarship program.  In 2000, the schools partnered with us in the first pilot implementation of Jackson Katz’s “Mentors in Violence Prevention” at West High School, implemented by Dr. Alan Heisterkamp.

The 4th annual MVP high school student mentor summit 2010

After the initial pilot, from 2002 on, the schools systematically added violence prevention curriculum.  By 2011, all schools k-12 had violence prevention curriculum, with “Second Step” being used in elementary and middle schools, and Mentors in Violence Prevention in high schools.  In 2006, middle and high schools began implementing Futures without Violence “Coaching Boys into Men” , a program that uses relationships with coaches to promote respect for girls and women.  In 2009, Sioux City became the first school district in the country to implement an adult to adult workplace bullying campaign with Drs. Gary and Ruth Namie, nationally known authors and workplace bullying experts.

Dr. Namie training in Sioux City 2009

Boston Celtics former coach and player M.L. Carr and Sioux City coaches and leaders

Sioux City opened their doors for two film groups, Astrea Productions and Markay Media for the web based “A New Kind of Strength, the men’s movement against gender violence in America”, which featured Sioux City student athletes, and Lee Hirsch and Cynthia Lowen, director and producer of the award winning “Bully”.

Lee Hirsch filming West High school for "Bully" in 2009-2010

Sioux City students continue to learn and grow in preventing dating violence and bullying by becoming mentors and learning to be active “upstanders’ when bullying is happening.

East High school students in "Stand for the Silent" rally 2012