Start Strong Online Toolkit

Start Strong: Building Healthy Teen Relationships

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The online tool kit provides resources and tips from Start Strong on successful healthy relationships programming, such as: strategies for using popular culture to engage youth, how to leverage social media in healthy relationship education, creative ways to engage parents and other youth influencers, information about why middle school matters for preventing teen dating violence. Start Strong is premised on the idea that middle school is the optimum time to be engaging students in discussion about health relationships behaviors. Strategies were gleaned from Start Strong sites across the country and include prevention activities, advice and insights from prevention practitioners. This user-friendly collection can be accessed and utilized by educators, health professionals, violence prevention practitioners, community leaders, and anyone who works with youth.

Resources include:

  • Key elements for successful healthy relationships programming
  • Quotes and video interviews from experts, leaders, and youth
  • Downloadable materials and links to other resources


  • Educate and engage youth in schools and out of school settings
  • Educate and engage teen influencers such as parents/caregivers, older teens, teachers and other mentors
  • Change policy and environmental factors
  • Implement effective communications/social marketing strategies

The tool kit includes multiple strategies that address each level of the social ecology and information and support for why middle school matters for preventing teen dating violence to help prevention educators make the case to school administrators. It also includes downloadable materials, links to other resources and advice and tips from experts, leaders and young people to help inform program delivery.

Impact: Access a recent Start Strong evaluation, which demonstrated that the program had a positive impact on middle school students. Start Strong students reported decreased acceptance of teen dating violence and more positive attitudes toward gender equality—two key factors linked to stopping teen dating violence before it starts.

Start Strong’s collection of resources and lessons learned can help with decision making around choosing appropriate strategies for working with middle schools that will be relevant to your community. Many of the materials highlighted in the toolkit are available online and can be downloaded for free. May be used for educational purposes without permission.

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