A program to help older elementary school children resolve conflicts safely: the WITS LEADS program

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WITS LEADS is a literature-based program that was developed in Victoria, BC, Canada, as an upward extension of the WITS Primary program. The WITS LEADS Program provides children grades 4-6 with developmentally-appropriate resources and strategies for problem solving and dealing with conflict, as captured by the LEADS acronym: Look and listen, Explore points of view, Act, Did it work? and Seek help.

The program includes over 30 activities that are can be easily integrated into daily teaching practice in a variety of subject areas. These activities, and lists of children’s books with SEL messages, are freely accessible on the WITS website.

Research shows that students in schools with well-established WITS programs identify and report more victimization incidents, and are reported (by teachers) to show higher levels of social responsibility than students in control schools. There is also evidence of declines in physical and relational violence within classrooms that use WITS programs.