Andrea spoke Jade Speaks Up – a programme delivered by classroom teachers for 8 – 12-year-olds.
 The programme, whose central character, Jade, is named after precious New Zealand pounamu,
as are the other characters were created by Elaine Dyer and Andrea O’Hagan.
Both are trained primary teachers and their other work experience and studies have included conflict resolution.
Their paths crossed and the programme was born out of Elaine’s work with people in the community and in prison. 
Andrea had also worked alongside a secondary school counsellor and became more aware of the challenges some students had to deal with in their lives. 

The research component of the three-year pilot of Jade Speaks Up was undertaken by Dr Geoff Bridgman, a lecturer and academic leader of social practice at Unitec. He was also the chairman of Violence Free Communities when the Jade programme was developed. 

Elaine says the education curriculum has an expectation that schools will contribute to learning experiences for students that develop resilience, build personal coping strategies, and encourage accessing help and support from adults when needed. 

Learning phone numbers of people they can trust and knowing a safe place to go are among the tools the children learn to keep them safe from violence. 

Jade Speaks Up (JSU) provides teachers with more resources to discuss with children. Topics include emotional literacy, the importance of having trusting relationships, the fundamentals of respectful relationships and how to keep children safe from violence.