SPAVA (Society for the Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence Among Adolescents)

A nonprofit organization

Fourth grader Joy, by her own admission, was a bully. Because Joy was tall for her age, she was able to physically intimidate her fellow students. She only realized she was a bully during a SPAVA class. SPAVA changed her heart and changed her behavior.

Joy's story is repeated 100's of times every school year at every grade level through the efforts of SPAVA volunteers and mentors.

Joy and all our SPAVA students need curriculum, T-shirts, web content and videos to reinforce and sustain the concepts that made Joy realize she was a bully and that she could permanently change her behavior.

SPAVA serves students Pre-K through 12th grade. Adult volunteer mentors follow a pre-planned curriculum in which alternatives to violence are discussed. Students learn skills centered around anger control and discover how controlled aggression (assertiveness) can be beneficial. They discover the art of negotiating to realize they can win through nonviolence. Students discuss the value of hard work and how these values support becoming successful adults. They learn to be good listeners and how listening benefits better understanding of other people as well as to accept others for their differences. Students assimilate the worth and importance of respect, honor, integrity, resilience, and perseverance as they develop the spirit of "liking myself for who I am" as they become Ambassadors of Peace within their own communities.

SPAVA is very proud to announce that 21 Volunteer Mentors volunteered 1600 hours over the course of the 2019-2020 school year. These volunteer hours were logged mentoring students in K-12th grade, in JCPS schools, Catholic schools, and the West End and Nativity Schools. Their hard work and dedication has made a difference in the lives of the students in our community.

How SPAVA is addressing COVID-19: One of the consequences of Covid-19 is the fact that SPAVA has not been in classrooms since March 16, 2020. SPAVA is in the process of developing new strategies to facilitate being a continued presence in the lives of the children in our community, despite so many schools still no holding in-person classes. One goal is to create SPAVA lessons, developed by SPAVA mentors, that will be used at home by the parent/guardian and the student. These lessons will be designed to specifically meets the needs of the parents/guardians as they work with their children. Creating these Lessons will also facilitate achieving the goal to create a parent component for SPAVA. Additional funding is vital to support updating the website with these new resources that are being created, such as the parent/guardian videos, SPAVA will also reach out to schools to offer Lessons that can be viewed during the Zoom classes that are being conducted with the students. Before the virus, SPAVA had worked primarily in school classes. But, in the past, SPAVA has work with youth organizations working with students at youth centers. Because so many schools are not holding in-person classes, SPAVA is once again reaching out to youth organizations in an effort to begin working with students at their youth centers. SPAVA continues to think out of the box as we explore other avenues to reach students in our community.

SPAVA seeks to create a non-violent world one child at a time. In the words of Gandhi, "We must be the change we want to see." SPAVA is making a difference in young people's lives!

If you are interested in learning more about SPAVA or would like to volunteer as a SPAVA mentor, please visit our website or contact Dr. Doris Mann, PhD, the SPAVA Coordinator, at

Organization Data


Organization name

SPAVA (Society for the Prevention of Aggressiveness and Violence Among Adolescents)

Tax id (EIN)



P.O. Box 22067
Louisville, KY 40252