No Name Calling Week at South Seneca school

First Annual “No Name Calling Week” took place on January 26th-30th, 2009 at the Elementary School. “No Name Calling Week” is an annual week of educational activities aimed at ending name-calling of all kinds and providing our school with the tools and inspiration to launch an ongoing dialogue about ways to eliminate bullying in our communities. Currently, 5,500 schools in the nation are participating in this event.Our students were asked to reflect on how names or putdowns promote negative feels. We continually try to promote an atmosphere where students seek to use names that make others feel good. Our objective is to encourage students to understand what it means to be a witness to bullying and supply strategies for dealing with it at school. Teachers will model behaviors and teach skills and strategies, following national lesson plans. Surveys will be completed by students regarding bullying. According to Margarete Couture, Elementary principal, “This program is in concert with our behavior principles, second step program and peer mediation programs already in place in our school”. “We need to model and teach these skills, the earlier the better!” added Mrs. Couture. Mrs. Couture initiated a contest to develop a poster, poem or essay that promotes the importance of no name-calling in our lives. The top three essays, posters or poems at each grade level will receive a gift certificate to the school store and all posters will be displayed in the school hallways to remind students of what they learned during this week. Winners are: Kindergarten: Matthew Martin; Logan Shaulis; Lucas Hooker. First Grade: Ellen Appleby; Catlin Cornish; Briana Nichols. Second Grade: Christopher Francis; Elizabeth Stengle; Jenna McDonald. Third Grade: Jesse Bower; Skylar Shaulis; Brandon Swanson. Fourth Grade: Jenna Darling; Mackenzie Welch; Mariah Bond. Fifth Grade: Marlea Jones; Ariel Felice; Matt Frey. Yvonne Piburn, Elementary Art teacher introduced the poster contest with 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders during Art class after seeing the video “Don’t Laugh at Me” by Peter Yarrow. Many teachers read books that touched on the topic of bullying, which was followed by discussion and also constructed “T-charts” on what a student likes and doesn’t like to be called. In Mrs. Alsheimer’s first grade class, Zachary Stengle and Brianna Bond role-played a bullying scene and how to handle the situation. Before the week started second grade teacher, June Bedore stated “the bullies do not recognize that they are bullies. They are the most verbal and during discussions on bullying, say that someone does that to them. The bullies think they are the victim.” Viana Bowers, Elementary Planning Room Coordinator as well as all South Seneca teachers have a goal to have the students recognize their own behaviors and learn skills on how to treat others. At the end of the week, Mrs. Bedore’s students demonstrated that with their poem entitled “Am I A Bully?”. Each line was written by a class member. “This week has really caused me to have a few aha moments that changed my direction with the bullying strategies. We are now focusing on recognizing when we are being bullies rather than just whether we are victims” stated Bedore.

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