Every October, schools across the country join in observing National Bullying Prevention Month. The goal: encourage communities to work together to stop bullying and cyberbullying by increasing awareness of the prevalence and impact of bullying on all children of all ages. Throughout the month our learning community will be raising awareness about bullying behavior and how important bystanders are to reduce bullying behavior.
During October the counseling lessons will all be about bullying based on the Second Step Bullying Unit. Administrators will be visiting all kindergarten through third grade classes to read a book about bullying.
Wednesday, October 19, 2016 we will celebrate UNITY DAY: Together against bullying — united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Make it ORANGE and make it end! What are your true colors when it comes to bullying? If you care about safe and supportive schools and communities make your color ORANGE on Unity Day. That’s the day everyone can come together – in schools, communities, and online – and send one large ORANGE message of support, hope, and unity to show that we are together against bullying and united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. To learn more about this day see http://www.pacer.org/bullying/nbpm/ All staff and students are encouraged to wear orange that day.
In place of a morning message in morning meetings on Unity Day we ask classes to work together on a simple Unity Tree. The Unity Tree is a powerful symbol reminding everyone that bullying can be prevented when we all come together – united for kindness, acceptance and inclusion. Creating a Unity Tree is an interactive and hands-on activity, a shared experience in which all students can participate and everyone can watch the tree grow. Each person contributes their own unique experiences, creative ideas, and strategies by writing positive messages on leaves that are attached to the tree. As the number of leaves increases, it creates a visual reminder, demonstrating that when we are united we can create social change. On the class easel or bulletin board, create the trunk of a tree and branches. Pre-cut leaf shaped pieces of orange paper large enough for students to write a message will be provided to teachers. Here are three options for types of messages, or create your own: If you planted a seed, what would you tell your seed about bullying? What can you do change/impact your school’s culture about bullying? How can you support a friend/peer who is being bullied? Each student writes down their response on a leaf. Attach each of the leaves to the tree. Display the tree in your classroom for the remainder of October.
SCA representatives will be making a poster for each classroom about Bullying Prevention Month. The display case in the front of our school will feature anti-bullying this month.