Kindness is when you help somebody
Kindness shines, like the sun
Kindness can make you feel so happy
Kindness for everyone
This chorus, part of the song entitled “Kindness” was written by Mrs. McCann’s Kindergarten class as part of the anti-bullying project that staff and students participated in at Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary during the month of February. Singer/songwriter Lowry Olafson helped the Kindergarten class put the lyrics and tune together and the class proudly showed off their creative talents at the Grand Finale concert on February 24.
Seven classes at the school were able to work with Lowry to create their own songs to perform at the finale.
Along with Kindness, the other song titles are: I Know How You Feel; I Am Who I Am; It’s Okay to be Different; Sticks and Stones; We Can Stand Together and A Million Reasons (these are available for your listening pleasure through Lowry’s website at http://lowryolafson.com/songwriting_program.html.)
These song titles are reflective of the concepts that were covered during the month of February: accepting and celebrating diversity, tolerance and the effectiveness of standing up to a bully.
Classroom teachers worked together to develop lesson plans which were taught throughout the month. They also planned a number of school wide events to really bring the message home to students. On Pink Shirt day, students decorated their own t-shirts and then gathered for assembly to show off their creativity.
Drama coach, Doreen Lamarche, facilitated drama workshops in the intermediate classes to create anti-bullying skits that were preformed at the Grand Finale. A community forum was held for students in Grades 5 – 7. Counsellors, principals, RCMP, secondary students and a coach met with these students in small groups to discuss bullying.
Mrs. Neighbour’s Grade 7 students took leadership roles throughout the month. They went to all classrooms each day for a week and showed anti-bullying videos. After the videos, they would engage students in a discussion about the content. Grade 7s also shared anti-bullying messages through the daily announcements.
Two grade 7 girls conducted a workshop at lunch time in a primary class where there had been some name calling; they taught the students about things they could do at a kid-level to make it stop.
Both senior classes had the opportunity to learn about cyber-bullying with RCMP officers. The RCMP officers returned for a follow-up session to deepen students understanding of the seriousness of this type of bullying.
Bully prevention will be ongoing at Red Bluff Lhtako Elementary. Students have a common language around bullying and know that they have the power to stand up to bullies. Students also know they need to tell a trusted adult who can help them.
All schools in the Quesnel School District have programs to support social responsibility and work on providing all students with safe school environments. If you know that bullying is happening, we encourage you to contact your child’s teacher or principal to report.
Cynthia Bernier is director of instruction and curriculum and Sue-Ellen Miller is superintendent of schools.