Bully Awareness and Prevention: A Mini-Grant Story
Ms. Grandstaff is an elementary teacher who said, "I value teaching service and philanthropy to my students because I want them to grow into humans who are aware that they are a part of something bigger than themselves."
Second grade students at Mt. Comfort Elementary spent seven weeks learning leadership skills that could be used to prevent bullying and equip them to stop bullying when they notice it happening. Ms. Grandstaff applied the Learning to Give lessons Friends Helping Friends Prevent Bullying and Resolving Conflict with Respect lesson plans.
The students then participated in the service-learning project called Bully Awareness and Prevention. As a result, they made a 4-minute video to bring awareness to what bullying is and how to prevent, stop, and report it. They also heard from a guest speaker and attended a karate school to learn about physical challenges and activity.
"I loved learning about karate!" said one student. "I didn't know that being mean one time wasn't being a bully," said another. "Sometimes I hear a kid being picked on and now I know how to help them. Ninja day was awesome!"
Through this project the students developed respect for individual similarities and differences. They experienced cooperation and teamwork. Like all people, these students are on a lifelong journey of awareness of themselves and others and have realized they can be an influence - both positive and negative.
"Our students love to give naturally, and this was one small project of many that we did this year that has helped them learn to give their time, talent, and resources," said Ms. Grandstaff. "I want them to be 'others' focused and always look for ways to give back and contribute to the world around them."
The Learning to Give grant facilitated student action and awareness by moving them toward social responsibility. They learned how to prevent bullying by being leaders. They learned how to help others become leaders and worked on the skills needed such as confidence, honesty, personal responsibility, etc. As a result, they began to understand their role in society as productive and positive citizens.
One hundred students participated in the learning program and approximately 1,800 students saw the bullying awareness video and/or posters.