Written by Kimberly Greenwald, email@example.com Thursday, 20 February 2014 12:05
On Feb. 6, students from Garden City Middle School conducted anti-bullying lessons with fifth-grade students from Stratford and Stewart Elementary Schools. In an effort to help build bridges between schools, students worked together to help identify ways of eliminating or standing up to bullying in our community.
The presenters, eighth-grade student members of the middle school L.E.A.D.E.R.S. program, (LEADERS stands for L=leave no one out; E=empower yourself; A=Amuse with humor; D=Distract the bully; E=Enlist help; R=Rumors stop with you; S=Support the victim) spent several months planning for this special event. During the students’ lunch period, the group developed a lesson plan, researched bullying facts, identified age-appropriate anti-bullying games and activities, and created a classroom pledge for each class to adopt.
The lessons focused on acceptance, tolerance, and an appreciation of diversity. During each peer lesson, fifth-graders participated in a variety of activities emphasizing “upstander” intervention. The teams, guided by Keegan Baker and Kimberly Greenwald, were excited to pilot the new program and look forward to many more community team-building experiences in the future.
In addition to this year’s kids-helping-kids event, a pen pal activity has been established between 7th-grade Home Base classes and each 5th-grade elementary school class. Throughout the remaining part of the year, students will have the opportunity to foster new friendships through a variety of letter writing activities. Not only will this activity help the fifth-graders transition more efficiently to sixth grade, but they will get a sneak peek into the life of a middle school student.
Kimberly Greenwald is a teacher at Garden City Middle School